11 April 2012

The Reynoso report

The report is out. It looks like the whole chain of command engaged in a spectacular failure of judgment. In fact, the headings of the different subsections already provide a summary of the findings: 
  • There was a failure to investigate whether or not “non-affiliates” in the UC Davis Occupy encampment were present.  
  • The administration decided to deploy police to remove the tents on Nov. 18 before considering other reasonable alternatives.  
  • The scope of the police operation to remove the tents was ineffectively communicated, not
    clearly understood by key decision-makers, and, accordingly, could not be adequately evaluated as to its costs and consequences.  
  • There were no clear lines delineating the responsibility for decision-making between civilian administrators and police.  
  • There was confusion as to the legal basis for the police operation. 
  • The leadership team’s informal, consensus-based decision-making process was ineffective
    for supporting a major extraordinary event.  
  • The UCDPD failed to plan for the intended action according to standard operating procedures.
    Notwithstanding the deficiencies in the operations plan, the incident was not managed according to the plan.  
  • The decision to use pepper spray was not supported by objective evidence and was not authorized by policy.  
  • The pepper spray used, the MK- 9, First Aerosol Projector, was not an authorized weapon for use by the UCDPD.  
  • There is a breakdown of leadership in the UCDPD.  
  • The chancellor bears primary responsibility for the decision to deploy the police at 3 p.m. rather than during the night or early morning, which is a tactical decision properly reserved for police authorities.  
  • The chancellor bears primary responsibility for the failure to communicate her position that the police operation should avoid physical force.  
  • Many members of the leadership team, including the chancellor, vice chancellor Meyer, and vice chancellor Wood, share responsibility for the decision to remove the tents on Friday and, as a result, the subsequent police action against protesters.  
  • Chief Spicuzza bears individual responsibility for failing to challenge the leadership team’s decision on the time of the police operation and for not clarifying the role the police were expected to play during the operation. She is also responsible for numerous deviations from best police practices both before and during the operation as detailed in the Kroll Report.
  • Officer P bears individual responsibility for abdicating his duties as
    incident commander.
  •  Lt. Pike bears primary responsibility for the objectively unreasonable decision to use pepper spray on the students sitting in a line and for the manner in which the pepper spray was
It's a pretty damning indictment. One wonders which heads will roll. 

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