UC Davis Pepper Spray Report Blocked

Judge issues an order stopping the release of a report until he holds a full hearing on the matter

Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012  |  Updated 6:30 PM PDT
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UC Davis Pepper Spray Report Blocked

Spraying captured on cell phone went viral on YouTube.

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A judge has temporarily blocked the University of California  from releasing a long-awaited report on the pepper spraying of protesters at  UC Davis by campus police officers in November.

A task force headed by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso had been scheduled to outline their findings to the UC Davis  community today.

The 12-member task force was created to investigate an incident at  an Occupy protest Nov. 18 in which campus police officers doused pepper spray  on sitting protesters who had set up an encampment on the Davis campus.

But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday stopping the university from releasing the report until he holds a full hearing on the matter March 16.

The Federated University Police Officers Association, which represents officers at UC Davis and other campuses, sought a court disclosure  to stop the public disclosure of the report, saying that officers don't want  their names and confidential information they gave to investigators  published.

UC General Counsel Charles Robinson said in a statement, "We are  obviously disappointed that public disclosure of the findings and  recommendations of the task force chaired by Justice Reynoso has been  delayed. The work of the task force represents a crucial step forward for the  UC Davis campus as it attempts to move beyond the events of Nov. 18."

Robinson said, "The task force has worked diligently to provide the UC Davis community and the public at large with a full, expeditious accounting of the incidents in question.

Robinson said that in granting the temporary restraining order,  Judge Grillo "emphasized that he was not ruling on the merits, but only  preserving the status quo until the next hearing."

He said, "We look forward to the next round, and we will fight  vigorously in court to ensure that the task force report sees public light as  soon as possible."

The police union's attorney, John Bakhit, couldn't be reached for comment.

Reynoso said Monday that he was "frustrated" to find out that the union was seeking to block the release of the report.

 But he said, "I am undeterred in my commitment to release the complete and unredacted work of the task force."

UC President Mark Yudof said Monday that he was "disappointed"  that the report won't be issued at this time.

He said the task force's work "is a fundamental stepping stone needed to carry the UC Davis campus past the events of Nov. 18."

Yudof said, "The entire UC Davis community deserves a fully  transparent and unexpurgated accounting of the incidents in question. Though  I have not seen the reports, I am told the task force and its supporting  investigators have provided just such an accounting."

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