UC Davis pledged open communication and ongoing dialogue regarding the Nov. 18, 2011, events on the Quad, during which campus police arrested and used pepper spray on protesters. This website was created to inform you about the multiple independent reviews that were conducted to examine UC Davis and UC system-wide policies and practices, and to identify specific steps for the campus took to ensure that UC Davis is a safe and vibrant place to live, learn, work and express ideas.
In the aftermath of the UC Davis incident, University of California President, Mark G. Yudof announced the appointment of former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to chair a task force to address the pepper spraying of UC Davis students. This action was in response to a request from UC Davis Chancellor Katehi for an independent investigation to review the incident, report findings, and to make recommendations to enable peaceful and nonviolent protests. The Reynoso report issued ten recommendations, three of which were system-wide recommendations.
Following clashes between police and protestors during demonstrations at UC Berkeley and UC Davis in November of 2011, University of California President Mark G. Yudof asked Vice President and General Counsel Charles F. Robinson and Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher F. Edley, Jr. to review existing policies and practices as they relate to the University’s response to demonstrations and civil disobedience. The system-wide review resulted in 49 separate recommendations.
The Executive Council of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate approved formation of a special committee to investigate, in a thorough and timely manner, the events leading to the use of force on Nov. 18, 2011. The committee’s charge is available online. In response to the recommendations of the Executive Council Special Committee on the November 18th Incident, the following updated action plan reports were submitted on schedule by the campus administration to the Academic Senate.
The Reynoso Task Force recommended that the campus "develop a broadly accepted agreement on rules and policies that regulate campus protests and instances of civil disobedience." The Academic Senate undertook the first phase of this effort by convening the Executive Council Special Committee on Freedom of Expression to wrestle with the often challenging aspects of freedom of expression. This committee’s outstanding work culminated in the issuance of eight specific recommendations that it believed would serve the campus by clarifying, expanding and detailing campus policies and procedures related to freedom of expression and civil disobedience.
After receiving the report of the Academic Senate's Special Committee on Freedom of Expression on Feb. 15, 2013, Chancellor Katehi formed a Blue Ribbon Committee on Freedom of Expression to consider the Academic Senate's recommendations along with other input to develop and suggest specific policy changes to make UC Davis a leader in promoting free speech. The blue ribbon committee is scheduled to submit its findings to Chancellor Katehi by October 31, 2013.
Post-Incident Reform Review Committee
The purpose of this committee was to engage in a rigorous and independent evaluation of campus progress on recommendations issued in the wake of the November 18, 2011, pepper spray incidents. Chancellor Katehi invited community members, elected officials, opinion leaders, campus faculty, and students to participate. The sources of the recommendations included the Reynoso, Kroll, UC Davis Academic Senate, and Robinson/Edley reports. The group reviewed existing documents and invited presentations by university staff and faculty who are currently working on and knowledgeable about specific assignments related to ongoing recommendations and reforms. This committee met five times and filed its final report to the Chancellor on June 14, 2013.
Research on the Health Effects of Pepper Spray
Questions about the health effects of pepper spray arose at a Dec. 14, 2011, state legislative hearing. In response, UC President Yudof tasked John D. Stobo, UC senior vice president of Health Sciences and Services, to assemble a panel of experts to review the related research literature. That report was submitted to Robinson and Edley’s review team (see above) for consideration in its system-wide review of police practices. It was made public as part of the Robinson-Edley Report, as appendix E.
Internal Affairs Investigation
On Nov. 27, 2011, UC Davis Vice Chancellor John Meyer initiated an internal affairs investigation of the Nov. 18, 2011, events on the Quad, when campus police arrested and used pepper spray on protesters. The investigation will inform the campus leadership of the appropriate personnel actions it should take with respect to its police officers. This investigation is led by a team of experienced outside investigators who have unrestricted access to all employees, witnesses, documents, videos, photographs and other evidence. Internal affairs investigation reports are confidential police personnel records. In accordance with California law, the university cannot publicly disclose this report or any actions resulting from its findings.
Yolo County District Attorney Review
On Nov. 21, 2011, Chancellor Katehi called on the Yolo County district attorney’s office to investigate the UC Davis Police Department’s use of force. The district attorney’s office agreed to conduct that review in collaboration with the Yolo County Sheriff's Department.