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“Considering all the available evidence - while recognizing that Kroll
investigators were not able to interview Lieutenant Pike to learn and report on his state of mind at the moment he used the pepper spray - the deployment of pepper spray does not appear to have been an objectively reasonable use of force.”
The Task Force agrees.
D. The Pepper Spray Used, the MK-9, First Aerosol Projector, Was Not an
Authorized Weapon for Use by the UCDPD

UCDPD General Order No. 559 provides that pepper spray can be used, but specifically
refers to the MK-4 (a smaller canister). Furthermore, the investigation found no
evidence that any UCDPD officer had been trained in the use of the larger MK-9.
Kroll supported their conclusion that use of pepper spray was not reasonable use of force
by stating, “This conclusion is buttressed by the facts that the MK-9 was not an
authorized weapon under UCDPD guidelines and that UCDPD officers were not trained
in its use.” The Task Force agrees.

A. The UCDPD Failed to Plan for the Intended Action According to StandardOperating Procedures

Once again, UC Davis police did not following national or state-mandated rules
regarding incident/event planning (NIMS/SEMS). There are specific law enforcement
rules and regulations about mutual aid and joint response to emergencies. The
operations plans that were created by the UCDPD did not follow the appropriate and
normal format. They lacked signature blocks for creation, review and approval. Large
portions of the operations plans were left blank.

There were operational elements described that the police did not execute. The plan
failed to account for prisoner transport from the scene of the event/operation to the site of prisoner processing. Kroll notes, “A key flaw of the police operations plan prepared by and Pike is that the plan failed to address prisoner transport.”

The Department Operations Center (which is referred to in the plan) was not set up in an appropriate fashion. Kroll notes as well the failure to pre-brief the Davis Police
Department, the closest quick-reaction force in the event of a problem, was a significant oversight.

Perhaps most importantly, the operations plan did not clearly define or inappropriately
defined the roles of the supervisors of the police in the field. For example, Lieutenant
Pike was not given a role in the Operations Plan for November 18. Moreover, the
assignment of the two lieutenants to the actual dismantling of the tents by the Chief of Police was an inappropriate role for supervisors, especially for the Incident Commander.

As Kroll observes, “the roles of the supervisors were either unclear or inappropriate.”

C. The Decision to Use Pepper Spray Was Not Supported by Objective Evidence and
Was Not Authorized by Policy
The Kroll report states, “The video that went viral and sparked the international concern
about this event was the pepper spraying of the seated line of protesters by Lieutenant
Pike and then of a smaller portion of them by acting at Lieutenant Pike’s
direction. This leads to the obvious question: Why did Lieutenant Pike deploy pepper
Interviews with officers involved in the incident indicate that they apparently felt that
they were surrounded by a hostile mob and that the use of pepper spray was necessary to
create a path for the officers and arrestees to leave the Quad. While there is some
support for this conclusion, a detailed review of the objective evidence undermines this
First, and foremost, the apparent reason for the officer and arrestees remaining on the
Quad after the tents were down was because there had been no arrangements made to
transport the arrestees from the Quad. The lack of timely decision-making by Lts. Pike
and to respond to this unplanned situation caused an escalation of an already
volatile situation.
There are a number of other factors that undermine the belief that there was no
alternative to use of pepper spray. Specifically, the following belie the conclusion:

 was able to walk arrestees through the crowd to a waiting squad
car for transport to the Police Station;

was able to step over the line of seated protesters and walk
through the crowd to meet with the Davis PD who arrived to provide mutual aid.

He led the Davis PD contingent back through the crowd to the protesters without

 Lt. Pike’s actions and body language include stepping over the seated protesters
to get to their faces, a move that would not generally be undertaken with a hostile

 Approximately 20 minutes after the pepper spray was used, Lt. Pike and one
other officer returned to Quad without riot gear and asked protesters to remove
additional tents that had been erected. The tents were removed without incident.
On balance, there is little factual basis supporting Lt. Pike’s belief that he was trapped by the protesters or that his officers were prevented from leaving the Quad. Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police.

The Kroll report did note that felt a protester was attempting to “attack” another officer and they had a brief altercation.

Kroll concludes, “Considering all the available evidence - while recognizing that Kroll
investigators were not able to interview Lieutenant Pike to learn and report on his state of mind at the moment he used the pepper spray - the deployment of pepper spray does not appear to have been an objectively reasonable use of force.”
The Task Force agrees.

E. There is a Breakdown of Leadership in the UCDPD
The command and leadership structure of the UCDPD is very dysfunctional. Lieutenants
refused to follow directives of the Chief. This breakdown is illustrated by the heated
exchanges between the Chief and her Lieutenants as to the scope and conduct of the
operation and the Chief's apparent concession that her officers will do things their own
way and there is nothing she can do about it.
However, as noted previously, Chancellor Katehi failed to express in any meaningful way her expectation that the police operation was to be sharply limited so that no use of force would be employed by police officers other than their demand that the tents be taken down.
F. 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 Used

We agree with Kroll’s conclusion that Lieutenant Pike’s use of force in pepper spraying
seated protesters was objectively unreasonable.
Some of the officers Kroll interviewed reported their subjective belief that, during the
Nov. 18 incident, the crowd was hostile, they were surrounded, and they were at risk of
losing their prisoners. On cursory review, the testimonial, photographic, and video
evidence showing that in fact a crowd had partially encircled the police and was shouting
chants like “If you let them go, we will let you leave” may appear to support that
contention. However, a more careful review reveals several facts that conflict with that
belief and which the commanders should have known. For instance, there were breaks in
the circle around the officers. Where the circle was unbroken, the line was often still only
one- or two-people deep, some of whom were seated, and many of whom may have been
observers — crowding around to see what would happen — not protesters. Also, the more
hostile chants were cut off by the majority of the crowd almost as quickly as they had
started. Nor did they appear to reflect an actual intent by the crowd to prevent police
from leaving with their prisoners. In fact, it was during one of the “If you let them go, we
will let you leave” chants that was able to leave, escorting an arrestee to
an awaiting police car by simply walking him straight through the crowd, without
incident or force escalation. then returned and escorted another arrestee
out through the crowd, again without incident. Both of the ranking officers in charge of
the operation, Lt. Pike and were also able to move through the crowd
freely, stepping over seated protesters on at least three occasions and just minutes before
Lt. Pike sprayed those same protesters with pepper spray. Nor did Kroll identify
objective evidence of any attempt by a protester to use violence. We agree with Kroll: on
balance, the evidence does not provide an objective, factual basis for Lt. Pike’s purported belief that he was trapped, that any of his officers were trapped, or that the safety of their arrestees was at issue.

Lt. Pike is also responsible for the specific pepper spray weapon he used, the MK-9, and the manner in which he used it. The MK-9 is not an authorized weapon under UCDPD guidelines. UCDPD officers were not trained in how to use it correctly. And Lt. Pike did not use it correctly. The MK-9 is a higher pressure type of pepper spray than what officers normally carry on their utility belts (MK-4). It is designed for crowd dispersal rather than field applications and “[t]he recommended minimum distance for . . .application of the MK-9 is six feet.” Lt. Pike appeared to be spraying protesters at a much closer distance than 6 feet.

Originally posted to Occupy Wall Street on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group and The Rebel Alliance.

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