Some days ago the Reynoso report was issued, part of which detailed the complete disorganization behind the infamous UC Davis "pepper spray" police action. Particularly criticized was then police chief Annette Spicuzza, who, after the incident, took paid leave and has now officially retired. Here is her statement:
I am humbled and distrought. I do not deserve to walk amongst you on this campus. I forswear my pension and benefits and am exiling myself to Albania.
For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the police department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this...The other person singled out for criticism was Chancellor Katehi, who, as the report details, had no conception of the legality of what she was doing, of which organization on campus should be handling the protests, whether she was issuing orders and what specific orders she was indeed issuing, or the consequences of her decisions. If anyone should have resigned even before the report came out, it was Katehi.
Katehi is the recipient of a silent protest as she finally
emerges from a meeting after the spraying and arrests.
First, it turns out that what the students were doing was perfectly legal. (I'll bet you didn't know that. Neither did I.) From the Kroll report, commissioned by and part of the Reynoso report, which details the decisions made leading up to November 18...
In the course of its investigation, Kroll has been unable to identify the legal basis for the decision of the Leadership Team to act against the protesters and for the operation mounted by the UCDPD.And quoting from The Infamous Brad, who seems to have read in careful detail the entire lengthy report and related documents:
The student protesters had, with the help of Legal Services, gone over all the relevant state laws, city ordinances, campus ordinances, and campus regulations and concluded that no matter what the Chancellor thought, it was entirely legal for them to set up that camp. When the university's legal department found out that Chancellor Katehi was going to order the camp removed, they thought they made it clear to her that the students were right.Second, she ignored the oft-repeated (to her) fact that the UC Davis police were, by campus policy, not even supposed to be involved. Because the protest was mostly composed of UC Davis students, alums and faculty, it was, by written policy, the responsibility of the office of Student Affairs to deal with.
it turns out that under UC rules, no campus protest is a police matter. By long-standing policy, no protest that is defined as a campus protest is a matter for the university to involve state, local, or even campus police in... if a protest happens on campus... then the campus police (and, in the university system's opinion, all other police) are supposed to stand back and let Student Affairs handle it.Third, Katehi apparently had no clue as to the difference between random thoughts bouncing around in her head and giving orders.
Chancellor Katehi, on her part, "thought she made it clear" that when police ordered the students to leave, they were (a) not to wear riot gear into the camp, (b) not to carry weapons of any kind into the camp, (c) were not to use force of any kind against the students, and (d) were not to make any arrests. But all that anybody else on that conference call heard her say out loud was "I don't want another situation like they just had at Berkeley,"
It was not Katehi who questioned the legality of what was to be done; Spicuzza and others did that. It was not Katehi who wanted protesters removed at 3:00 AM, when there would be little chance of a situation getting out of control, it was Spicuzza who thought that would be the better approach.
This is not to paint Spicuzza as a sympathetic or moderating figure; after all, in other parts of the report she claims to not even have been able to control her own subordinates, and she was a vital link in the chain of command that was responsible for these violations of campus policy, UC policy, California law, the California constitution and the Bill of Rights. There is no doubt of her exit being just and proper.
But the fact that she is gone while Chancellor Katehi remains -- not even willing to apologize for her role -- and more than willing to continue the persecution of students demonstrating their committment to a better world, speaks more eloquently than I ever could to the power the one percent hold and their utter disregard for those they are in theory acting on behalf of.
As one tweet, playing on this incident, so aptly put it
MT @OakScott @zunguzungu UCDavis forced to release Chief of Police in order to maintain public safety. But mainly to protect Katehi's job.