Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, April 19, 2012 8:29 pm

Pepper-spraying: OK, we waited for the facts to come out …

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 8:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

… and they are even worse than it appeared.  The section headings alone are brutal:

Section I – Deficiencies in the Decision- Making
Process and Substantive Mistakes at the
Administrative Level ………………………………………………………………. 10

A. There Was a Failure to Investigate Whether or Not
“Non- Affiliates” in the UC Davis Occupy
Encampment Were Present ………………………………………….. 10

B. The Administration Decided to Deploy Police to
Remove the Tents on Nov. 18 before Considering
Other Reasonable Alternatives…………………………………….. 11

C. 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 ……………………………………. 12

D. There Were No Clear Lines Delineating the
Responsibility for Decision- Making between
Civilian Administrators and Police……………………………….. 14

E. There Was Confusion as to the Legal Basis for the
Police Operation ………………………………………………………… 14

F. The Leadership Team’s Informal, Consensus- Based
Decision- Making Process Was Ineffective for
Supporting a Major Extraordinary Event……………………….. 15

Section II – The Conduct of the Police Operation………………. 17

A. The UCDPD Failed to Plan for the Intended Action
According to Standard Operating Procedures ……………….. 17

B. Notwithstanding the Deficiencies in the Operations

Plan, the Incident Was Not Managed According to
the Plan …………………………………………………………………….. 18

C. The Decision to Use Pepper Spray Was Not
Supported by Objective Evidence and Was Not
Authorized by Policy…………………………………………………… 18

D. The Pepper Spray Used, the MK- 9, First Aerosol
Projector, Was Not an Authorized Weapon for Use
by the UCDPD ……………………………………………………………. 19

E. There is a Breakdown of Leadership in the UCDPD………… 19

F. Other Police Procedural and Tactical Irregularities………… 19

Section III – Individual Responsibility…………………………………. 21

A. 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 ………………………………………………………………… 21

B. The Chancellor Bears Primary Responsibility for
the Failure to Communicate Her Position that the
Police Operation Should Avoid Physical Force……………….. 21

C. 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………………………………………………………………….. 22

D. 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……………………… 23

E. Officer P Bears Individual Responsibility for
Abdicating his Duties as Incident Commander………………. 24

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………………… 24

And that’s not even the whole table of contents. (Also, via Balloon Juice, this commentary by Brad Hicks is illuminating.) This was an administrative and legal clusterfail of galactic dimensions.

At least the campus police chief is no longer in denial. She quit yesterday. Unfortunately, the best-known pepper sprayer, Lt. John Pike, remains on paid leave, and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, whose nod-and-a-wink instructions to the campus police in direct contravention of the advice of the university’s legal department allowed this to happen, is still on the job. She should have been fired when the incident happened. She definitely should be fired now, and I hope she gets the crap sued out of her.

So all you fascists who were so unhappy because I concluded that the actions of the university and its law enforcement were objectively wrong, screw you. The only thing this report makes clear is that multiple indictments of state employees should have occurred over this. And screw anyone else who thinks pepper-spraying nonviolently resisting protesters in the United States of America should draw any response other than termination and a criminal assault charge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:31 pm

I told you years ago that this would happen …

Yes, I did.

… and now, as Matt Taibbi points out, it has:

Every time we looked the other way when the president asked for the right to detain people without trials, to commit searches without warrants, to eavesdrop on private citizens without even a judge knowing about it, we made it harder to answer the question: what is it we’re actually defending? …

We had all of these arguments in the Bush years and it’s nothing new to assert that much of our population made a huge mistake in giving up so many of our basic rights to due process. What’s new is that we’re now seeing the political consequences of those decisions.

Again, when we abandoned our principles in order to use force against terrorists and drug dealers, the answer to the question, Who and what are we defending? started to change.

The original answer, ostensibly, was, “We are defending the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of the United States, their principles, and everything America stands for.”

Then after a while it became, “We’re defending the current population of the country, but we can’t defend the principles so much anymore, because they weigh us down in the fight against a ruthless enemy who must be stopped at all costs.”

Then finally it became this: “We are defending ourselves, against the citizens who insist on keeping their rights and their principles.”

What happened at UC Davis was the inevitable result of our failure to make sure our government stayed in the business of defending our principles. When we stopped insisting on that relationship with our government, they became something separate from us.

And we are stuck now with this fundamental conflict, whereby most of us are insisting that the law should apply equally to everyone, while the people running this country for years now have been operating according to the completely opposite principle that different people have different rights, and who deserves what protections is a completely subjective matter, determined by those in power, on a case-by-case basis.

If you let them build a police state, they will use it. And eventually, they will use it on you.

Monday, November 21, 2011 9:36 pm

One thousand words

Filed under: Evil,I want my country back. — Lex @ 9:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

Buzzfeed has more, but this one pretty much says it all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011 4:16 pm

UC-Davis: It was unquestionably illegal

The UC-Davis police’s pepper-spraying of nonviolent protesters was contrary to the controlling law in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes California.

As The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta documents, illegal violence by law enforcement against peaceful demonstrators has become commonplace. And it must stop. This is not how a free country governs itself.

UPDATE: The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal argues that the officer who did the spraying is just the product of the system of policing that we constructed. While true, that argument opens the door for the Nuremberg defense, and that door is one we want to stay firmly closed. Police officers have an affirmative duty not only to obey the law themselves but also to disobey illegal commands. No one gets off the hook. No one.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 8:00 pm

Want to know why the Koch brothers are trying to kill public higher education?

They can’t stand this.

 

What police brutality, and nonviolent resistance, look like

Yesterday at the University of California at Davis:

Angry Black Lady at Balloon Juice comments:

Today [Friday -- Lex] at Occupy Davis, a police officer approached a group of students sitting in a line peacefully on the ground, walked up and down the line and pepper-sprayed them directly in the face—as one would spray pesticide on weeds. What you’ll see in this video is such a callous display of police brutality, I don’t know how this police officer is going to go home and look at himself in the mirror.

As the students cry “Shame on you!” the police arrest a few students; but as the crowd circles them—non-threateningly, but insistent—the police begin to retreat. Then, amazingly, the students (via People’s mic) offer the retreating police a moment of peace: “We are willing to give you a brief moment of peace so that you may take your weapons and your friends and go. Please do not return.”

And the police do.

If you’d like to object to this crime by the university police, you can call the university chancellor’s office at (530) 752-2065 and/or the UC Davis police at (530) 752-1727. The officer who pulled out the pepper spray was identified as Lt. John Pike. You can contact him at (530) 752-3989 or  japikeiii@ucdavis.edu. (UPDATE: Forget calling the chancellor’s office. Chancellor Linda Katehi has demonstrated that she doesn’t know the difference between legitimate law enforcement and unprovoked brutality.)

Unless or until the Bill of Rights is repealed, what Pike did in this video is a crime. He should be prosecuted and punished.

UPDATE: John Cole at Balloon Juice agrees:

It’s really just amazing that any administration official would think that [Katehi's] is the appropriate response. It’s mind-boggling that anyone with law enforcement training thinks that was the appropriate response. Lt. John Pike wasn’t maintaining the public order or using appropriate force, what he did was to physically assault a bunch of kids who pay a hell of a lot of money to be on that college campus. He shouldn’t have a job today, and if any of his colleagues had any balls or any sense, they would have arrested him on the spot on multiple counts of assault. …

The balls on this lady. She orders the cops in riot gear to go pepper spray the kids, then when everyone is horrified at what she has done, she forms a task force to figure out what happened. You don’t need a [expletive] task force to figure out what happened. You’re the problem. Just look in the mirror and ask yourself “Why am I such a blithering idiot?” And then resign.

 

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