Friday, April 13, 2012

Why I Have Bruises On My Forehead

Six months after the fact, an independent investigation of the circumstances of the pepper spraying of student protesters at UC-Davis has finally been released (sorta-kinda, to comply with state law with respect to state employees): the conclusion is that the leadership of UC-Davis and its police department were woefully misguided in its handling of the situation right from the start.

Well, duh!

From the Sacramento Bee:

But despite weeks of discussion as protests turned violent at some other UC campuses and California cities, UC Davis administrators were woefully unprepared to manage the demonstrations when tents went up on the quad in November.

Instead, they responded with such a lack of communication and decision-making that it represented "systemic and repeated failures" by university leaders.

Well, yes. But, the question is whether that was just woeful ignorance or willful intention. It's clear that cities and other municipalities were in contact with DHS on how to deal with Occupy protesters and that guidelines were issued. Those guidelines somehow failed to consider First Amendment Rights.

Well, duh!

So, who do we look to for this egregious behavior? Just Officer Pike, whose picture and balletic and cavalier pepper spraying was captured on cell phones?

Again, from the Sacramento Bee:

The independent assessment of events leading up to the infamous Nov. 18 pepper-spraying incident at the University of California, Davis, provides a devastating indictment of the leadership of Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and key vice chancellors – and of the operations of the campus Police Department.

In our reading, Katehi showed either extreme naiveté or incompetence in weighing a response to protesters camping in the Quad. The report of the task force, led by former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso, revealed a deeply flawed structure for decisionmaking. Little or no consideration of alternatives. Failing to record and adequately communicate key decisions, so that ambiguity and uncertainty ruled.

You think maybe?

What is so infuriating is that the Faculty Senate ultimately backed down in its confidence vote on Chancellor Katehi, even though the ultimate responsibility was hers. She failed to make clear to the campus police chief just what would be required and what would be tolerated. Her excuse that she feared sexual misconduct by the protesters is both laughable and insulting. She had her orders from somewhere else.

Once again, the owners have succeeded. Nothing to see here: move along, move along.

OK, Watertiger, move over. I need your desk again.

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Blogger Florence said...

LOL!! I love your title today!! We need to form an organization like the Secret Society of Bruised Foreheads.

5:43 AM  

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