Letters to the Editor June 28 - July 4

June 28, 2012 

UC Davis connection

M y thanks to Richard Voge, who — in the recent edition* of The Cambrian— was identified as the lead investigator, serving with Kroll, Inc. on the UC Davis pepper spray incident. What Voge didn’t know, nor did I until the article came out, was that one of the people he interviewed was the son of another local Cambrian.

My son, Micah Eggleton, is a junior at UC Davis. He was an observer to the incident, took a video recording that was posted on YouTube that was later used on news reports, and was later interviewed by the Kroll team of investigators, maybe even Voge. Micah reported

that the investigation— from his viewpoint—was thorough, professional, and courteous, even against the backdrop of the sensitive situation that resulted from the brutality.

To you and your team, Richard, a sincere thank you.

Voge, and Kroll, were commissioned by the official commissioned task force headed by former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court Cruz Reynoso to investigate the incident. The Reynoso Report came to the conclusion that, among other things:

• “The scope of the police operation (by the UC Davis Police Department) …was ineffectively communicated, not clearly understood by key decision-makers, and, accordingly, could not be adequately evaluated as to its costs and consequences.

• “There was confusion as to the legal basis for the police operation.

• “The decision to use pepper spray was not supported by objective evidence and was not authorized by policy.

• “The pepper spray used, the MK-9, First Aerosol Projector, was not an authorized weapon for use by the UCDPD.

• “There is a breakdown of leadership in the UCDPD.

• “The Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi bears primary responsibility for the failure to communicate her position that the police operation should avoid physical force.

• “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.

• “Lt. Pike (the officer that is most prominently displayed as using pepper spray) 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.”

In short, the act of using pepper spray was found to be unwarranted, extreme, and misguided, and leadership of the UC Davis Police Department, the Chancellor and her subordinates displayed extremely poor judgment. I invite anyone to view this travesty for him/herself. The link to the most frequently viewed YouTube video of the pepper spray incident (with over 1.7 million hits) is

http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=6AdDLhPwpp4.

My son was not permanently hurt, nor did he require hospitalization, as did several of the students — though even as an observer, the pepper spray spread and hit by-standers like him. And, though the investigation was professionally conducted, Chancellor Katehi is still in her job.

Though my son is receiving an excellent education due to the quality of the faculty at UC Davis, misguided and incompetent school administration remains in place. As a father, I know that he is getting a great education, but with the credibility of the UCD Police Department destroyed, he is getting his education on a campus where the police were mismanaged and incompetent administrators remain in place.

Again, I compliment Richard Voge. Thank you, Richard.

Harry Eggleton Cambria

* Story at:

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2012/06/21/2114026/cambrian-jim-voge-leads-uc-davis.html#storylink=mirelated

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