Crime, Fire + Courts

Judge: Release names in pepper-spray reports

By From page A1 | June 27, 2012

An Alameda Superior Court judge changed course on Tuesday, ordering that the names of police officers redacted in reports on the pepper-spraying of Occupy UC Davis protesters be made public.

Judge Evelio Grillo issued the ruling in response to a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee under the public records act.

Grillo ruled that the reports prepared by the Kroll Associates, a security consulting firm, and a task force headed by California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso were not covered under a state law protecting police personnel records.

Grillo stayed his order until July 27, giving the Federated University Police Officers Association time to file an appeal.

The union has sought to block the release of names for fear that officers will be harassed.

In April, Grillo signed off on deal between UC and the union allowing for the publication of two reports if the names of officers were blocked out — except for those of Police Chief Annette Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike, which were widely known.

At the time, Grillo said he was persuaded not to release the other names because of evidence of death threats and other harassment suffered by Pike, whose personal information hackers posted online.

The Enterprise has previously identified Pike and Officer Alexander Lee as the two campus police officers who doused protesters with pepper spray. Though UC argued in court for the release of officer names, it has declined to confirm the name of Lee, citing concerns for his safety.

Pike and Lee remain suspended with pay some seven months after the incident on the Quad.

A UCD spokesman declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

The Kroll and Reynoso reports placed blame for the pepper-spraying on Chancellor Linda Katehi and her leadership team, as well as Spicuzza and officers under her command.

Spicuzza announced her retirement April 18.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has not yet announced whether it will file criminal charges against the police.

— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] or (530) 747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
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