Former LAPD chief to review pepper spray incident
By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times:
Bryan Patrick / Sacramento Bee / Nov 22, 2011
Former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton will head a University of California-sponsored investigation into the controversial pepper-spraying of student protesters last week at UC Davis, university officials announced Tuesday.
Bratton is to lead an independent review and report his findings within a month, UC President Mark G. Yudof said. Bratton is chairman of the New York-based Kroll security consulting firm, which is being hired by UC for a fee that is still under negotiation, officials said.
The Friday incident, in which UC Davis police sprayed the chemical irritant in the faces of nonviolent, seated protesters, has sparked nationwide outrage.
In a telephone interview from New York, Bratton said he hoped to meet Yudof’s request for “an outside, independent investigation and try to ascertain exactly what happened.” He said his experiences in Los Angeles, where he was chief for seven years until 2009, provided “no shortage of controversial incidents.”
He held up as a model investigation the Los Angeles Police Department’s inquiry into a 2007 May Day confrontation at MacArthur Park in which police officers were caught on videotape as they wielded batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse a mostly peaceful crowd, after a small group of protesters confronted police. Dozens of demonstrators and journalists were injured. A series of LAPD disciplinary steps resulted.
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