University: Mediation, not police, for protests

May 4, 2012, 10:07 PM

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Administrators should consider deploying mediators instead of law enforcement at future campus demonstrations and better train school police, a University of California report issued Friday recommended after criticism of the force police used during protests last year.

The UC report lists 50 policy recommendations to help guide the 10-campus system’s future responses to protests. In general, it calls for a more measured response that relies on more discussion at the beginning of a possible dispute in an effort to avoid the need for police.

“At the University of California we have an important tradition of free speech and protests,” one of the report’s authors, UC Berkeley Law School dean Christopher Edley Jr., said at a news conference. “We believe that it’s a significant component of the process of education and maturation that students go through because we want them to be an active part in political life and civil discourse.”

It’s the latest in a series of reports spurred by campus police officers’ use of pepper spray and batons during Occupy-related demonstrations on UC’s Berkeley and Davis campuses.

The previous reports investigated the recent incidents and concluded that the use of force could have been avoided. The report released Friday was meant to change the university system’s future responses to protests.

Among the 50 recommendations, the report concluded that campus administrators should be trained in de-escalation techniques that can be used instead of sending in police.

The report also recommended the development of internal student disciplinary measures that could be employed instead of having protesters arrested and sent into the criminal justice system.

“Something in between police issuing a misdemeanor citation … versus doing nothing. There may be circumstances you want consequences for students, but don’t want those consequences to be determined by the law enforcement system,” Edley said.

Edley conceded that creating UC disciplinary measures comes with its own set of troubles and high administrative costs at a time of severe budget cutbacks, but he hoped the report will spur more discussion.

Video recording of clashes between police and protesters also played a role in what happened last year. Viral videos of seated students being pepper-sprayed in the face and others being jabbed with batons caused outrage.

The report said the UC should establish a program for video-taping protests “designed to develop a fair and complete record of event activity solely for evidentiary or training purposes.”

Edley said the report’s recommendations are meant to help the system avoid past mistakes, and he thinks it a road map to better management of future protests.

“Had our recommendations been in place, the mistakes made in November would not have been made,” he said. “Maybe different mistakes, but not those mistakes. I feel very confident in that.”

The report does not dismiss the need for police force in certain circumstances, and when it is needed, the authors recommend the use of “hands-on pain compliance techniques” instead of pepper spray. An example of such a technique is the application of pressure at certain points on a demonstrator’s body to help immobilize the person.

“In these rare situations … we would recommend that campus police utilize hands-on pain compliance techniques before pepper spray or batons whenever feasible,” the report stated.

Barry Shiller, a spokesman for UC Davis, where the pepper-spraying incident occurred, said the insights from this report and the others that have been released will inform its reform efforts.

“Given that it includes 50 recommendations and spans more than 150 pages, we want to give this report the thoughtful review it deserves before addressing specific details,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Spirit wins takeoff and landing rights at key Newark airport

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spirit Airlines will get valuable takeoff and landing times that Southwest Airlines is abandoning at busy Newark-Liberty International Airport near New York City. The U.S. Transportation Department said Tuesday that Spirit “is most likely to provide the lowest fares to the most consumers” at the airport in Newark, New Jersey. JetBlue Airways […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Mother drowned children, then killed herself

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Three children whose bodies were found in a suburban Minneapolis lake over the holiday weekend died in drownings that were classified as homicides, and their mother died of a drowning that was suicide, authorities said Tuesday as they also identified the victims. Searchers recovered the bodies of Molly Cheng and […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge OKs transfer plan for beagles from troubled facility

CUMBERLAND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday approved a plan that calls for transferring about 4,000 dogs currently housed at a troubled Virginia breeding facility to shelters where they can be adopted, according to court records. The development came in a civil enforcement case the federal government initiated in May against Envigo RMS, […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

North Carolina man pleads guilty in police officer’s death

MOIUNT HOLLY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a police officer in 2020, authorities said. During his hearing, Joshua Tyler Funk, 24, of Mount Holly, entered a guilty plea for murder, news outlets reported. In exchange for his plea, the other charges […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Federal appeals court greenlights federal deportation policy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal guidance prioritizing the deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk can be implemented, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. At issue is a September directive from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that paused deportation unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage […]
17 hours ago
FILE - This April 10, 2022 image shows the Rio Grande flowing just north of Albuquerque, N.M. The f...
Associated Press

Western states could settle feud over beleaguered Rio Grande

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The fight between Texas and New Mexico over the management of one of the longest rivers in North America could be nearing an end as a date to resume the trial has been put off pending negotiations aimed at settling the years-long case before the U.S. Supreme Court. New Mexico Attorney […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
University: Mediation, not police, for protests