Officers’ names can be released in UC Davis incident, judge rules

Siding with the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee, an Alameda County Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered the release of the names of UC Davis police officers that were removed from a critical report on the pepper-spraying of student protesters, reports the L.A. Times.

The newspapers sued the UC Regents last month under the California Public Records Act to compel release of the names –- all but two of which had been withheld under a settlement agreement in a separate case.

In that case, Judge Evelio Grillo had disagreed with the police officers’ union that significant swaths of the report pertaining to officer conduct should be withheld from the public. But he had allowed for the redaction of most names after the union asserted that those officers would probably face harassment. On Tuesday, Grillo said his earlier injunction did not apply to information sought under the California Public Records Act and ordered the policy report –- written by a task force headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso –- released in its entirety.…Read More

Calif. college votes to delay disputed 2-tier fees

The pilot courses would have attracted as many as 2,000 students, according to a school spokesman.

Trustees at a Southern California community college reversed course April 5 on a plan to provide classes using a two-tiered fee scale, voting to cancel a summer pilot program after students were pepper-sprayed at a board meeting this week.

Santa Monica College’s board of trustees voted 6-0 to halt implementation of the self-funded contract education program, which would have provided high-demand core courses at about four times the regular price. As a result, about 50 classes scheduled for this summer are now canceled.

The plan gained renewed attention this week after videos were posted online showing dozens of demonstrators struck with pepper spray April 3 as they tried to push their way into a trustees meeting. The issue served as a rallying cry for community college students across the nation who believe they should have a free education.…Read More

Viral video spreads Occupy message beyond college campuses

More than 1.3 million people have watched the UC Davis web video.

Chris Wong saw it unfold just hours before millions saw it on the internet: A police officer dousing students with pepper spray, a scene recorded with smart phones and turned into a viral web video that has brought national attention and energized the Occupy movement on college campuses.

Wong, a senior at the University of California (UC) Davis, was on the outskirts of the human chain formed by students who has set up tents on the campus quad in protest of state tuition hikes. Watching his peers sprayed at point blank range with the chemical gas was harrowing, he said, but broadcasting web video of the incident could be a boon for the movement, which has connections to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests.

“In a strange way, [the police] did us a big favor,” said Wong, whose face was dotted with pepper spray, while students forming the human chain “looked like their faces had been painted.” “It’s good for waking people up to what’s happening on the ground. … Some people choose to ignore it and say it won’t accomplish anything, but we’ve seen an exponential surge in support [since the video went viral]. It served as a good platform for us.”…Read More