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Attorney: Investigation into UC Davis police pepper-spraying incident is 'confidential'

AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock

In this Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, photo University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad Friday in Davis, Calif. Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, as the chancellor of the school accelerates the investigation into the incident.

Here are more details on the postponing of a task force report that was to be publicly released Tuesday on the pepper spraying by campus police of peaceful protesters at UC Davis in November.

The report was to provide recommendations and details from the investigation. But now that has been postponed while the university and union representatives meet in court Tuesday.

Attorney Mike McGill, who represents the campus police officer's union and the officers involved in the case, said he is planning to file a temporary restraining order in court Tuesday morning to prevent the public release of the report.

"This investigation that they've done, as a matter of law, is confidential," McGill said. "Any investigation that's on peace officers based on complaints and the investigation of complaints is protected under the penal code as confidential, and can't be released to the public."

McGill said that police officers were required to provide statements to the investigating task force "under threat of insubordination."

"Based on what the university told us today, the results are recommendations, and they do provide commentary on the officer's performance," McGill said. "These are representations of that officer, their performance, which could be perceived as negative in some regards."

UC officials and representatives for the Federated University Police Officers Assn. will be in Alameda County Superior Court at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. If the court grants the temporary restraining order, both sides will have 21 days to provide more information before a hearing on a preliminary injunction, which would prevent the release of the documents through a trial date.

"Once you allow this information out there, you can't unring the bell," McGill said. "And later on, even if we're proved correct, it's all over the Internet, all over the media, and you can't get this information back. We're telling the judge to hold off a little bit so you can make a full and complete decision on this matter."

*An earlier version of this story said the meetings would be held Wednesday. In fact they are being held Tuesday.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).


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