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Task force report on pepper-spraying of peaceful UC Davis protesters delayed

Occupy UC Davis Protests Police Pepper Spray Incident

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

DAVIS, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Occupy protestor hold signs during a demonstration at the UC Davis campus on November 21, 2011 in Davis, California. Thousands of Occupy protestors staged a demonstration on the UC Davis campus to protest the UC Davis police who pepper sprayed students who sat passively with their arms locked during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration on November 18. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The highly anticipated release of a task force report investigating the use of pepper spray by UC Davis police on peaceful protesters in November is being postponed after the union representing UC campus police requested a court order to halt the public release of the document, UC officials said today.

The task force report, ordered by UC President Mark Yudof at the request of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, was to be released at noon Tuesday. The details were to be discussed at a public meeting later that afternoon.

Task force chair, former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso, decided to postpone the release today after an attorney for the Federated University Police Officers Association informed the UC Office of the General Counsel that it will request a temporary restraining order in Alameda County Superior Court Tuesday, according to a UC statement.


Update: Task force on UC Davis pepper spraying incident to release report in March

Occupy Pepper Spray

Wayne Tilcock / AP

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 in Davis, Calif.

The University of California released an update today on the progress of a task force investigating a November incident in which peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed by UC Davis campus police.

Retired California Supreme Cout Justice Cruz Reynoso, who heads the task force sent UC President Mark Yudof a letter dated Wednesday stating that the task force has met five times to review the events of Nov. 18 and plan to delay the Feb. 21 release of their report by at least a week to early March.

The report will outline recommendations for Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Yudof on how "improvements to police procedures, command protocols, and campus policies and oversight structures that will help ensure that the rights and safety of nonviolent protestors and the entire campus community are protected."


Smokers will be persona non grata on all UC campuses soon

Mercer 14913

Oday Obaid/Flickr

Hospitals are increasingly saying no to hiring smokers.

Smokers won't be allowed to light up too much longer at University of California campuses.

UC President Mark Yudof announced this week that all 10 of the system's schools must ban smoking within the next two years.

UCLA went "smoke free" in certain areas of campus two months ago — specifically indoor and outdoor areas of hospitals and health sciences campuses in Westwood and Santa Monica, and also buildings along a research corridor. (Check out a map.)

The new policy has gone off without a hitch, despite some anxiety before it went into effect, said UCLA professor Timothy Fong, who was part of the task force that worked on the new policy. Now, however, he said there's been a visible increase of smoking and cigarette butts outside the smoke-free zones.

"That's all the more reason why a campus-wide effort would be a tremendous service for enforcing these policies," Fong said.