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Judge orders release of officer names in UC Davis pepper spray incident

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.

The Sacramento Bee reports on a ruling Tuesday that will require UC Davis to make public the names of police officers involved in last November's pepper spray incident during a campus protest of budget cuts and tuition increases.

The order by Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo -- in response to a lawsuit filed by the newspaper and by the L.A. Times -- reverses an earlier decision to allow the report to be released without revealing names.

The union representing campus police argues that state law prohibits disclosing names, and that officers could be targets for harrassment.

The report was deemed separate from any internal affairs investigation, however, and therefore it is subject to release under the California Public Records Act, Grillo concluded.

Names will not be immediately released. The judge is allowing time for the union time to file an appeal and stayed his order through July 27.

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