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Campus Releases Police Review Board Report on Occupy Cal Protests | The Nation

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Campus Releases Police Review Board Report on Occupy Cal Protests

UC Berkeley’s independent Police Review Board released an official report Wednesday on last year’s November 9 Occupy Cal protests.

The report outlines the board’s review of the November 9 occurrences including the confrontations between protesters and UCPD officers and whether the day’s events align with normal campus protocol.

In a statement posted on the UC Berkeley NewsCenter website, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau affirms the report’s conclusion that the campus’ handling of the protests were inconsistent.

“While the PRB notes that the Occupy Cal movement presented particular challenges to the Berkeley campus, it concludes that our management of the protest was inconsistent at times with safeguarding the norms expected of Berkeley to protect free speech and assembly,” the statement reads. “We truly regret that our processes are not adequate for dealing with the particular challenges of that day.”

Birgeneau also states that the campus has already come up with a set of principles for the recently-formed campus Protest Response Team, which he hopes will help moderate and minimize police use of force during interactions at protests.

According to the report, the board avoided making broad policy recommendations because UC President Mark Yudof has appointed that task to a UC-wide committee  with a larger number of members and experts in matters of police tactics and strategy.

Birgeneau originally asked the board to review the day’s events and to assess whether police conduct during the protests was consistent with established campus policies. However, this review was limited to two primary confrontations on November 9 involving the erection of tent encampments on the steps of Sproul Hall, which led to the use of force by police against protesters, according to the report.

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