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Law Faculty Statement on Protest Incident

News Posted on November 22, 2011

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA  95616

Professor Linda Bisson
Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate
Geneticist Maynard A. Amerine Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology
University of California
Davis, CA  95616

November 22, 2011


Dear Chancellor Katehi and Chair Bisson:

We, the undersigned members of the Law Faculty of the University of California, Davis, are saddened and appalled by the events of Friday, November 18, 2011. The use of force against non-violent protesters sitting on the ground was shocking. The fact that the victims of the force were our University's students makes the resort to force even more troubling. We recognize that police might legitimately resort to measured and proportionate force when required by the circumstances. However, the publicly available video and other photographic evidence of the events suggest that the resort to force in this instance was not warranted.

We are deeply committed to the safety of our police officers, who routinely risk their lives to protect our community. We are also equally committed to the safety of our students, whose care is entrusted to us. The University must respect the students' right to peacefully protest on the public issues of the day, including especially the right to protest university policies. The University should exercise the authority it has to regulate the manner and form of such speech with great care.

On a University campus, as elsewhere, both the police and the students deserve to be treated with respect.

We are grateful that the University Administration is organizing an inquiry, and we are also grateful that the University's Academic Senate is conducting an inquiry independent of the campus administration. We do not prejudge the conclusions of these inquiries. We expect that both inquiries will be expeditious, yet provide the process that is due to all the parties.

Ash Bhagwat
Professor of Law

Mario Biagioli
Distinguished Professor of Science and Technology Studies & Law
Director, Center for Science & Innovation Studies

Andrea K. Bjorklund
Professor of Law

Alan Brownstein
Professor of Law, Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality

Anupam Chander
Professor of Law and Director, California International Law Center

Gabriel J. Chin
Professor of Law

Angelo DeSantis
Wydick Fellow

Katherine Florey
Professor of Law

Richard M. Frank
Professor of Environmental Practice
Director, California Environmental Law & Policy Center

John Patrick Hunt
Acting Professor of Law

Lisa C. Ikemoto
Professor of Law

Margaret Z. Johns
Senior Lecturer

Thomas W. Joo
Professor of Law

Albert Lin
Professor of Law

Miguel A. Méndez
Professor of Law

Rex R. Perschbacher
Professor of Law, Daniel J. Dykstra Endowed Chair

Lisa R. Pruitt
Professor of Law

Meehan Rasch
Wydick Fellow

Leticia Saucedo
Professor of Law

Daniel L. Simmons
Professor of Law

Madhavi Sunder
Professor of Law

Clay Tanaka