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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA2020 Racial Injustice Protests

A failure to keep the peace

By Daily Bruin Staff

December 6, 2009 9:45 pm

As UCLA faculty, we write to express our grave concern over the behavior of the police during the UC Board of Regents meeting at UCLA.

There are clearly documented examples (in both video and photographic evidence) of officers using Tasers and batons on students, at least one incident of a security figure using either Mace or pepper spray on students, as well as officers displaying tear gas rifles and pointing weapons at students. On a campus devoted to the free interchange of ideas and the rights of individuals to express their political views, these actions of the police were unacceptable.

We recognize that university police had the difficult task of balancing the security of the Regents with the free speech rights of protesters. We also recognize that protests are by their nature unpredictable and difficult to control. These challenges make it all the more important that campus police, as a force and as individuals, avoid behavior that escalates tensions. Perhaps the UCPD considered the stance of its officers forces to be a deterrent to violence?

Unfortunately, there is ample evidence to suggest that it had the opposite effect, serving only to raise tensions and intimidate individuals who were protesting the Regents’ actions. We also recognize that the more egregious uses of force may have been from individual actions rather than common policy.

But we would like to know what the protocols and policies are regarding the use of force. Officers wearing riot gear and carrying weapons should be trained and deployed in a manner that enables them to handle the unquestionable pressures of their position.

Did campus police prepare properly and plan for the meeting so as to minimize conflict and harm?

While there have been some criticisms of protesters for their challenges to the Regents entering and leaving the building, it was the protesters who suffered most from the effects of the use of force.

In what way did campus police and the event’s planners prepare the police to act appropriately? What steps were taken to ensure the safety not only of the Regents and university officials, but of students, staff and faculty protesters?

We think that these events indicate a serious problem ““ not only for the individuals who suffered personally, but for the university as it moves ahead. UCLA has a long-standing tradition of vibrant political debate and the defense of First Amendment rights. There is, as you know, a good deal of distrust between students and the administration.

Chancellor Gene Block’s willingness to meet with students in a town hall meeting led by the Graduate Student Association was an important first step. But a full and open investigation of events on Nov. 18 and 19, as well as a review of campus policy on protests, is required. We also call upon the chancellor to make a general statement to the campus community that addresses the events of the Regents’ meeting and lays out the process of the campus’ review of protocol and practice for ensuring the safety of all involved in future events.

Signed by 119 UCLA faculty members:

Edward A. Alpers, History

Andrew Apter, History

George Baker, Art History

Victor Bascara, Asian American Studies

Ali Behdad, English / Comparative Literature

Maylei Blackwell, Chicana & Chicano Studies

Gary Blasi, School of Law

Ra’anan Boustan, History / Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Joseph Bristow, English

Karen Brodkin, Emeritus Anthropology

Carole H. Browner, Anthropology / Women’s Studies / Neuroscience & Human Behavior

Shane Butler, Classics

Keith Camacho, Asian American Studies

Judy Carney, Geography

Jack Chen, Asian Languages & Cultures

Michael Chwe, Political Science

Michelle Clayton, Comparative Literature / Spanish and Portuguese

Michael Cooperson, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Donald Cosentino, World Arts & Cultures

Susan Curtiss, Linguistics

Jan De Leeuw, Statistics

Elizabeth DeLoughrey, English

Robin Derby, History

Helen Deutsch, English

Ellen Dubois, History / Women’s Studies

Aisha Finch, Women’s Studies / Afro-American Studies

Matthew Fisher, English

Russell Ferguson, Art

Susan Foster, World Arts & Cultures

Andrea Fraser, Art

Dan Froot, World Arts & Cultures

Nouri Gana, Comparative Literature

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chicana and Chicano Studies

David Gere, World Arts & Cultures

Mishuana Goeman, Women’s Studies

Andrea Goldman, History

Yogita Goyal, English

Nile Green, History

Gerry Hale, Emeritus, Geography

Sondra Hale, Anthropology / Women’s Studies

Susanna Hecht, Urban Planning

Christian Haesemeyer, Mathematics

Natasha Heller, Asian Languages and Cultures

Tobias Higbie, History

Darnell Hunt, Sociology

Gail Kligman, Sociology

Grace Kyungwon Hong, Asian American Studies / Women’s Studies

Sanford M. Jacoby, Management

Sarah Tindal Kareem, English

Katherine Callen King, Comparative Literature / Classics

Gordon Kipling, English

Raymond Knapp, Musicology

Namhee Lee, Asian Languages & Cultures

Rachel Lee, English

Francoise Lionnet, French & Francophone / Comparative Literature

Arthur Little, English

Chris Littleton, School of Law / Women’s Studies

Christopher Looby, English

David Wong Louie, English / Asian American Studies

Marissa López, English

Ghislaine Lydon, History

Reynaldo F. Macías, Chicana & Chicano Studies / Education & Applied Linguistics

Saree Makdisi, English / Comparative Literature

Elizabeth Marchant, Spanish & Portuguese / Women’s Studies

Victoria Marks, World Arts & Cultures

Valerie Matsumoto, History / Asian American Studies

Peter McClaren, Graduate School of Education

Kirstie McClure, Comparative Literature / Political Science

Kathleen McHugh, English

Muriel McClendon, History

Sara Melzer, French & Francophone

Michael Meranze, History

Ruth Milkman, Sociology

Kathryn Morgan, Classics

Peter Nabokov, World Arts & Cultures

Steven Nelson, Art History

Sianne Ngai, English

Thu-huong Nguyen-vo, Asian Languages & Cultures / Asian American Studies

Chon Noriega, Film, Television & Digital Media

Sung Deuk Oak, Asian Languages & Cultures

Frances Olsen, School of Law

Catherine Opie, Art

Vilma Ortiz, Sociology

John K. Papdopoulos, Classics / Archeology

Rafael Pérez-Torres, English

Hirsch Perlman, Art

Peter Petersen, Mathematics

Meredith Phillips, School of Public Affairs / Public Policy

Gabriel Piterberg, History

María Cristina Pons, Chicana and Chicano Studies

Lionel Popkin, World Arts & Cultures

Jeffrey Prager, Sociology

Alex Purvas, Classics

Allen Roberts, World Arts & Cultures

Mary Nooter Roberts, World Arts & Cultures

Vilma Ortiz, Sociology

Jan Reiff, History

Geoff Robinson, History

Teofilo Ruiz, History

Michael Salman, History

Mark Sawyer, Political Science

David A. Scott, Art History / Archeological Conservation

Mark Seltzer, English

Jenny Sharpe, English

Shu-mei Shih, Comparative Literature / Asian Languages & Cultures

David Shorter, World Arts & Cultures

Brenda Stevenson, History

Susan Slyomovics, Anthropology

Zrinka Stahuljak, French & Francophone Studies

Timothy R. Tangherlini, Asian Languages & Cultures

Dominic Thomas, French & Francophone / Comparative Literature

Chris Tilly, Urban Planning / Sociology

Sharon Traweek, Women’s Studies / History

M. Belinda Tucker, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences

Abel Valenzuela Jr., Chicana & Chicano Studies

Brian Walker, Political Science

Juliet Williams, Women’s Studies

E. Victor Wolfenstein, Political Science

Steven Yenser, English

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