UC President Mark G. Yudof issued the following statement Wednesday, April 11, on the release of the Task Force report on the November pepper-spray incident at UC Davis:
“I want to thank Justice Reynoso and members of the Task Force for the long hours and hard work they invested in this effort to fully understand the events of Nov. 18 and to propose remedies that might prevent similar incidents in the future.
“My intent now is to give the Task Force report the full and careful reading it deserves, and then, as previously announced, to meet with Chancellor Katehi and discuss her plans going forward for implementing the recommendations.
“Even a cursory reading of the report confirms what we have known from the start: Friday, Nov. 18 was a bad day for the UC Davis community and for the entire UC system.
“We can and must do better. I look forward to working with Chancellor Katehi to repair the damage caused by this incident and to move this great campus forward.
“The release of the Task Force report represents a significant step in that direction, which is why we fought hard in court to ensure that it would be brought into public light in as full and unfettered fashion as possible.
“I also am expecting to receive within the next few weeks the results of the expansive effort, led by UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr., to address how we might better approach protest activities on all our campuses.
“In closing, I want to reiterate what I stated at the outset of this arduous but necessary process: Free speech, including nonviolent protest, is part of the DNA of this university, and it must be protected with vigilance. I implore students who wish to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful fashion, and I expect campus authorities to honor that right.”