Information about the Police Review Board Investigation

Dear UCB Community,

As many of you may know, the UCB Police Review Board (PRB) will be conducting a detailed investigation regarding the November 9th incidents on our campus. The PRB seeks to conduct an independent, fair, transparent, and timely investigation. This email intends to (1) lay out the goals and purpose of the PRB investigation, (2) describe the four investigations currently underway regarding November 9th (that we are aware of), and (3) describe some important next steps in the investigation process.

Purpose of the PRB Investigation. The goal of the PRB investigation is to determine what happened on November 9th at Sproul Plaza and whether the police conduct was consistent with what should be the norms of the Berkeley campus and the established policies of the Administration (as informed by prior recommendations of the PRB) in dealing with campus protests.  In addition, the PRB will work to determine who authorized, and by what channel(s), the conduct of the police on November 9th.

Investigations Regarding November 9th. As far as we know, there are four investigations currently underway regarding the events on November 9th. Please find attached a brief outline describing these investigations: (1) a Systemwide Review (by UC Vice President and General Counsel & the Dean of UCB Law School), (2) an Internal Operational Review (by UCLA Assistant Police Chief), (3) an Independent Investigation & Review (by UCB Police Review Board), and (4) a review by the People’s Police Review Board.  

The PRB is planning a three-step process for the Independent Investigation & Review, the final details of which are near completion and notification to the entire campus community. The PRB welcomes input and feedback from students, faculty, and other interested parties to ensure an open and balanced process (contact us at ucb.police.review.board@gmail.com), which will tentatively be conducted as follows: 

(1) On Monday, February 13th and Wednesday, February, 15th from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM the PRB will hold two public forums to hear accounts and statements from the community related to the police action on November 9th. This forum will take place in a large open room at UC Berkeley and all are invited and encouraged to attend and to address the Board. Students may also submit statements (anonymously if they so choose) to the Board (in addition to or in lieu of participating in this open forum) in the form of video footage, photos, written statements, and other relevant evidence regarding November 9th.

(2) Soon after the public forum, the PRB will hold another hearing where student advocates, faculty delegates, and UCPD representatives will each separately present video footage and any statements not covered by the videos to the Board regarding the events that transpired on November 9th.

Both the open forum and hearing are intended to provide interested and/or affected individuals and groups an opportunity to present their account of what transpired on November 9th and to make any recommendations they deem appropriate and necessary moving forward.

(3) In addition to determining the details concerning what transpired on November 9th, the PRB will also conduct an investigation to discern the chain of command in terms of which individuals ordered or authorized the specific police conduct on campus. This inquiry will include (but is not necessarily limited to) interviews with members of the UCB Administration and law enforcement and a comprehensive review of and relevant communications exchanged between members of the Administration and law enforcement.

Next Steps

1. There will be a Student Meeting on Monday, February 6th at 7pm in the Martin Luther King Junior Student Union to discuss the PRB investigation process, solicit input and feedback, and answer questions from members of the campus community.

2. We are looking for students to volunteer to act as the student advocates in the second phase of the PRB investigation process. These individuals would work together to create a cohesive presentation to present to the PRB (in the form primarily of video, but also oral statements) regarding the events that took place on November 9th. The nature of this presentation in terms of what is presented and requested of the Board is relatively open (given the goals and purpose described above). These student advocates are expected to represent the entire student body to the best extent possible. Please contact ucb.police.review.board@gmail.com if you are interested in serving as a student advocate or know someone who might be interested. Please provide a short (one paragraph) description of the interested person’s involvement with November 9th.

Finally, the events that transpired on November 9th were deeply disturbing for many, if not all, members of our campus community. We are working hard with other members of the PRB to establish a truly independent, fair, transparent, and balanced investigatory process. If you have questions or comments please direct them to ucb.police.review.board@gmail.com and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

 

Eve Weissman
J.D. Candidate 2013
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
908.705.1119 (m) ~ eveweissman@berkeley.edu
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