Yolo D.A. & Sheriff ask state to handle pepper spray investigation

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE – 2:54 p.m., Nov. 29, 2011 –

UC Davis police used pepper spray on a group of nonviolent protesters on Nov. 18, creating a controversy discussed around the world. This afternoon, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office released a copy of a letter bearing today’s date in which D.A. Jeff Reisig and Yolo Sheriff Ed Prieto ask California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to handle the investigation of the use of pepper spray.

Here’s the text of their message to Harris:

“After conducting a brief review of the issues surrounding the November 18, 2011, events on the campus of the University of California at Davis it is our conclusion that this is an incident that mandates the involvement of the Attorney General at the earliest of stages. While the traditional indicia requiring the Attorney General’s involvement, conflict or lack of resources, may not be present in this matter these events are not traditional in nature and call for an examination of events that have statewide ramifications. In the absence of such action it is our believe that the public’s confidence in the conclusions may be significantly undermined.

“While the issues involved occurred in Yolo County, they were also on a University of California campus, and the results of an examination into these event will impact all ten (10) University of California campuses. It has also become apparent that neither the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, nor the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office possess the resources necessary to conduct the ‘quick’ review that both you and the public are expecting. Furthermore, because the Yolo County legal and law enforcement communities are relatively small, there are multiple perceived and/or possible legal conflicts that are likely to arise and undermine the effectiveness of any findings.

“In light of the significant and statewide issues involved in these events we join in asking you to bring the full resources of the State of California to bear on these events so that the public will have full confidence in the outcome.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2011

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