UPDATE: The Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the University of California Board of Regents in hopes of forcing the release of the names of all officers involved in .
Officials rejected the newspapers' California Public Records Act requests, citing the original reasons for the redactions, which was that it would put the officers in danger. (Lt. John Pike received threats in the hectic pepper spray aftermath).
The lawsuit says:
"...The idea that government agents can anonymously plan and execute operations using chemical weapons against protesters in the public square is antithetical to the most fundamental notions of democracy, which depend upon public scrutiny of official conduct. The Regents' withholding of the names of the officers also contradicts California law, which requires officers to wear name tags on their uniforms."
Read more on the Sacramento Bee's blog.
ORIGINAL STORY: A report on the UC Davis Pepper spray incident was scheduled to come out last week, but the union representing the UC Davis Police Department requested a court order to . They want the officers' names and other information redacted.
Should information about the other officers be redacted, or included? Comment below.
Now, as the report hangs in the balance, two large newspapers are challenging the notion of what is and is not public when it comes to officer-involved incidents. Past incidents such as the 1991 Rodney King beating have become a part of the conversation.
Numerous court rulings over the years have limited what information can be released after the interrogation of an officer after an incident. From the Bee:
Police advocates say the measures are necessary to protect officers' reputations and careers if they are the target of false accusations. In the case of officer-involved shootings, the argument is that such protections speed up the investigation because an officer can talk freely.
Interim UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael wrote a letter to campus officers shortly after the pepper spray incident instructing them to participate in the investigation. That is cited by the police union in their challenge of the report.
The Sacramento Bee article goes into detail about when interrogation emails are released. Very specific details were made public in the 1991 case of Rodney King, but in other situations, police privacy has been heavily protected.
The Davis Vanguard weighed in on the issue as well, exploring responses from the UC and the ACLU. Note: and then-Chief have already been named.
Should information about other officers be included, or redacted?