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Dean Daniel Filler Comments on UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident Task Force Report

April 12, 2012

Senior Associate Dean and Professor Daniel Filler spoke on KFBK News Radio in Sacramento yesterday commenting on the University of California task force report concerning the pepper spraying of student protesters back in November.

The report, which criticizes the UC Davis police for pepper spraying students who organized a campus protest as part of the Occupy movement, and concludes that the incident could have been prevented, tells a story of “confusion and lack of leadership,” Filler claimed. Officers made broad assumptions based on anxious anticipation of the protest rather than investigating, preparing and relying on protocol, Filler observed.

Filler speculated that the report may be used in future civil suits. More importantly, however, the report will serve as a useful tool for campus law enforcement around the country on how to address potential protests in the future, Filler claimed. The incident, and the resulting report, reminds campus law enforcement around the country that “there is a playbook” and that you cannot just make it up as you go, there are protocols to follow and, if you follow protocol, you can avoid trouble, Filler concluded.

Filler studies the effects of social anxiety on the development of criminal law. His scholarship has appeared in the Virginia Law Review, the California Law Review, and the Iowa Law Review, among other places.