Sun. May 19th, 2024

The SAPD has issued a statement about their involvment in the arrest of protestors at UCI on Wednesday:

Yesterday afternoon, at approximately 2:45 p.m., the University of California, Irvine (UCI) police issued an emergency county-wide mutual aid request. A contingency of officers and supervisors from the Santa Ana Police Department responded to the UCI campus. Their personnel remained at the campus until we were no longer needed.

The Santa Ana Police Department also stated that they “remain committed to transparency regarding all the activities of our personnel. The response to the call for assistance is consistent with Department Policies and regional Mutual Aid protocols. When SAPD personnel are sent to assist according to Mutual Aid protocols, all Department Policies and Procedures remain in place. SAPD remains steadfast in its commitment to preserving the rights of individuals while safeguarding life and property within the City of Santa Ana and when called upon, the region as a whole.”

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer also issued a statement on the UCI Protest:

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is continuing to work with law enforcement to monitor all protest-related activity in Orange County, including today’s protest at the University of California, Irvine. The right to peaceful assembly is a constitutional right and we encourage protestors to exercise their right to peaceful assembly; however, criminal activity which transcends peaceful assembly, including violence and vandalism of any kind, will not be tolerated. Any evidence of criminal activity, including failure to obey lawful orders to disperse, will be investigated and thoroughly reviewed to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed.

The UCI Chancellor, Howard Gillman, explained what happened in his own statement:

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, we, along with most other UC campuses, received the latest “demands” from the protesters. The protesters orchestrated a swift departure from their encampment. In a coordinated fashion they moved out of the encampment to the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall, where a small group barricaded themselves in, supported by a large group of community members who had gathered for a scheduled rally.

And so after weeks when the encampers assured our community that they were committed to maintaining a peaceful and nondisruptive encampment, it was terrible to see that they would dramatically alter the situation in a way that was a direct assault on the rights of other students and the university mission.

The latest campus-specific and systemwide demands made by our encampers and their counterparts across the University of California attempted to dictate that anyone who disagreed with them must conform to their opinions. They asserted the right to oversee many elements of university operations involving the administration, faculty, students, and staff, bypassing customary campus protocols and ignoring the function of the Academic Senate.

But my concern now is not the unreasonableness of their demands. It is their decision to transform a manageable situation that did not have to involve police into a situation that required a different response. I never wanted that. I devoted all of my energies to prevent this from happening.

Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, who is Musliim, also issued a statement about the arrest of the protestors:

My only hope is that UCI Administration will handle the situation without any physical force by police. I understand that officers from the sheriff and neighboring cities have been called in for mutual aid according to an MOU with the agencies. But these are unarmed students using their first amendment right to protest, as many students have done previously throughout the years. I’ve seen photos and videos and have not seen any act of violence from the students. And expect no direction to police to act with violence from UCI Administration.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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