Calif. Gov. Brown ‘Seriously Concerned’ About Force on Campus

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California’s Gov. Jerry Brown has requested a formal review of the state’s use-of-force training guidelines, following two confrontations between officers and demonstrators at university campuses.

In a letter to the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), Gov. Brown wrote that he is “seriously concerned that the rules governing use of force … are not well understood in the context of civil disobedience and various forms of public protest,” reports the Daily Californian.

Brown cited the pepper-spraying of student demonstrators at University of California, Davis and the use of batons on demonstrators at University of California, Berkeley.

The commission has already begun an assessment of its training that will include a careful review of its crowd management and civil disobedience guidelines implemented in March 2003, said Karen Lozito, the commission’s public information officer.

The commission is reviewing “training on all levels,” Lozito told POLICE Magazine.

“We train them on the right way to use different weapons, different tools.” Lozito said. “The policies of what’s appropriate use and when, that’s set by the agency.”

The commission and its 16-member board of mostly gubernatorial appointees-15 members are appointed to three-year terms-provide guidance to chiefs and other law enforcement top executives.

Agencies must provide at least 664 hours of training to police recruits, including instruction on less-lethal weapons and chemical agents.

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