April 11, 2012 in California
Our overriding conclusion can be stated briefly and explicitly. The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented. On November 18, 2011, University of California, Davis, police officers used pepper spray on students sitting in a line in the midst of a protest and “occupation” on the campus quad. Viral images of the incident triggered immediate and widespread condemnation of the police action. The UC Davis protest focused on and drew strength from widespread discontent among students about the increase in tuition and fees at the University of California. The incident also took place against the backdrop of worldwide student protests, including demonstrations by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which triggered similar events across the nation. These protests presented challenges for all affected universities and municipalities in attempting to balance the goals of respecting freedom of speech, maintaining the safety of both protesters and non-protesters, and protecting the legitimate interests of government and the non-protesting public.
March 19, 2012 in Washington D.C.
The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) outlined in this manual are to ensure that this department is prepared to respond effectively and efficiently in accordance with applicable law and District of Columbia policy to any unlawful conduct occurring in the context of First Amendment assemblies. These SOP’s incorporate revisions to the manner in which the Metropolitan Police Department responds to demonstrations and other assemblies on District of Columbia public space that the District has implemented in resolving litigation. This manual also reflects measures mandated by the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004.
November 14, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice
As articulated in the United States Constitution, one of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment is the right of persons and groups to assemble peacefully. Whether demonstrating, counterprotesting, or showing support for a cause, individuals and groups have the right to peacefully gather. Law enforcement, in turn, has the responsibility to ensure public safety while protecting the privacy and associated rights of individuals. To support agencies as they fulfill their public safety responsibilities, the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) developed this paper to provide guidance and recommendations to law enforcement officers in understanding their role in First Amendment-protected events. This paper is divided into three areas, designed to provide in-depth guidance for law enforcement.