UCLA police tactics at protest investigated

UCLA officials said Friday that they are investigating allegations that campus police used unnecessary force, including tasers and pepper spray, in dealing with large protests by students and union activists last month outside a campus building where the UC regents voted to raise student fees.

About a dozen students and police suffered minor injuries during the Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 demonstrations, which attracted more than 2,000 people and a large police contingent in riot gear.

In a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, more than 100 UCLA faculty members expressed grave concern over police tactics and contended that protesters’ freedom of expression was violated.

Another group of UC faculty leaders said they welcomed a review of police actions but emphasized that some demonstrators acted illegally and dangerously in throwing objects, trapping people in cars and trying to push past barricades.

In a statement released Friday, Block said he encouraged people to come forward with any possible evidence of police misconduct so it could be reviewed.