Police and Students Faulted in Pepper-Spraying at Santa Monica College

An independent panel’s report lists 13 recommendations, including better planning before large demonstrations and increased training of the campus police. It also found that many of the student protesters did not appear to understand the limits of their free-speech rights, concluding that such a fundamental misunderstanding “is an educational issue within the campus context.” The campus police department conducted its own review and issued a report criticizing the college’s planning of the event.

A protest that led to a pepper-spraying incident outside a Santa Monica College Board of Trustees meeting in April was exacerbated by inadequate planning by campus police and “inappropriate” pushing and grabbing by some student demonstrators, according to an independent review released Friday.

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