The case between the FUPOA and the UC Regents has been settled, and the names have not been officially released. There has been speculation about which police officers were involved, but the public is entitled to an official confirmation of the other officers that were involved, according to Burke.
“The settlement of that case, so the reports could be made public, did not preclude or bar a follow-up public record lawsuit,” Burke said.
As a result, the Sacramento Bee and L.A. Times issued a lawsuit after several denied requests for the official list of names.
“We believe that the [UC] Regents stated publicly that this report was to be made public. Justice Reynoso said that all of the names were going to be made public, and this lawsuit is about making sure that that’s what happens,” Burke said.
However, David Kidd, President of the UC Davis Police Officer’s Association, is fearful of the officers being targeted and their lives threatened from anonymous sources around the world if the names are released to the public, which is what happened to Lt. Pike.
“FUPOA is trying to protect our officers from this new type of ‘internet terrorism.’ We go out every day to protect the students on this campus and risk our lives so that people such as you can sit back in relative safety and exercise the freedom of speech, which we all enjoy,” Kidd said in an e-mail interview.
While the police union understands the public’s right to know the names, the Alameda Superior Court decided to redact the names during the FUPOA and UC Regents lawsuit.
“There has to be a balance between the public’s right to know and the right of our government officials to be safe,” Kidd said.
John Bakhit, the attorney representing the police union, could not be reached to comment on the lawsuit.
According to UC spokesperson Brooke Converse, the attorneys representing the UC Regents and the attorneys representing the L.A. Times and Sacramento Bee agreed to submit briefs by June 12 and have set a June 26 hearing date.
Converse had no further comment regarding the lawsuit.
MICHELLE MURPHY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.