Why the hell is UCOP defending Kemper?

Immediately after UCIPD Officer Jared Kemper pulled a gun on unarmed students and workers at the Regents’ meeting last Wednesday, UCOP‘s Media Director Peter King uncritically parroted the police narrative of a student assaulting the officer with his baton and threatening to take his gun.  As we’ve noted before, this is eerily similar to the explanation that was cobbled together by OPD Chief Batts to justify the illegal arrest of 152 protesters after Mehserle’s sentencing on November 5: violate protocol, immediately fabricate story involving protester who threatens to (or does) take cop’s weapon, ignore contradicting video evidence, and push the police line at press conferences.  Just as the KTVU video demonstrates the utter falsity of the cop/UCOP line, we’ve since learned that on Nov. 5 (a) no one even attempted to take a gun from a cop, and (b) a cop did get hit by a car — a police car driven by another cop.  (East Bay pigs apparently love to hit people with cars during protests.  Remember how OPD backed over a deaf woman on the day of the Mehserle verdict in July?)  In fact, UCOP’s King went so far as to claim that a UC Merced student — in custody until yesterday — was being charged with felony assault on an officer.  As far as we know, all charges have been dropped.

One eyewitness to the incident recalls, “He charged someone with his baton out and when he lost control of it, someone immediately tossed it to his feet. By that point, though, he was drawing his gun. At no point did anyone advance on him. Even when he had his baton back in his belt he did not holster his gun. What surprised me is that he immediately was allowed to go back out on the line face-to-face with protesters.”

The Council of UC Faculty Associations, the collective bargaining unit for ladder rank faculty, just endorsed the following call for an investigation into why the hell UCOP would side with an out of control pig aiming a handgun at students’ heads when readily available video evidence contradicts his entire alibi.  (Though the Daily Cal doesn’t seem to care about the evidence, hence their veritable defense of Kemper’s actions).  This is the same UCPD officer who barreled over an elderly woman in the parking deck earlier that morning, and who, immediately following the gun incident, can be spotted pushing over a young woman without any provocation whatsoever starting at about 1:16 in this video. Why is our administration siding with this trigger happy cop against its own students despite the existing evidence?

UCPD Officer Jared Kemper shoves a young woman because he can

We laud the sentiments in the letter below, but would go a step further: We want Kemper’s badge. Our slogan can be summed up in two words: Fire Kemper! Given the video evidence contradicting the cop/UCOP narrative, this walking threat to student and worker safety needs to be forced to turn in his badge and gun immediately.  Get this potential killer off our campuses!

Without further ado, here’s the letter:

Dear Mr. King:

You are cited by the NPR station KALW as stating that UC campus police officer Kemper, who drew a gun today (Wednesday, November 17, 2010) and pointed it at students, “was beaten with his own baton and drew his weapon in self-defense”(click here for more info.). KALW points out that KTVU video (click here for KTVU video) conflicts with this statement: “in the video, Kemper seems to lose his baton while trying to push through a crowd of sign-wielding demonstrators and draws his pistol shortly thereafter.” Indeed, the statement you are cited as having made—not that Kemper was afraid that he would be beaten, but that he had been beaten, and “with his own baton”—is too specific and too far from the facts shown in the video to be simply an alternate interpretation; Kemper is not touched with his own baton, much less “beaten.” We request that you explain what your statement was based on: who informed you that Officer Kemper had been beaten? Where did that person, in turn, get this idea? If Officer Kemper (through police spokespeople) is the original source of the details in your statement, then he has given a false representation and this itself is worthy of investigation. If Officer Kemper is not the source of the details in your statement, then surely it is a matter of public concern to know how your statement came about. We would like to be assured that UCOP is calling for an investigation into the source of and reason for the false statement. You may reply to all of us at this email address.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Rei Terada, Professor of Comparative Literature and Director, Critical
Theory Emphasis, UC Irvine
Dina al-Kassim, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Eyal Amiran, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Film &
Media Studies, UC Irvine
Amanda Armstrong, Ph.D. student in Rhetoric, UC Berkeley
Jessica Astillero, Berkeley, CA
Sarah Augusto, Ph.D. student in Sociology, UC Davis
Aaron Bady, Ph.D. student in English, UC Berkeley
Farah Barghi, Irvine, CA
Ian Balfour, Professor of English, York University and M.H. Abrams
Distinguished Visiting Professor of English, Cornell University
Tom Boellstorff, Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine
Abraham Castillo-Ruiz, student, UC Davis
Fabio Chee, Ph.D. student in Spanish and Portuguese, UC Irvine
Joshua Clover, Professor of English, UC Davis
Angela Covalt, Ph.D. student in Japanese Language and Literature, UC
Irvine Charles Sanders Creasy, Ph.D. student in English, UC Berkeley
Vileana de la Rosa, student, UC Irvine
Sonja Diaz, student, UC Berkeley School of Law
Emmeline Domingo, student, UC Irvine
Mel Draper, Ph.D. student in History, UC Davis
Anne-Lise François, Associate Professor of English, UC Berkeley
James Fujii, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures,
UC Irvine
Alexander Gelley, Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Ricardo Gomez, student, UC Berkeley
Anna Guercio, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Brook Haley, Lecturer, Humanities Core, UC Irvine
Damion Harriman, student, UC Merced
Matthew G. Hayduke, Santa Cruz, CA
Andrew Higgins, Ph.D. student in History, UC Davis
Victoria L. Hsieh, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Adrienne Hurley, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, McGill
University Kim Icreverzi, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, UC
Cecelia Joulain, Ph.D. student in Visual Studies, UC Irvine
Chau Johnson Kelly, Lecturer, St. Mary’s College and California State
University, Chico
Ilgiz Khisamov, student, UC Irvine
Gabi Kirk, student, UC Santa Cruz
Erkki KochKetola, Pittsburg, CA
Jen Kosakowski, Ph.D., student in Culture and Theory, UC Irvine
Timothy Kreiner, Ph.D. student in English, UC Davis
Celeste Langan, Associate Professor of English, UC Berkeley
James Lagergren, student, UC Irvine
Jacob Lee, Ph.D. student in History, UC Davis
Munira Lokhandwala, Ph.D. student in Film and Media Studies, UC Berkeley
Brian Malone, Santa Cruz Unit Chair, UAW Local 2865
Daniel Marcus, Ph.D. student in History of Art, UC Berkeley
Michael Meranze, Professor of History, UCLA
Martin McQuillan, Professor of Literary Theory and Cultural Analysis, Dean
of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University, London
Robert Meister, Professor of Political and Social Thought, UC Santa Criz
Michael Montoya, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Chicano/Latino
Studies, and PublicHealth, UC Irvine
A.J. Morgan, Ph.D. student in History, UC Davis
Raquel Narrea, student, UC Davis
Julie Beth Napolin, Ph.D. student in Rhetoric, UC Berkeley
Yoo-Hyun Oak, student, UC Davis
Tom O’Donnell, Ph.D. Student in History, UC Davis
Ben Parris, Ph.D. student in English, The Johns Hopkins University Kristin
Peterson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine
Kavita Philip, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Director,
Critical Theory Institute, UC Irvine
Allison Reynolds, Costa Mesa, CA
Brian Riley, Chair, Graduate Student Association, UC Davis
Sophie Rollins, Ph.D. student in Literature, UC Santa Criz
Alberto Salcedo, Graduate student in Education, UC Davis
Annette Schlichter, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, UC
Irvine Gabriele Schwab, Chancellor’s Professor of Comparative Literature,
English, and German, UC Irvine
Rosemary Shultz, student, UC Merced
Brian Sparks, student, UC Davis
Jordan Stein, Assistant Professor of English, University of Colorado,
Boulder Christine Tang, student, UC Santa Barbara
Irene Tucker, Associate Professor of English, UC Irvine
Jason Willerwscheid, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Assistant Professor of African-American
Literature, UC Irvine
Robert Wood, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Elise Youn, Ph.D. student in Urban Planning, UCLA
Eran Zelnik, Ph.D. student in History, UC Davis
Council of UC Faculty Associations(CUCFA)


2 responses to “Why the hell is UCOP defending Kemper?

  1. Pingback: Jared M. Kemper is UCMeP’s 2010 TOOL of the Year « UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP)

  2. Pingback: Update on the situation at UC Irvine | THOSE WHO USE IT

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