Arguing that the public has a right to know the names of the police officers involved in the November pepper-spray incident at UC Davis, The Bee and the Los Angeles Times sued Wednesday to force disclosure of their identities.
The suit was filed in Sacramento Superior Court against the University of California Board of Regents to force the release of officer names that were redacted from a task force study of the incident released in April.
The newspapers argued in court papers that the state Supreme Court has repeatedly found that "keeping secret the names of public employees does not serve the public interest ... ."
"In particular, the idea that government agents can anonymously plan and execute operations using chemical weapons against protesters in the public square is antithetical to the most fundamental notions of democracy, which depend upon public scrutiny of official conduct," the suit said. "The Regents' withholding of the names of the officers also contradicts California law, which requires officers to wear name tags on their uniforms."