E-mails have surfaced that for the first time reveal UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was informed on Nov. 9 while traveling that police used batons to forcibly remove an encampment involving hundreds of student Occupy protesters, yet did not call a halt to their use.
The use of force was criticized as excessive not only by students who were hit and are suing the university, but also by faculty and others.
The Nov. 9 protest is under investigation by a campus Police Review Board to determine who authorized use of batons by police, seen on video hitting nonviolent student protesters who had pitched tents in violation of campus policy. The five-member Review Board, convened by Birgeneau in November, is also holding hearings to determine a timeline of events that day and whether police conduct was appropriate.
Birgeneau, who was traveling in Asia on the day students first set up tents as part of the Occupy movement, received an e-mail from Provost George Breslauer soon after the first of two police confrontations with protesters on Nov. 9.