UCLA Spotlight

Chancellor announces independent investigation of Powell Library incident

  • Published Nov 17, 2006 8:00 AM

Updated: Merrick Bobb report August 1, 2007

Nov. 17, 2006

UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams announced today that an independent investigation will be conducted of the incident in Powell Library in which a UCLA student was taken into custody by campus police.

"After careful deliberation, I have decided to accept the recommendation of Police Chief Karl Ross and my senior advisors to establish an independent investigation of this incident," Abrams said. "We have selected Merrick Bobb, who is widely recognized for his integrity and independence in such sensitive matters, to lead this investigation."

Abrams said Bobb is one of the nation's leading authorities on police conduct. He served as a staff attorney for the Christopher Commission, which examined Los Angeles Police Department policies, and also has served as an independent monitor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The UCPD also will continue its investigation, Abrams said.

"The police department investigation will be speedy and fair," he said. "I have complete respect for, and confidence in, UCPD. But there are times when it is helpful to turn to an outside review as well."

Abrams said in the past two days his office has been contacted by many students, alumni and parents to express their concern about Tuesday night's incident.

"Student safety and treatment are of paramount concern at UCLA," Abrams said. "I am committed, as well, to our country's system of due process, which counsels that we not rush to judgment. A number of witnesses have already stepped forward. We plan to move ahead promptly with a complete and unbiased review. I am confident that the review process that is being undertaken will allow us to reach a fair, appropriate and just conclusion."

Karl Ross, the UCLA police chief, said, "While I am confident of our ability to perform a fair and thorough investigation, I am also cognizant of the need for a transparent review."