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Four days after the pepper spraying incident at UC Davis, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, acting governor while Gov. Jerry Brown is on vacation out of state, issued a statement Tuesday night condemning the "senseless violence" and praising UC officials for ordering an independent investigation.

"UC students and the people of California deserve a swift, just and thorough independent investigation into this matter," Newsom said in a prepared statement. "Concrete remedies need to be implemented to ensure that peaceful protests on our university campuses are never again met with senseless violence."

Newsom visited the campus earlier Tuesday, his office said. His statement followed remarks by other major politicians, but not Brown, who has kept silent on the matter.

"President Mark Yudof and his staff have kept my office appraised on the events of the last week and I made it clear that the University has a profound obligation to its staff and student body - not to mention its worldwide reputation - to better balance protecting the public safety with protecting the constitutional right to free speech and political expression," Newsom said. "After contact with William Bratton earlier this week, I am pleased that the University of California has retained the former Los Angeles Police Chief to lead an independent investigation of the pepper spray incident on the campus of UC Davis last Friday. I have every confidence that Chief Bratton will be thorough and frank in its findings."



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