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The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate announced yesterday that it is calling for an impartial investigation into the Oct. 11 incident involving the arrest of Spruce College House Associate Master Rui DaSilva.

DaSilva was pepper sprayed and arrested by a University Police officer after he had what the police deemed a "miscommunication" with her.

Faculty Senate Chair Lance Donaldson-Evans said that the Senate agreed that there "seem to be quite a number of stories going around" about what exactly happened, and that members just want to know what occurred.

At approximately 11:20 a.m., DaSilva, who lives in Spruce with his wife, Director of American and Latino Studies and Faculty Master Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, and their two children, was stopped by the female officer while he and another man were transporting bicycles, to be donated for student use, on Spruce Street between 36th and 37th streets, said Vice President of Public Safety Maureen Rush.

The officer attempted to stop DaSilva and the other individual, and, when DaSilva failed to comply, he was issued a summary citation for disorderly conduct, Rush said.

After examining the sequence of events carefully, the UPPD requested that the district attorney's office "withdraw prosecution," and the DA complied, Rush said after the incident.

Still, in a letter printed in The Daily Pennsylvanian yesterday, DaSilva and Farnsworth-Alvear made clear that there remained disagreements about what exactly conspired during the incident and subsequent arrest.

DaSilva and Farnsworth-Alvear wrote that "there are significant discrepancies between the officer's narration... of what happened on Oct. 11 and Rui's memory of the same events."

Rush also released a statement to the community, saying, "It was behavior, not race, which resulted in the stop."

"The Division of Public Safety takes allegations of profiling very seriously and in fact has had a policy in place since 2001," University spokeswoman Lori Doyle said.

She added that "Penn Police go through extensive specialized training on this issue," and have for about five years.

Farnsworth-Alvear, who is not involved with the Faculty Senate's Executive Committee, was pleased with the committee's decision to request a review of the Oct. 11 incident.

"I'm very glad that they decided to do so," Farnsworth-Alvear said. "I think that that's a very a positive step. I mean, what else was I going to say? I certainly wasn't horrified."

She added that she and DaSilva both felt that the arrest on the 11th and the ensuing University response were two separate issues.

"One of the things Rui and I tried to emphasize in writing that letter is one thing is the incident and another thing is faculty response," Farnsworth-Alvear said.

As of now it is unclear who will be conducting the called-for investigation into the events of the 11th.

"That is still open to question, I think," Donaldson-Evans said. "I think it needs to be a broad-based impartial group that could look at the facts."

The decision to request this review "was made at the regular Senate Executive committee meeting," he added.

Doyle explained that University administrators also received the letter from Donaldson-Evans yesterday, and are also not sure what a review might entail.

"This request is not unexpected and it will be carefully considered," Doyle said. "If an independent review is conducted, the form [of] the review process will become clear over the next few days."

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