Tag Archives: Andrew Greenwood

Cluster of police arrest resistant homeless man (video)

Readers wondered about the arrest of a homeless man earlier this week in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Moby Theobald
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Several readers asked Berkeleyside to find out why it took seven officers to detain one man in downtown Berkeley earlier this week.

Wondered Stefanie Kalem: “Anybody know what just happened with seven cops and one very agitated man on the corner of Shattuck and Addison?”

The incident drew some attention because it took place in a highly trafficked area at a busy time of day, and involved quite a few officers and police vehicles. Video of the incident appears below.

The scuffle ultimately drew at least 10 officers to Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at about 4:15 p.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said police were initially called for a report of a man who was “ranting, and appeared extremely agitated.”

Officers tried to speak with the man, Coats said, but he “became agitated and took a fighting posture towards the officers.” Officers tried to detain him and he became “physically combative … and resisted their attempts to take him safely into custody.”

Kevin Kunze, who was at the scene, posted the following video on YouTube, asking “How many Berkeley cops does it take to arrest one homeless person?” He wrote to Berkeleyside on Twitter and wanted to know more. … Continue reading »

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Police release redacted reports on Berkeley protests

After denying a Public Records Act request from a local police watchdog group, the department responded with heavily redacted documents.
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The Berkeley Police Department has released two operational plans about protests in the city Dec. 6-7, but most of the wording was blacked out and redacted, so minimal information was revealed.

Andrea Prichett, co-founder of Berkeley Copwatch, requested the documents as part of two Public Records Act requests in December and January. The police department initially said the plans were exempt from release. In response to a second request from Prichett, the department provided the plans, but removed information it said related to security procedures and intelligence information.

According to a police department letter to Prichett on Jan. 26, “The disclosure of such documents could endanger public and officer safety and impede the success of future operations. Additionally, the operational plans and related documents are exempt under the ‘deliberative process privilege’ of Government Code 6255 because disclosure could have a chilling effect on the ability of the department and its command staff to candidly discuss, plan for, and respond to events requiring crowd control that are often fluid in nature.”

Read complete Berkeley protests coverage on Berkeleyside.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan has said the department is working on its own comprehensive report about the protests. Meehan told the city’s Police Review Commission in January that the report would be released later this year, “in an un-redacted fashion so everybody will have a chance to read what we knew when we knew it, and what we believe can be done differently in the future to hopefully end up with a different result.”

The two documents released to Prichett — who shared them with Berkeleyside — came in a very different form, however. In a 13-page “Incident Briefing” about a march planned for Dec. 6, 2014, about eight of the pages were blacked out. The department left visible the names of officers who had leadership roles, including Capt. Erik Upson, who was the incident commander that night, a summary regarding known plans that had been posted on social media about the Dec. 6 demonstration, and a general two-paragraph mission statement about how it would handle crowd control. … Continue reading »

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Residents air concerns about police staging to Police Review Commission

During the Dec. 6 protests, Berkeley police commandeered McKinley St. to set up a staging area for mutual aid from other departments. This is a photo of a Hayward Police Department van parked on the street. Photo by
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Members of the Police Review Commission expressed concern Wednesday night over policy complaints filed by two residents of the 2100 block of McKinley Avenue describing how their street was blocked off, taken over, and used as a police staging area for five days in early December during demonstrations in Berkeley.

The controversial take-over prompted Police Chief Michael Meehan to attend the PRC meeting and pledge that his department would develop a policy to ensure that a similar situation doesn’t happen again.

Read complete Berkeley protests coverage on Berkeleyside.

“We’ve been looking at a lot of different strategies on how we can make sure this does not happen again in the future,” said Meehan. … Continue reading »

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Neighbors complain about Berkeley Police commandeering their street to get ready for protests

During the Dec. 6 protests, Berkeley police commandeered McKinley St. to set up a staging area for mutual aid from other departments. This is a photo of a Hayward Police Department van parked on the street. Photo by
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By Mara Van Ells

Residents on McKinley Avenue near the Berkeley Police station are seething after a week of protests which saw parking banned, the street blocked to normal traffic after 5 p.m., and police cars and armored vehicles stationed there.

Some neighbors said when they tried to go home, police yelled at them and demanded to see their identification. They were also told, “no ins and outs.”

See complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent Berkeley protests.

“I was treated like a criminal for trying to come home from work,” said Julie Guilfoy, who has lived in the neighborhood for 14 years. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police chase leads to stolen car, burglary tools

A man found in a stolen car led police on a short foot chase Thursday. Image: Google Maps
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A man who led police on a short foot chase Thursday was linked to a stolen car full of burglary tools, authorities said Friday.

Thursday just before 1 p.m., the Berkeley Police Department received a call about a man in South Berkeley who was slumped over in a car that reportedly had been running for three hours, said Capt. Andrew Greenwood.

Police and paramedics responded to the 2900 block of Adeline Street, and found a 41-year-old man who was later identified as Roberto Pasillas of Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Police stop sparks racial controversy

The arrest of two people in Berkeley last Friday has prompted charges from some about racial profiling. Scroll down to view a video of the arrest. Image: Kerby L/YouTube
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A recent police stop in Berkeley has prompted some community members to criticize police for racial insensitivity, and potential racial profiling.

Part of the exchange was captured on video, which appears below. The footage was posted on YouTube less than a week ago by one of the women who was stopped, and has been viewed nearly 8,000 times.

Berkeley Police officials said Thursday that the video has been taken out of context, and showed restraint by officers who were antagonized while trying to detain a group of pedestrians who nearly caused a traffic accident near Telegraph Avenue on Friday night.

In response to general questions raised during the course of the footage, police said officers are not required to inform someone prior to handcuffing them; do not have to read Miranda rights for adults until someone is in custody and being questioned about an alleged offense; and are not required to tell other individuals at an active scene why someone is being arrested.
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Parolee hides from Berkeley Police in hole, arrested

Image: Google Maps
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A convicted felon who fled from police during a traffic stop in West Berkeley on Thursday night has been arrested on suspicion of a range of violations, including drug possession for sales and carrying a loaded firearm in public, authorities said.

Rashee Domorris Alexander, 26, of Berkeley, was found hiding in a hole in a parking lot during the subsequent police search. The same man was arrested last year after fleeing from police near Ashby BART and ditching a gun along the way, authorities said at the time. (Berkeley Police subsequently described the hole as “a drainage pipe.”)

Two Berkeleyside readers noted a heavy police response Thursday night, including “patrol cars screaming at top speed,” with sirens blaring, south on San Pablo Avenue. Another reader reported “over 15 police cars with sirens, lights and all,” as well as helicopters overhead on Ashby Avenue west of San Pablo. … Continue reading »

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Council highlights gangs, staffing during crime report

Pedestrian robberies in Berkeley from January to June 2013 mapped by location. Source: Berkeley Police Department
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The Berkeley Police Department’s mid-year crime report drew compliments from city officials regarding the city’s approach to crime fighting, as well as requests for more information in the future about case closure rates, crime concentrations and response times across a range of offenses.

Police Chief Michael Meehan presented the report along with two police captains, Erik Upson and Andy Greenwood, Tuesday night in a special session before the city council. They said serious crime reports for the first six months of the year remained nearly flat compared to the same period last year.

Berkeley did experience a 24% jump in robberies overall, which included a 35% increase in pedestrian robberies. But police said the region has seen a 26% percent in overall robberies, and that Berkeley is not immune to those trends. Police also noted a 49% increase in robbery-related arrests in 2013. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley post office clean-up was unplanned, say police

Said Twitter user Strike Debt Bay Area: "The Berkeley Post Office Camp has been raided. BPD execute the orders of 1% Privatizers." Photo: Strike Debt Bay Area
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Wednesday night’s clearing of tents and other property belonging to campers at the downtown Berkeley Post Office, who have been on site protesting the building’s sale since late July, was not planned in advance, police said Friday.

“I believe the opportunity presented itself, rather than it being an operation where we pull people in [for extra support],” said Berkeley Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood on Friday.

Supporters who hope to protect the building have been fighting against what they see as a march toward the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service for over a year. In late July, campers set up tents and signs, and began sleeping at the site, to raise awareness about their cause.

Wednesday night, while many of the campers attended an event in Oakland, Berkeley police officers went to the downtown Berkeley Post Office, at 2000 Allston Way, and removed property that had been left on the site.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley street parties celebrate neighborhood safety

National Night Out, Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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More than 50 Berkeley neighborhood and business groups came out Tuesday night to meet, mingle, eat together and get to know each other during the 30th annual National Night Out celebration. The festivities included visits from police and fire department staffers, as well as local officials and other municipal representatives. Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso rode along with Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan and Capt. Andy Greenwood as they visited some of the parties around town. See photographs from the event, including several submitted by Berkeleyside readers, below.

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Berkeley police to mark 40th anniversary of officer killing

Jimmie Rutledge. Photos courtesy of Berkeley Police Department
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The men and women will stand in front of a statue commemorating Sgt. Jimmie H. Rutledge, who was slain June 16, 1973, at 5:23 a.m. by a man who went on to murder a 4-year-old girl he had taken hostage.

The brief, informal ceremony will mark the 40th anniversary of Rutledge’s death. “We’ll say a few words,” said Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan. “We’ll do a salute. It’s our way of acknowledging that even though it’s been four decades, he sacrificed himself for the city and we don’t want to forget that.”

Two Berkeley police officers have been killed in the line of duty. The first was Ronald Tsukamoto, who was slain on Aug. 20, 1970. Tsukamoto had stopped a motorist on University Avenue, near McGee Avenue. While talking to the driver, another man approached the car and fired at Tsukamoto, killing him. The assailant has never been arrested, although police believe they know who he is. To honor Tsukamoto, the city named the police and fire public safety building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way after him. … Continue reading »

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Police recognize retirement, celebrate promotions

Friends, co-workers and family applaud retiree Lt. Diane Delaney, who started with the force in 1985. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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More than 100 people crowded into the Maudelle Shirek building in downtown Berkeley on Thursday morning to celebrate three promotions and recognize the retirement of a longtime officer from the Berkeley Police Department.

Opening these ceremonies to the public is a relatively new move by the department to give the community a chance to learn about how officers approach their work, said Police Chief Michael Meehan.

“It’s something I changed when I got hired,” said Meehan. “We’re proud of who we are and what we’re doing in this city, and we want people to know who their officers are.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police officers promoted in public ceremony

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan promotes Amber Phillips to sergeant. Jeffrey Chu is promoted to sergeant, Edward Spiller is promoted to lieutenant, and Andrew Greenwood is promoted to captain. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Four officers from the Berkeley Police Department were promoted in a ceremony at Berkeley Repertory Theater on Tuesday, only the second time officers have ever been promoted in public.

Four former police chiefs, a number of city officials, off-duty cops, and dozens of friends and family gathered at the theater to watch as two officers became sergeants, one sergeant became a lieutenant, and a lieutenant became a captain.

“As August Vollmer (Berkeley’s first police chief and a pioneer in the field) once said, ‘it is by developing people that we make progress in our society,” Police Chief Michael Meehan said in his remarks to the crowd. “What was true then is true now.” … Continue reading »

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