Tag Archives: Berkeley crime
The day after Ignacio Francis Jr., also known as Greg or ‘lil G’, was gunned down while standing with a group in the 1800 block of Fairview Street, his friends paid their respects at the site of his death.
A group of about 20 people, mostly in their early 20s, gathered Friday afternoon at the intersection of Fairview and Harper to light candles, make wax initials on the sidewalk, and write lil G’s name on a pole to convey how sad they felt that the 19-year-old Berkeley man was killed.
“He was a good friend, he was always there for us,” said Greg Symons Jr., 24, who knew Francis for about a year. “He was a good person. He was not a street person.”
Other friends of Francis’ also said that he had not been mixed up in gang behavior, but was an innocent who was shot on the street.
“The dude didn’t do anything,” said a 20-year-old man who didn’t want his name used but who attended Berkeley Technology Academy with Francis. He said Berkeleyside could refer to him as Wallace. “Violence is everywhere. A bullet has no name on it. I have had too many people killed.” … Continue reading »
Update, 1:40 p.m. Police have identified the young man shot and killed Thursday night as 19-year-old Ignacio Francis Jr. of Berkeley. Those who knew him have said he went by the name “Greg.” He was shot around 7:30 p.m. while standing with a group of people at Harper and Fairview streets. The shooting was not random, according to Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police Department spokesman.
Original story, 1:34 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has increased patrols and stepped up investigations this week after several recent shootings, including a homicide Thursday night.
It was the city’s second fatal shooting of the year.
According to a notice released shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, police are asking the community for help as investigators work to identify and capture suspects linked to a series of shootings.
“We ask community members to quickly report any disputes or altercations, especially if a firearm is seen,” according to the statement. “Community members can also play a crucial role in locating evidence, and providing information such as newly discovered damage or providing information or home video surveillance recordings.”
A shooting Wednesday involved a 16-year-old boy from outside Berkeley who was dropped off at the hospital but expected to survive.
“Multiple residents reported gunfire, resulting in immediate response from Berkeley Police,” BPD said.
Officers say this shooting and several others “appear to have involved two groups shooting at each other. This does not appear to have been a random act, but rather an incident involving two groups of individuals targeting each other.”
Update, Sept. 23, 1:40 p.m. Police have identified the young man shot and killed Thursday night as 19-year-old Ignacio Francis Jr. of Berkeley. Those who knew him have said he went by the name “Greg.” He was shot around 7:30 p.m. while standing with a group of people at Harper and Fairview streets. The shooting was not random, according to Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police Department spokesman.
Original story, Sept. 22: One person has died after a shooting in South Berkeley, authorities reported just after 9 p.m.
Acting Capt. Kevin Schofield, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said a small group of men and women were at the corner of Harper and Fairview streets when a man walked up to them Thursday evening.
“Following some type of verbal exchange, the adult male produced a handgun and fired multiple rounds,” Schofield said. “The group scattered and one person sustained life threatening injuries. BPD officers arrived quickly and attempted to provide medical aid as they summoned BFD. BFD transported the victim to the hospital where he was declared deceased.”
Police got multiple 911 calls about the shooting beginning just after 7:30 p.m.
One person, a male, was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment, according to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside. The incident took place in the 1800 block of Fairview, according to a Nixle alert released by BPD at 9:20 p.m.
No further information about the victim has been provided. It’s the second homicide in Berkeley of 2016.
Schofield said no arrests have been made but police are looking for the shooter.
According to the 9:20 p.m. Nixle, “While officers work this active crime scene the 1800 block of Fairview Street between Adeline and Ellis Streets is closed to all traffic. Harper Street between Woolsey and Fairview Streets is also closed while we investigate this matter.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley Police Department to focus on staffing, will ‘take a collective deep breath’ under new chief
In the wake of the abrupt departure Tuesday of Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, Acting Chief Andrew Greenwood says his short-term goals are to hire more officers and keep the department focused on the future.
“Calm, steady, forward movement is the way to go,” Greenwood told the city’s Police Review Commission on Wednesday night. “That’s kind of where I’m at.”
Greenwood was at the PRC meeting to give the regularly scheduled chief’s report and discuss the mid-year crime report, but the first topic that came up when the meeting began was Meehan’s sudden departure, announced Wednesday, and what will happen next.
Commission Chair George Perezvelez called Meehan’s resignation the elephant in the room, and noted that the leadership change — which put Berkeley native Greenwood at the helm — is “effective immediately.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley police are responding to reports of gunfire in South Berkeley, with a teenage boy injured as a result.
Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said calls began coming in at 5:40 p.m. about gunfire at Russell and Sacramento streets.
White said two people may have been crossing Sacramento at Russell when an occupant or occupants in a truck began to shoot at them.
No victims were on the scene, but police got a call from a local hospital reporting a possible gunshot victim. White said the victim is a teenage boy who is being treated for what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.
Casings were also recovered at the scene. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan has resigned following reports surfaced by Berkeleyside last month of turmoil within the department and extensive criticism by officers of the chief.
Meehan resigned after nearly seven years, and Capt. Andrew Greenwood will now take the helm of the department as acting chief, according to a memo from the city manager to the Berkeley City Council dated Wednesday, Sept. 21. Greenwood, a Berkeley native, has been at BPD for 31 years. (Scroll down to see the memo.)
No explanation has been provided as to the reason for Meehan’s departure. He lives in Berkeley with his family and has a son in Berkeley schools. Many thought he would continue in his role as chief until retirement, despite the recent criticism.
Greenwood said Wednesday the resignation “came as a complete surprise” to him, and that it had been a “whirlwind five hours of figuring out” all of the logistics of the transfer of command.
“I’m sure it was a really difficult decision for him and his family,” he said. “I was asked yesterday afternoon if I would be acting chief and I agreed to.”
It is unclear exactly when Meehan put in his resignation, but he was not present for the six-month crime report to the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday evening, and no city officials asked where he was. It’s a significant meeting that he has rarely, if ever, missed in the past.
Just after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Meehan posted his resignation letter on Twitter.
“While there is no good time to leave an organization you have such respect and admiration for, there is a right time and I believe, after discussing with my family, the time is now,” he wrote. See the full letter below.
On Twitter, Meehan wrote, “Thank you Berkeley! It has been an honor. My family and I are grateful.” … Continue reading »
Wednesday afternoon, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ordered convicted double murderer Darnell Williams Jr. to be executed by the state of California.
Williams, 25, of Berkeley was convicted by a jury in May, after nearly a month of testimony, of two fatal shootings in 2013. The victims were 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine, who was a guest at a sleepover when she was gunned down, and — less than two months later — 22-year-old Anthony “Tone” Medearis III, a father of two. Williams also was found guilty of the attempted murders of two children at the sleepover and their grandmother, as well as the unintentional shooting of his own nephew during the Berkeley killing.
In June, the jury recommended that Williams be sentenced to death. Judge Jeffrey Horner then undertook an extensive independent review of the case before making his ruling Wednesday about what the sentence would be.
Horner said Wednesday the “overwhelming weight” of the evidence supported the jury’s death penalty verdict from earlier this year. He also sentenced Williams to an additional 172 years to life in prison should the death sentence be taken off the table at a later date, and ordered him to pay about $35,000 in fees and fines for restitution and court costs.
Williams said nothing publicly throughout the hearing. At times, he looked around to see who was in the courtroom. But, for the most part, he kept his head down and faced forward. Williams is slated to be taken from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin to San Quentin State Prison in Marin County on Wednesday, authorities say.
“Justice has been truly served,” said Jackie Winters, aunt of Medearis, in remarks to the court before the sentencing. “I really don’t understand how one person can inflict so much pain on two different families.”
Prosecutor John Brouhard also read from a written statement by Chiquita Carradine, the mother of Alaysha, who could not attend the hearing, in part, because it “would be difficult,” Brouhard said.
“I will never see my first and only daughter graduate,” she wrote. “I will never get to see her go to prom, I will never get to see her off to college. I will never get another family photo.” … Continue reading »
This article has been updated since its initial publication.
Occupants of two cars racing through Berkeley shot at one another over a six-block area Friday night before one of the cars crashed and the other sped off.
A 17-year old boy was shot in the face during the incident – the second time he had been shot in seven months, according to Lt. Kevin Schofield of the Berkeley Police Department. The 17-year-old was one of three teenagers wounded Feb. 16 when shots were fired into a car they were sitting in on the 1100 block of Parker St., near San Pablo Avenue, he said.
The shooting Friday night and the February shootings are most likely connected, said Schofield.
“It stems from an ongoing conflict between two groups,” he said. He did not know from which cities the groups were based. Detectives are still trying to determine the motive.
An unidentified juvenile was shot in the face in West Berkeley around 10: 10 p.m. after the car he was riding in sped through town, according to Lt. Alyson Hart of the Berkeley Police Department.
Police got a report of a car speeding on Ninth and Allston Way, and that call was quickly followed by other reports of a car speeding south.
Police found a crashed silver car at Ninth and Pardee streets near Acme Bakery. Officers found the juvenile outside the car. He had been shot in the face, said Hart. His injuries were not life-threatening and he was taken to Highland Hospital, she said.
Berkeleyside initially reported – based on unconfirmed scanner reports – that a second gunshot victim was found at Vital Vittles at 2810 San Pablo Ave. Lt. Hart said that was incorrect; there was only one person shot on Friday. … Continue reading »
Berkeley police have arrested a man who allegedly carjacked a car from the North Berkeley BART station, raced through Berkeley, crashed the car into a house in the 1500 block of Sixth St. near Jones Street and tried to escape onto the train tracks while a train approached.
One Berkeley police officer was injured when the suspect got into a fight with police, according to Lt. Andrew Rateaver. The suspect was also taken to the hospital, although it is unclear … Continue reading »
Crime is down in Berkeley this year, after it spiked in 2015 with the highest serious felony statistics since 2009.
In the six-month crime report, set to go before the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, Berkeley police authorities say overall Uniform Crime Report numbers were down 8.3% from January through June as compared to the same period in 2015. The federal designation tracks reports of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson.
The department does not analyze the crime rate or look at how crime statistics relate to changes in the city’s population.
Despite promises to council in March to launch a robust social media program this year, the effort has yet to take off. According to the Sept. 20 report, “The department is … working with the City PIO to develop and implement a social media strategy using Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and GovDelivery.”
The city as a whole has been slow to embrace social media, and follows a policy created by city spokesman Matthai Chakko that requires departments interested in social media to create a six-month content plan in advance and commit to a rigid posting schedule.
Berkeley police are on the lookout for a suspect who shot at a man after they got into a verbal altercation Wednesday.
A little after 9 a.m., two men got into a fight near the intersection of Ashby Avenue and Sacramento Street, according to Sgt. Andrew Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department. One of the men pulled out a gun and fired at the other, but missed, said Frankel. The shooter ran away.
Berkeley police briefly closed off Stanton Street, near the scene of the shooting, to make sure no-one had been injured by gunfire. No-one had, said Frankel.
Sgt. Frankel did not know if the two people involved were friends or acquaintances. … Continue reading »
A man with a criminal record for indecent exposure is set to be sentenced this week after Berkeley police officers say he masturbated near playground children at Ohlone Park in August.
According to court papers, Michael Ward, 32, was naked — with only a jacket draped over his lap — when police contacted him Aug. 3 at the North Berkeley park just before 2 p.m. He was on probation for indecent exposure after a 2014 arrest in Berkeley on Fifth Street.
One witness told police Ward was masturbating near a children’s playground while children were in the area. Ward, who has no listed home address, “was seated a few feet away from a playground.” When the witness saw him, he was wearing just socks and a shirt, and had a jacket over his lap.