Tag Archives: Berkeley fatality
City seeks rejection of wrongful death lawsuit against police; celebrity pathologist disputes cause of death
Attorneys for the city of Berkeley have asked a U.S. District Court judge to reject a wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2014 by the father of a transgender woman who died in police custody in 2013.
Representatives for both parties are expected to appear in court Friday morning at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco. If the case moves ahead, the trial itself has been scheduled to begin Oct. 17, according to materials from lawsuit supporters.
Kayla Moore, a 41-year-old Berkeley resident, was in her Allston Way apartment Feb. 12, 2013, when police responded to a disturbance call there, authorities have said. She stopped breathing during a struggle as officers tried to detain her. The Alameda County coroner’s office said Moore — whose given name was Xavier — died due to “acute combined drug intoxication” and pre-existing medical conditions, and ruled her death an accident.
The city filed a motion for summary judgment in June essentially arguing that the family has neither the evidence nor the facts to back up the wrongful death suit. The city says officers used “minimal force” and have “qualified immunity” under the law as to the force they did use.
Oakland attorney John Burris, whose firm is representing Kayla’s father, Arthur Moore, has argued police had no cause to arrest Moore and “used unreasonable force” during the arrest.
To bolster the case, Burris has filed a declaration by Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist who has worked on a variety of high-profile cases in recent decades. Spitz said restraint by the officers made it difficult for Moore to breathe and contributed to her death. … Continue reading »
Fiercely outspoken at times, at other times unmoved by the ring of the phone, Britt Badgley Alamo was underestimated. She could spit fire. She was a doting mother and a caring wife; a child, herself, who carved a way in a world that she struggled to make sense of.
Born into a world of complexity and strife, she was smart and heady; and, she became studious at an early age: reading, questioning, exploring. Somehow she set out on one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, paths a woman in her shoes could follow: She became a public school teacher in a setting where some students are undernourished, abused at home, or cannot read and write.
She knew her students’ parents and called them to task when needed; she called Child Protective Services when a child looked like she hadn’t eaten enough; she was also, as her colleague Martha Cain puts it, the sunshine club at Longfellow Middle in Berkeley, known for her energy and enthusiasm.
See the GoFundMe page.
Britt was active in the school district’s union as site representative. She traveled to other cities to canvas on college campuses for union support and she walked in protests. Britt believed fervently in the right to quality, free public education for all students regardless of where they come from or who they are. … Continue reading »
Original story, Aug. 29: Britt Badgley Alamo, a Longfellow Middle School teacher with deep roots in Berkeley, died Friday unexpectedly in her sleep. She was 40 years old.
A passionate advocate of public education and a champion for her students, Alamo was active in the teachers’ union and “was beloved of many kids and BUSD colleagues,” one local parent told Berkeleyside. The sudden loss has left many people reeling.
“Everyone’s in shock,” said another community member. “She is BUSD through and through.”
An obituary from the family and fundraiser information are forthcoming.
Alamo and her brother, Jason, graduated from Berkeley High School. Their mother taught in the Berkeley Unified School District for 40 years. Alamo is survived by her husband, Steve, and 7-year-old daughter, Elsa Amelie, who is a Berkeley schools student. … Continue reading »
Longtime Berkeley resident Lu Charlotte passed away peacefully in her home on The Alameda Aug. 9, 2016. She was 92.
Lu was born Lucille Charlotte Stein on Sept. 15, 1923, in Adams, Massachusetts. A bright and energetic student, she graduated from Adams High School in 1941 as class valedictorian. She subsequently attended Smith College, Massachusetts State College (now the University of Massachusetts) in Amherst, and the University of Maryland, where she studied under noted sociologist C. Wright Mills.
After graduating … Continue reading »
The mother of a 23-year-old woman killed last week by gunfire spoke out Wednesday about her daughter’s innocence, her hopes for a music career and her devotion to her family.
“Marne’e did not like violence, she did not like arguing,” said Kenitra Love, mother of Berkeley High graduate Marne’e Maxine Karen Causey. “She wouldn’t argue with anybody. She would walk away first.”
The day Causey was killed, Aug. 9, she had just dropped off several of her younger siblings at her mother’s home. She’d watched them for a couple days to give her mom a break after the family had met up for a birthday party. She’d also dropped off her father at a job interview, and had planned to pick him up later. In the meantime, she was going to meet up with her brother, Bones, so they could go to the music studio together.
They made a stop at a cousin’s home in the 7400 block of Fresno Street in East Oakland. Police say someone opened fire on the home at 3:10 p.m. Causey was hit. She collapsed on the porch and was later pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made.
“My daughter was not targeted,” said Love, who said Causey had no affiliation or involvement with gangs. “That bullet was not meant for my daughter.” … Continue reading »
Friends and family gathered around the East Bay on Sunday to celebrate the life of Terrence McCrary Jr. (known to many as Terrence Mack).
Mack, who was 22 years young, was born and raised in Berkeley. Also known as TMack, Sweet T and Lil BadBadBad, behind he leaves a cohort of friends and family who are dedicated to ensuring that his legacy lives on.
Mack was shot and killed early Sunday morning, along with 20-year-old Craig Fletcher-Cooks, while attending a birthday party at Prime Development art gallery in downtown Oakland.
Friends worked quickly to organize memorials in Mack’s honor: a celebration at Lake Merritt in Oakland during the day, and a candlelight vigil in Berkeley’s San Pablo Park on Sunday night.
A fundraiser has been set up to help the family.
Mack’s longtime friends, Nicco Piña and Winn Child-Phillips, organized the Berkeley vigil to acknowledge and remember him.
Piña — also known as Neek Levy — and other friends and family of Mack, including his mother and father, Florence and Terrence McCrary Sr., met at San Pablo Park for the vigil.
Florence McCrary said she was overwhelmed by the love and support people have shown for her son, and that it was beautiful to see everyone come together in his name.
Terrence Sr. took a moment to address the crowd. He voiced his appreciation for all the kind gestures from the community, and finished his talk with powerful words: “My son was going to change the world.” … Continue reading »
Update, Aug. 20: Scroll down to the bottom of this story to see the memorial flyer created to honor Craig Fletcher-Cooks. Memorial information is included.
Update, Aug. 16: A fundraiser has been launched to help pay for funeral costs for Craig Fletcher-Cooks. A memorial is also being planned. Learn more on the GoFundMe page.
A fundraiser to help the family of Terrence McCrary Jr. has also been set up. Learn more.
Original story, Aug. 15: Another young man who attended Berkeley High School has been identified as the second person fatally shot outside a birthday party in downtown Oakland early Sunday morning.
Friends and others who knew him have identified the young man as 20-year-old Craig Fletcher-Cooks. He and 22-year-old Terrence McCrary Jr. were fatally shot shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday after disputes reportedly broke out between groups at the Prime Development art gallery at 322 15th St.
Police have said a third man with gunshot wounds was taken to the hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »
Update, Aug. 16: A fundraiser to help the family of Terrence McCrary Jr. has already raised more than $12,000. Learn more.
A fundraiser has also been launched to help pay for funeral costs for Craig Fletcher-Cooks, and a memorial is being planned. Learn more.
Update, Aug. 15: Both young men killed Sunday outside a downtown Oakland art gallery during a birthday party were Berkeley High alumni. See the update.
Original story, Aug. 14: A 2011 Berkeley High graduate was shot and killed Sunday morning during an altercation at a birthday party, one of two Berkeley High School grads killed this week.
Another man also died in Sunday’s shooting and a third was seriously injured, according to Oakland police.
The names of the victims have not been released, but Berkeleyside has learned that one of those shot was 22-year-old Terrence McCrary Jr., a Berkeley resident and a 2011 Berkeley High graduate. McCrary was known to many as Terrence Mack.
Sunday at approximately 12:53 a.m., Oakland police rushed to the 300 block of 15th Street after a report that shots had been fired. Police saw a large number of people fleeing the area, according to a press release. When they arrived, officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. Officers conducted first aid until paramedics arrived, but both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police found another man with gunshots a few blocks away, according to a statement released by OPD. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »
A 22-year-old UC Berkeley student who had been missing since January has been confirmed by authorities to have died in Marin County.
Two sets of bones found on a beach in April were recently confirmed to have been a DNA match for Shuqin Zhang, who disappeared about a week after New Year’s, authorities said this week. Police described the young woman at that time as “missing and at risk” and were concerned for her mental health based on reports that she had been struggling with depression.
Authorities began to look for Zhang in January after she failed to board a flight home to China, the Berkeley Police Department said at that time. On Jan. 9, authorities found Zhang’s 2012 white Mercedes and some of her possessions on a cliff near the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Despite an extensive search, no other signs of her were found.
Marin County Chief Deputy Coroner Darrell Harris said Wednesday that hikers on the shoreline at Drakes Beach on April 23 came upon some scattered bones they believed might have been human. They took photographs and sent them to park rangers three days later. … Continue reading »
A state agency has fined the city of Berkeley nearly $100,000 after a worker was crushed by his garbage truck in the Berkeley Hills in January, according to a recently concluded report obtained by Berkeleyside on Tuesday.
Johnny Tolliver Sr., 52, was working as part of a two-person team collecting trash when their truck lost its brakes and rolled, pinning Tolliver against a utility pole in January, according to preliminary reports. Although Tolliver was conscious and talking at the scene, at 90 Parnassus Road, he died later that day at Highland Hospital of his injuries. He had worked for the city for more than 25 years.
Scroll down to see the city response.
Tolliver was “fatally crushed” as he tried to stop his truck from rolling down the hill on Parnassus, according to the June report from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA.
The agency, which is charged with investigating workplace safety issues and on-the-job fatalities, found the city responsible for three accident-related penalties categorized as “serious.” Each carries a fine of $22,500. Three other general penalties categorized as “serious” carry fines of more than $8,400 each, and a fourth serious violation has a listed fine of more than $5,000, according to the June 22 report. … Continue reading »
Hundreds of people gathered at Sproul Plaza at noon Tuesday to pay their respects to Tarishi Jain, a UC Berkeley student murdered by Bangladesh terrorists last week, and others killed in the attack.
Under gray and foggy skies, Jain’s friends from her dorm, classes, and campus groups described a young woman who was sweet, generous, altruistic, and intelligent. They urged the crowd to remember the 18-year-old for all her accomplishments and friendships, not for her brutal death.
“She was one of the sweetest and most sincere people I had ever met,” said Jain’s friend Mackenzie Monroe. … Continue reading »
Update July 5: Cal will hold a vigil from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday on Sproul Plaza to remember Tarishi Jain.
Original story, July 2, 8:14 a.m. An 18-year-old UC Berkeley economics student was killed sometime Friday or Saturday by ISIS gunmen who stormed a cafe in Bangladesh and hacked about 20 people to death.
Tarishi Jain of India was among those slain, according to the New York Times. Her death was confirmed by Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs.
Scroll down for a statement from UC Berkeley.
“I am extremely pained to share that the terrorists have killed Tarushi [sic], an Indian girl who was taken hostage in the terror attack in Dhaka,” Swaraj posted on Twitter.
She was a sophomore at UC Berkeley, according to a statement released Saturday morning by the university. (Scroll down to read it.)
Jain had gone to the restaurant, Holey Artisan Bakery, in Dhaka’ s diplomatic quarter to have dinner with friends, one of her relatives told the Indian Express. Around 9:20 p.m. gunmen stormed the restaurant and took about 20 people hostage, most of them foreigners, according to news reports. They held police at bay for 11 hours. Police eventually stormed the restaurant around 7:40 a.m. Saturday and killed six gunmen, according to new reports. Thirteen hostages were rescued. … Continue reading »
Several hundred community members came together at Berkeley High School on Saturday evening to remember 17-year-old Efejon Ustenci, who drowned Wednesday in Placer County less than a week after he graduated from BHS.
The theme of the vigil, said photographer Ted Friedman, who attended the event on behalf of Berkeleyside, “was to ‘live Efe’s legacy.'”
One friend told Friedman that Efejon, known to many as Efe, would be remembered as someone who was nurturing, humorous and fair-minded. Others have described him as a natural leader looked up to by many, a talented athlete, and a kind and loving young man.
A fundraiser to help collect money for burial costs has raised more than $16,000 since it was created Friday evening.
Wrote Chris Young on the memorial page, “In my work with BIHS [Berkeley International High School] I see students names a lot and meet most of them as seniors. After visiting me once, I noted that Efe carried himself with maturity and kindness. At graduation he thanked me, though I hadn’t done much to directly serve him. Efejon Ustenci! His name jumps off my list of graduates. Yes, Efejon Ustenci. That’s that humble young man who stands out as a beautiful example of strong character for his peers and teachers. Surely, he will inspire us into the future.”
Several photographs from the memorial appear below. … Continue reading »