Tag Archives: Berkeley Police

Police

Thinking about jaywalking in Berkeley? Think again

Police ticked pedestrians last fall during a pedestrian operation similar to the one planned in Berkeley on Saturday. Photo: Eric Panzer
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Berkeley Police traffic officers will be out for a special enforcement effort Saturday to educate — and potentially ticket — pedestrians who violate traffic laws.

The Berkeley Police Department will be in the downtown area Saturday, Jan. 24, on the lookout for pedestrians who flout signal lights and fail to use crosswalks, along with other safety issues.

A similar operation in Berkeley in September prompted waves of comment on the Berkeleyside Facebook page and on a subsequent story on Berkeleyside itself.

Police said this week that, according to 2013 data, most of the city’s injury collisions with pedestrians involved pedestrians downtown. That year, 24% of all collisions with injuries involved pedestrians, according to a statement released Thursday by the department. … Continue reading »

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Update: Cyclist hurt, 5 elevator rescues in Berkeley power outage caused by PG&E equipment failure

Traffic stopped in all directions before proceeding at the intersection of University Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way because of a power outage in the area affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley. Photo: David Yee
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Update, 3:30 p.m. PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said Friday afternoon that the company has identified the cause of Tuesday’s power outage as an equipment failure during testing at an East Bay substation.

Sarkissian said she learned Friday that the outage actually originated at a substation in El Cerrito, not in Berkeley as had previously been reported by PG&E. She was not able to provide the exact location of the station.

Sarkissian said the testing had been planned, but that additional details about the nature of the equipment failure are still under investigation. She stressed that PG&E is focused on ensuring that its system is safe and reliable, and said she will release additional information when it is available.

Original story, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday’s widespread power outage in Berkeley and nearby cities kept first responders busy with one accident that sent a cyclist to the hospital, five elevator rescues and a handful of other calls, authorities said. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Jan. 8-14

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Jan. 8-14, there were reports of six robberies24 burglaries10 assaults or batteries, four weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 16 stolen vehiclessix disturbances and 37 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included a burglary and two calls involving a weapon. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch.

Thursday, Jan. 8

There was a home burglary at 4 a.m. in the 3000 block of Benvenue Avenue.

There were three vehicles stolen: at 8:45 a.m. in the 1800 block of Derby Street; at 7:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Carrison Street; and at 9 p.m. in the 2100 block of Ward Street.

There was a commercial burglary at 3:04 p.m. in the 1800 block of Fourth Street. … Continue reading »

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Two boar heads found in separate locations in Berkeley

A boar's head was discovered around 11 a.m. Monday in the intersection of Adeline and Emerson. Photo: Anna Abramson
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Berkeley residents reported finding two boars’ heads and skin pelts in two separate locations Monday morning.

The boar-skin pelts were found in front of Black & White liquor store on Adeline and Emerson, and in front of Herbivore restaurant on Shattuck and Haste. Police officers arrived at the former location — which is also very close to vegetarian restaurant Flaco’s Tacos at 3031 Adeline — and removed the pelt after receiving a call at 11:06 a.m., according to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

The head recovered by police was taken to Berkeley Animal Care Services on Bolivar Drive in West Berkeley.

Police also received a call about the second sighting of a boar’s pelt at 9:29 a.m., but a downtown Berkeley ambassador removed the pelt from the site before an officer arrived.

The boar heads made rounds on Twitter after Berkeley resident Anna Abramson uploaded her discovery on Adeline Street. Abramson saw it around 11 a.m. as she and her girlfriend were walking to Berkeley Bowl.

“I completely didn’t know what to think,” Abramson said. “We were just kind of standing there.”  … Continue reading »

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Citizen panel on police to launch Berkeley protests probe

Police Review Commission, Jan. 14, 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Last week, Berkeley’s Police Review Commission voted unanimously to launch an investigation into the police response to protests over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown that halted business as usual in Berkeley in December.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told the citizen oversight panel during its Jan. 14 meeting that his department is working diligently on its own review of the protests, which is set to be complete within the next few months. Meehan said an officer, a sergeant and a lieutenant are working on the report “nonstop,” full time — as of earlier this month — under the direction of Berkeley Police Capt. Cynthia Harris.

“This is not going to be something that will sit around for six months and then nobody will ever see it,” Meehan told the PRC. “When it is complete, it will be made public 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.”

Read complete Berkeley protests coverage on Berkeleyside.

Instead of waiting for that report’s findings, the commission voted to begin its own probe into why police used tear gas and other force on protesters Dec. 6, along with several other issues that have been raised as concerns by some community members over the past month. Commission Vice Chair George Perezvelez said the community might think the PRC was shirking its duties if it failed to take prompt action.

“Our own investigation is independent from theirs,” he told his fellow commissioners. “As good as all that information will do us, it just doesn’t sound like our process.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley town hall examines race, police relations

About 200 people attended a special Berkeley City Council meeting on Jan. 17, 2015 to talk about police and community issues. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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More than five weeks after Berkeley police used tear gas, smoke bombs, and over the shoulder baton strikes to control a crowd protesting the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the City Council held a meeting Saturday to examine community relations with police.

More than 200 people gathered in the atrium of the Ed Roberts campus for a five-hour town hall meeting, some holding up signs with “Black Lives Matter,” and “Stop racial profiling! BPD come clean.” While some of the public testimony concerned police actions Dec. 6, the first night of a weeklong series of demonstrations in Berkeley, much of the talk touched on the broader societal ills that have affected African-Americans.

From a panel of experts that included professors from UC Berkeley to Sheila Quintana, the principal of Berkeley Technical Academy, to a host of politicians including Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, to long-time residents of Berkeley, those in attendance focused on issues of race, jobs, affordable housing, and equitable education as pressing issues that must be addressed immediately.

“Police brutality and the killing of black bodies is horrific, however it is only a part of the problem that affects the relationship between the police and the black community,” Barbara White, a member of the Berkeley chapter of the NAACP testified in front of the council. “Structural and institutionalized racism and white privilege is at the root of the dehumanization of black people.” … 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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Police

Cyclist seriously injured in Berkeley hit-and-run

Paramedics placed a man onto a gurney at the scene of a hit-and-run accident at University and McGee avenues, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The victim was riding a bicycle. Photo: David Yee
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A cyclist remains in the hospital with serious injuries after he was struck by a driver who left the scene in Berkeley on Tuesday night.

Police have released minimal details about the incident.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said the accident took place just before 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, on University Avenue at McGee Avenue.

Coats said by email that dispatchers received calls about an injury collision involving a vehicle and cyclist, as well as reports that the driver had fled the scene.

The bicyclist suffered serious injuries and was still in the hospital as of about 7 p.m. Wednesday. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Jan. 1-7

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Jan. 1-7, there were reports of 13 robberies20 burglaries11 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also six stolen vehicleseight disturbances and 23 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one call involving a weapon. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch.

Thursday, Jan. 1

There were four robberies: at 1:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of University Avenue; at 4 a.m. in the 1800 block of University; at 6:46 p.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street; and at 8:45 p.m. in the 1200 block of Haskell Street.

There was an arson at 6:55 a.m. in the 100 block of Berkeley Square.

A home was burglarized at 6:10 p.m. in the 2300 block of Acton Street. … Continue reading »

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The lowdown: Council on Berkeley protests and police relations, zoning board appeals

Protesters against police brutality march down Center Street, toward the police station in Berkeley, on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Tuesday was the fourth night in a row that demonstrators took to the streets in Berkeley to protest the recent decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City to not indict white police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men. Photo: David Yee
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The Berkeley City Council will meet twice this week, once Tuesday for a special meeting on several zoning board appeals, and also Saturday for a special meeting to discuss community relations with police after protests that wracked the city in December. There are a number of additional community events and council decisions coming later this month related to the protests. Scroll down for details.

Berkeley meeting: Jan. 13

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. and has just three action items, as well as a consent calendar item related to council seating arrangements. The action items relate to zoning board appeals about 2401 Warring St., and companion projects at 2201-2205 Blake St. and 2204 Dwight Way. Staff recommends the issuance of a use permit in the first case, and denials of permits in the other cases. (All three decisions would uphold prior zoning board votes.) Most of the letters submitted to council (online here and here) relate to the companion projects — which their critics describe as a mini-dorm — and are in opposition. A representative for project owner Nathan George has asked council to overturn the zoning board decisions, describes the companion projects as sensitive to the neighborhood, and disputes their characterization as problem properties (page 3).

The meeting is set to adjourn in memory of philanthropist Alba Witkin, who died in December, and former Cheese Board member Frieda Dilloo, who died in November. A memorial for Dilloo is scheduled for Jan. 18 at The Crowden School.

Berkeley protests meeting: Jan. 17

Berkeley continues to deal with the aftermath of protests in December related to the non-indictments of police officers involved with the fatalities of men in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York. The city’s Peace & Justice Commission met Monday for an open forum about race issues and policing. This Saturday, council will meet to discuss next steps. Monday, Covenant Worship Center is holding a “Black Lives Matter” discussion. And, on Jan. 20, Councilman Jesse Arreguín has placed three items related to Ferguson and local police conduct on council’s agenda. That same night, Councilman Darryl Moore has an item on the agenda asking the city manager to look deeper at whether Berkeley police should be required to use vehicle dashboard and body cameras. … Continue reading »

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Man sentenced to 15 years in Berkeley double stabbing, arson that killed puppy

Berkeley police and fire responded to a stabbing followed by a fire on Harmon Street on Jan. 29, 2013. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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A 52-year-old Berkeley man arrested in 2013 after police said he stabbed two people and set a South Berkeley house on fire, killing a puppy, was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

Victor Lamb entered a no contest plea in October in connection with attempted murder, great bodily injury and using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a felony after the Jan. 29, 2013, stabbing of two people, and subsequent arson, which killed a Chihuahua puppy named Midnight. Two police officers had to drag Lamb onto a ladder out of the second story of a burning home in the 1400 block of Harmon Street after he barricaded himself inside, told officers he had doused himself in lighter fluid, and said he wanted to die, according to court papers.

Initially, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Lamb with a much longer list of violations — including two counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, arson of an inhabited dwelling, animal cruelty, robbery and elder abuse, because one of his victims was more than 70 years old. The prosecution dropped many of those charges after Lamb’s no contest plea, negating the need for trial.

According to a transcript from Lamb’s preliminary hearing, in late September 2013, two witnesses testified about being stabbed by Lamb, who had a long history of mental health issues and sometimes took medication as a result. They said he had no recent history of serious violence, but would often become moody, verbally abusive and threatening, and display bizarre behavior. … Continue reading »

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Police

Berkeley Police Q&A: Tear gas use, protest costs, more

Photo, taken on Dec. 6, 2014, by Pete Rosos
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On Dec. 6, the first night in a wave of demonstrations in Berkeley related to the police-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Berkeley Police officers used tear gas to disperse crowds on Telegraph Avenue. Many individuals involved with that first night’s protest said the use of force, which also involved baton strikes and less-lethal projectiles, was unwarranted. Police said officers only took those steps after making dozens or even hundreds of dispersal orders, and being attacked themselves with a range of projectiles thrown by members of the crowd earlier in the night.

Read complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent anti-police demonstrations

The Berkeley Police Department said costs to the city have not yet been tallied for its response to the protests — in which crowds ranged from 100 to 1,500 or more people during the first few nights. But the department anticipates costs in excess of several hundred thousand dollars, said Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan. The department does not yet have an estimate for damages to businesses.

Berkeleyside posed a list of questions to Meehan on Dec. 7, and received responses Dec. 18. The questions, some of which have been edited for clarity, follow, along with Meehan’s answers and several videos posted online by members of the crowd. … Continue reading »

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Arrested anti-police protesters may wait up to a year to find out if they will be charged

Protesters have taken over freeways and local streets during recent demonstrations in Berkeley. Interstate 80 is shown here on Dec. 8. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Hundreds of protesters who took part in anti-police and Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the East Bay in December will need to wait, possibly up to a year, to find out if they have been charged after they were arrested during the protests, some of which turned violent.

A group of protesters and their supporters gathered at Oakland’s Wiley Manuel Courthouse on Tuesday morning expecting to hear whether the Alameda County district attorney’s office would take action.

Catch up on Berkeleyside’s coverage of the Berkeley protests.

But no charges have been filed, said Dennis Cunningham of the National Lawyers Guild, who was there to help the protesters. The group — a mix of students and community members — learned that, for many of the arrests, police reports have not been filed, leaving the possibility of charges an open question. … Continue reading »

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