The Alameda County district attorney’s office has dismissed the case against two men who pleaded guilty to battery charges last week. The decision came after authorities reviewed a video that showed an interaction, between the men and two Downtown Berkeley Association workers, that began as a verbal altercation and took a violent turn.
One day after a video that showed a Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulting a homeless man went viral, a group of activists held an action to denounce what they consider an ongoing pattern of harassment against those living on the streets.
Update, April 1: The Alameda County district attorney’s office has revisited the case, dropped the charges against both men, and had a judge declare them factually innocent. See the update.
A Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulted a homeless man Thursday evening behind CVS in what appears to be a violent incident that was captured on video. That homeless man and an associate were arrested by the Berkeley Police Department before the video came to light. After reviewing the video this week, police asked the district attorney’s office to take another look at the case.
The deployment of neon-clad “ambassadors” to paint over graffiti, power-wash streets, and sweep sidewalks along Telegraph Avenue is the latest in a series of attempts to revitalize a business district which has seen better days.
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Carmen Francois was on a mission.
In response to complaints from merchants and shoppers about the increase in the number of people loitering on the sidewalks, the Berkeley Police Department and UC Police have started a new patrol around Telegraph Avenue.
On Tuesday, downtown Berkeley was born anew. Billed as a fresh start, the heart of the city was relaunched to a capacity crowd in the ballroom of the Hotel Shattuck Plaza on Allston Way.