UPDATE, 7.07 p.m.: W. Kamau Bell says he is committed to attending the open meeting on race, and happy that BUSD stepped up to organize it. “I will be there. And my wife and kids will be there. This is about our families,” he said. Bell, who was out of town working when he spoke to Berkeleyside, said that as “a black comedian who talks about race,” his schedule is very busy this month, but that he is determined to be present at the forum. He added: “We never called for anyone to be fired.” He said he was aware of many of the new details reported by Berkeleyside today, and had talked to Elmwood Café owner Michael Pearce today to stress that he would be at the forum.
The cafe's owner says he was appalled to hear the comedian was asked to leave the café as he was chatting to his wife and a group of friends.
By Mara Van Ells
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.
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.
By Mara Van Ells
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.
More than two dozen African-American students, many from UC Berkeley, tried to disrupt “business as usual” on Saturday by staging a protest in Berkeley’s upscale Fourth Street shopping district.
Demonstrators recently have taken to the streets of Berkeley to assert that #BlackLivesMatter. I have good news. Black and all other lives already matter to the people of Berkeley including the BPD. Here’s how I know.
On Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Berkeley Unified School District held a Black Lives Matter forum for the district’s middle- and high-school students, as well as their families.
Witnessing the protests and police response as an outsider living in Berkeley, I’d like to offer a positive solution: when police respond to protests, they should have three times as many negotiators as soldiers.
After being arrested for helping to block traffic on I-80 and attending several other peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protests around the East Bay, I have seen first-hand how the loving message of tens of thousands of peaceful protestors across the country has been partially overshadowed by the hateful message of a tiny number of violent aggressors.
A man who collapsed while waiting for Berkeley paramedics to arrive later died at the hospital, city employees have told Berkeleyside, after large protests that wracked the city earlier this month delayed first responders.
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