Police report 2 arrests, 1 fire, property damage during Michael Brown protest in Berkeley

Berkeleyside has received reports of a protest moving through the streets of Berkeley, around the UC Berkeley campus and downtown, related to the death of Michael Brown.

Protestors chanting about police brutality and the death of Michael Brown marched through Berkeley for several hours Friday night. Photo: A citizen reporter
Protesters chanting about police brutality and the death of Michael Brown marched through Berkeley for several hours Friday night. Photo: A citizen reporter

Berkeleyside has received reports of a protest moving through the streets of Berkeley, around the UC Berkeley campus and downtown, related to the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot by police in Missouri last Saturday.

Berkeleyside will seek information from the Berkeley Police Department and update this story when it becomes available. (Scroll down for live updates.)

Watch recorded footage from the protests through Aug. 16 at 12:30 a.m., below, via a participant of the demonstration who identifies himself on Ustream as Treboros, “a citizen journalist in SF East Bay.”

As of 10:48 p.m., the crowd was moving northbound on the UC Berkeley campus toward Sather Gate.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Update, 10:56 p.m. According to the police scanner, much of the crowd — estimated at about 50 — had moved to Center and Oxford streets in downtown Berkeley.

The group was chanting and engaging with the police line that was attempting to control it, saying “hands up, don’t shoot” repeatedly in unison.

Michael Brown protest. Photo: Laurie Kahn
Michael Brown protest. Photo: Laurie Kahn

Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner said she found herself in the middle of the protest when it was in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood earlier Friday on Telegraph Avenue near 51st Street.

She described a “bunch of people marching in the middle of the street on Telegraph up towards UC Berkeley. Only 75 max at that point walking and on bikes. Over 50 police and highway patrol. Riot patrol was directly behind the protesters, made up completely of highway patrol with police cars behind them.”


Update, 11:08 p.m. Officers on the scanner said the incident began at 8:49 p.m., and that the crowd includes 40-50 people at the current time, and is moving.

Update 11:10 p.m. Officers, via the scanner, report the crowd is blocking traffic across two lanes of Shattuck, and that Oakland Police officers are also in the area of Shattuck and Center in downtown Berkeley to provide back-up.

Update, 11:16 p.m. The crowd is shouting “Justice for Michael Brown” and blocking traffic northbound on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley. Police say the group has all traffic blocked at the intersection.

Update, 11:21 p.m. The crowd, walking against oncoming traffic, has announced it will return to Telegraph Avenue.

Protestors chanting about police brutality and the death of Michael Brown marched through Berkeley for several hours Friday night. Photo: A citizen reporter
Protesters chanting about police brutality and the death of Michael Brown marched through Berkeley for several hours Friday night. Photo: A citizen reporter

Update, 11:24 p.m. Local resident Ethan Stan shared his observations from Friday night’s protest.


He said, via email, shortly before 10:45 p.m., “My roommates and I walked up the street and saw a bunch of cop cars. When we arrived, approximately 20-30 cops a couple layers thick were blocking Telegraph Ave. at Parker. At least 9 cop cars were at the intersection with more up the street. There was a group of people on bikes in front of them, along with a few more on foot. At the intersection on the ‘protestor side’ were some bystanders and more cops.

“I asked a man on a bike and in a Guy Fawkes mask what was going on. He told me this was a protest that had started in Oakland by bike and on foot. They went 70 blocks with most people on foot tapering off along the way. The cyclists (about 30) were all that were left. The protest was, unsurprisingly, in solidarity with the recent events in Ferguson.”

Protest in Southside Berkeley related to the Michael Brown shooting. Photo: Ama-day-wrecker
A protest in Southside Berkeley related to the Michael Brown shooting. Photo: Ama-day-wrecker

Update, 11:32 p.m. The crowd has returned to Telegraph Avenue, outside Amoeba Music, and is shouting “no justice, no peace, f— the police.”

The group was described over the police scanner as “riled up” and chanting. An officer has estimated that the crowd was growing and includes 80-100 people.

Update, 11:39 p.m. The crowd is shouting “push them back” at police attempting to block its path on Bancroft Way.

Officers are requesting emergency cover at Telegraph and Bancroft.

Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman

Update, 11:44 p.m. The crowd continues to shout at police.


Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel said, via the scanner, he plans to have officers contain the group and issue a dispersal order.

Participants, via the Ustream livestream say, “They’re not letting us go anywhere.”

Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman

Update, 11:47 p.m. Police released the following statement at 11:44 p.m.:

This evening at approximately 8:49 p.m.the Berkeley Police Department was notified by the Oakland Police Department that a large group involved in a violent demonstration were heading into the City of Berkeley.

Shortly after entering Berkeley, demonstrators damaged property near the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Oregon Street.

Berkeley Police Officers have been dispatched to monitor the demonstration. We have called in extra officers to assist during the course of the demonstration and are working closely with the California Highway Patrol and the Oakland Police Department.

We have had several reports of property damage and one arrest have [sic] been made associated with the demonstration.

We continue to monitor the situation and will provide and [sic] update when we are able.

Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman

Update, 11:52 p.m. With the crowd surrounded, some people have begun arguing with police, insisting they were not part of the protest and should be allowed to go home.

Update, 11:55 p.m. Berkeley Police sent the following notice via email: “The Berkeley Police Department is currently involved in a police activity along the Telegraph Avenue corridor. Please avoid this area until further notice.”

Police have just issued a dispersal order, telling protesters they could be arrested if they don’t leave the area within two minutes.

Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
Michael Brown protest on Aug. 15, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman

Update, Aug. 16, 12:12 a.m. Many members of the crowd who remain appear, via the livestream, to be hanging out on sidewalks around Telegraph Avenue, rather than chanting or marching.

Update, Aug. 16, 12:18 a.m. Police say on the scanner that the crowds appear to have largely dispersed; they will continue to monitor the situation.

Update, Aug. 16, 2:21 a.m. Police arrested two people during Friday night’s demonstration, according to a statement released by authorities.

Arrested were 24-year-old Taylor Tengwall of Berkeley on suspicion of resisting or obstructing a police officer, and 19-year-old Lael Montgomery of Vallejo on suspicion of attempting to take a weapon other than a firearm from a police officer and resisting or obstructing a police officer, according to a notice sent out by email by Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

Both were booked into the Berkeley City Jail.

Police also described some of the damage that took place during the three-hour demonstration. Coats said the contents of a trashcan were set on fire near Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street, “which was quickly extinguished by BPD officers.”

Police said on the scanner that large windows in a bank building in the 2800 block of Telegraph also were broken during the march.

Coats said no injuries were reported in connection with the demonstration.

Berkeleyside updated this story as more information became available. See a timeline created by USA Today regarding the Michael Brown shooting. 

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.