Police in Berkeley are hoping to track down several people they said punched or kicked attendees at a political rally in August, or struck them with improvised weapons. Authorities have released several photographs in recent days they said they hope will help them identify those responsible for what were described as “felonious assaults.”
The assaults took place Sunday, Aug. 27, during fights at Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley. Earlier in the day, thousands of people attended “Rally Against Hate” demonstrations near campus to speak out, with exuberance and creativity, in favor of inclusivity and tolerance. But some who later came to Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park wearing Trump gear or trying to have a different conversation — estimated at 2-3 dozen — were ultimately chased out of the area. Some were attacked.
Police said, in statements Thursday and Monday, that the people shown in the photographs they released were responsible for several attacks in the park. No details about the assaults themselves have been released. A number of photographers have said they were targeted by those who did not want events documented. Victims of scorn included an amateur photographer who described being labeled a “Nazi” when he did not want to stop taking pictures. A local podcast host intervened to stop critics from beating a Donald Trump supporter and video blogger who was chased by a crowd.
Police said they are currently looking for three people: a man in a black motorcycle helmet, a woman in a gray sports bra, and a blond woman with a large stomach tattoo wearing a black hat that says “Dad.”
Police initially released video stills and photographs Thursday, then said Monday that detectives working on the investigation found “additional imagery which apparently shows one of the suspects without her mask.” Police said they hope community members will “examine the pictures and assist us.”
Police said community members provided the initial video footage that allowed them to put out their request for help, seek warrants and identify suspects. Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Berkeley police spokesman, said a good Samaritan shared new photographs with police, of the blond woman, after seeing the initial request for information Thursday.
“That’s how we got the pictures of her minus the mask,” Frankel said Monday. “That’s the kind of support we’re excited to receive from the community.”
Police said these “engaged community partnerships” help them “facilitate the free expression of the First Amendment in an environment safe for all.”
Authorities say they “remain focused on taking enforcement action when practical and appropriate, before, during and after events,” and are “pursuing all investigative leads in an effort to secure justices for our victims.”
Police ask anyone with information about the identities of the individuals in the photographs to call the Berkeley Police Homicide Detail at 510-981-4794. BPD says anyone who sees themselves in the photographs can also call police directly.
A Berkeleyside contributing videographer was on the scene Aug. 27 and documented some of the violence, including the woman in the gray sports bra pushing a man in red shorts, and the woman in the “Dad” hat apparently striking him with what may be monopod. The video appears below.
The man in red shorts has been identified online as photographer David Minsky, “who freelances for Reuters, Vice, the Miami New Times and the Santa Barbara News-Press,” according to the website U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. (Minsky told Berkeleyside after publication that he is primarily a print journalist.)
Berkeleyside contributing photographer Kelly Sullivan was on scene Aug. 27, as well, and also documented the attack on the man in red shorts. Her photographs appear below.
Police also shared a photograph Monday they said depicts the woman in the gray sports bra during one of the fights.