The Berkeley Police and the Police Review Commission’s (PRC) recent report on the police response to the Dec. 6, 2014 Black Lives Matter protests reflected a remarkable amount of agreement, and came up with commendable recommendations. But it had omissions which should not go unremarked, among which is the refusal to prohibit the use of CS gas on protesters.
Attorneys representing 14 people who say they were struck and jabbed by police batons, clubbed, beaten, teargassed, slammed to the ground, fired on with “less lethal” projectiles or arrested during December protests in Berkeley related to the “Black Lives Matter” movement are considering filing a civil claim with the city on their clients’ behalf.
Six months after protesters took to the streets to demand more just policing practices, the Berkeley Police Department will tonight present its report on how it handled the protests, and what it might do better in the future.
After launching an internal investigation earlier this year into the circumstances surrounding anti-police protests that tore through Berkeley in December, to examine how the department responded, the Berkeley Police Department has released its report on what took place and what might be improved in the future.
The Berkeley Police Department has released two operational plans about protests in the city Dec. 6-7, but most of the wording was blacked out and redacted, so minimal information was revealed.
At tonight’s Berkeley City Council meeting, city officials have pledged to address several items related to protests in Berkeley in December, and have said those items will be heard early enough in the agenda to ensure accessibility for all who wish to weigh in. Leading up to the meeting, UC Berkeley students have organized a march and rally set for 5:30 p.m. at Oxford and Center streets downtown. Participants will march to Old City Hall and plan to testify before council.
They were just two minutes away, but it took paramedics 27 minutes during the Berkeley protests in December to reach a patient who later died, according to documents obtained by Berkeleyside under a Public Records Act request.
Tonight’s Berkeley City Council meeting turns again to several items related to local policing, with three items on the agenda (continued from last week) from Councilman Jesse Arreguín regarding local protests in December, and an item from council members Darryl Moore, Arreguín and Linda Maio about body-worn and vehicle dashboard cameras for police, which could be in place in six months if the proposal is approved by council.
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