FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2013CONTACT:
Andrea Prichett (Berkeley Copwatch)Phone: (510) 229-0527 email: email@example.comGeorge Lippman (Coalition For a Safe Berkeley)Phone: (510) 517-8379 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BERKELEY COALITION DEMANDS ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODYWho: Coalition For a Safe Berkeley, Berkeley Copwatch,Amnesty International UCB ChapterWhat: Press ConferenceWhere: 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, BerkeleyWhen: Thursday 10:00am February 28 2013As details of the tragic death of 41 year old Berkeley resident Xavier Christopher Moore in police custody begin to emerge, residents are asking why this person died and why police are slow to release information in this case.According to Berkeley Police, officers were dispatched for a mental health evaluation at about 11:50 pm on February 12, 2013, although neighbors on the same floor heard no disturbance until the police arrived.After officers appeared at Moore’s residence the situation escalated, and shortly thereafter Moore died in police custody. Neighbors observed officers carrying Moore on a gurney, unconscious and in restraints, out of the building. In a city that is known internationally for disability awareness, social consciousness and protection of civil liberties, it is unacceptable that a mental health evaluation should end in death.We are calling on advocates and individuals in the mental health community, civil and human rights, anti-racism and LGBTQ rights communities to demand answers from the City of Berkeley as to what happened that night. If misconduct has occurred, officers must be disciplined. If it was a failure of policy and administration, the public must be allowed to analyze the case and to assist in addressing this breakdown in city services. In any case, we demand that the Berkeley Police Department comply with Public Records Act requests and that they make information about that night’s events available to the public as quickly as possible.
Entries Tagged 'Berkeley Police Review Commission' ↓
Berkeley Police Department is currently seeking funding and training from UASI (Urban Areas Security Initiative- a Homeland Security program that trains local police departments in urban warfare.) Berkeley Police are now trying to buy a giant armored vehicle that will be used to suppress protests and terrorize demonstrators. According to their grant application, they intend to share this tank-like vehicle with UC Berkeley Police and Albany Police. Berkeley Police have already come under criticism for their conduct at UCB and Oakland Occupy protests. Without increased accountability, BPD risks becoming a department that is not only out of control, but very heavily armed.
The Berkeley Police Review Commission has been effectively rendered incapable of holding BPD officers accountable for their actions. Until the City Council and the people of Berkeley rewrite the ordinance establishing civilian oversight of the police, it is truly dangerous to give them even more war material with which to suppress dissent.
The Berkeley Municipal Code requires that Police Department (PD) Agreements be reduced to writing and presented to the City Council for approval. The council has a real choice in the matter!
The Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) program encourages police “spying’ on persons involved in non-criminal behaviors: taking a photo of a building, buying fertilizer, wearing a headscarf or turban, and then sending a Suspicious Activity Report to NCRIC.
1) We demand that the City Council reject pacts with NCRIC*, the Spying program, and UASI. These programs are set to expire June 30, 2012.
2) We also demand that the Berkeley PD not respond to mutual aid requests for purely First Amendment activities and not respond to, or request aid from jurisdictions that use brutal tactics and/or so-called non-lethal weapons. And of course, no armored vehicles.
FOR INFO CONTACT BERKELEY COPWATCH 510-548-0425 or email@example.com
“The complaint was brought to the commission by Berkeley Copwatch member Andrea Prichett, who said at the meeting that she was concerned with the department’s possible use of pepper spray and less lethal munitions at the March 3 protest. Prichett also requested in her complaint that the commission review the mutual aid agreement between the Berkeley police and UCPD.”
See the full article from Thursday, April 14th by Sarah Burns for The Daily Californian at:
News on last Wednesday’s Police Review Commission meeting, where Berkeley Copwatch members, including Andrea and Russ, spoke to issues of concern.
From Ali Winston at The Informant
Ali Winston for The Informant
March 23, 2011
“Yesterday’s clash at Pacific steel is the most recent of several crowd control incidents over the past year where Berkeley Police officers have used nonlethal force on protesters. Most of these incidents have stemmed from demonstrations or occupations at UC-Berkeley, where students have been fighting against budget cuts and redundancies. BPD have been repeatedly sent to campus on mutual aid to help University of California Police contain protests.”
The student protests of March 3rd 2011 in support of education were inspiring
and absolutely necessary. However, as UCB alum and long time residents of
Berkeley,we are troubled by the massive and disproportionate police
mobilization that we saw in front of Wheeler Hall that evening. We want this
action to be reviewed for a number of reasons.
While it is true that eight students had stepped onto a balcony and chained
their arms together, it is also true that they posed NO RISK to anyone. In
fact, there was no disruption to campus life, other than that caused by the
police. We were shocked to see officers from so many different police forces
gathered as if some disaster had happened. Sadly, many of our Berkeley Police
officers were lined up on the steps of Wheeler Hall, contributing to the
fiction that some great threat to the campus was being addressed by these armed
We object to having our scarce city resources squandered on exaggerated
responses to minor campus displays of protest and dissent. We want to see an
evaluation of our city’s mutual aid pact with the UC and whether we should
have to spend city money on unnecessary police aid. Perhaps this exaggerated
response is part of the current trend of officers assigning themselves and
other officers to duties whose main purpose is to net officers additional
We are also concerned by the following:
• BPD officers are PROHIBITED from using pepper spray in crowd situations.
Who sprayed six UC students with this dangerous chemical?
• Why were BPD officers carrying munitions when they were less than two feet
from peaceful protesters?
• Why were BPD officers intentionally provoking the crowd by moving forward
with their clubs into the crowd that was listening to speeches? Were they
trying to start an altercation of some sort?
Ask the important questions! Don’t let UCB use city cops to fight their
battles for them. If UCB wants to parade their police force, don’t make the
city pay. Save the money for education- not police overtime!
Speakout at the Police Review Commission
Wed. March 23rd 7pm
South Berkeley Senior Center
2939 Ellis Street (Near Ashby and below MLK)
From Oaks4Peace at Indybay:
“Two weeks prior to retiring on Sept 24th, Chief Douglas Hambleton unilaterally rescinded Berkeley Police General Order “A-1″, which tells police officers to use the “least intrusive action… when possible.” General Order A-1 is the difference between being harassed, cuffed, and taken to the station for jay-walking, or simply being ticketed for jay-walking. It’s the difference between a night or two in Berkeley jail for an open container, or being ticketed for an open container. The recension was done without the knowledge or consent of Berkeley City Council, or the Berkeley Police Commission.”
One is left to wonder the usefulness of an oversight body that could be deceived and generally ignored in this decision. What is the Berkeley Police Commission supposed to be doing if not monitoring issues like these? Further, what is the meaning of the rescinding of this General Order? How is the public supposed to interpret this if not as an indication that police should be invading their lives? A nod and wink from the chief, and…