Entries Tagged 'Racism' ↓
May 14th, 2013 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Excessive Force, Police State, Police Violence and Killings, Racism, Rights
Cops or Counselors? The Crisis in Berkeley’s Mental Health System
Join us for a public examination of Berkeley’s Emergency Mental Health Services and whether Police should even be involved as responders.
Tasers, spit hoods, pepper spray, hog-tie and “the Wrap”: Is this what Berkeley means by the term “Mental Health Services”? Numerous incidents in Berkeleyshow that the “compassionate care” we thought was being given by mental health care professionals has deteriorated into the systematic use of brute force against those in crisis.
SPEAKERS* VIDEOS CLIPS* WORKSHOP
Updates on the People’s Investigation into the in-custody death of Kayla Moore at the hands of the Berkeley Police Department
Free and Open to the Public
May 30th 7pm
East Bay Media Center
1939 Addison Street(Btw MLK and Milvia)
sponsored by Berkeley Copwatch (berkeleycopwatch @yahoo.com)
Check us out on Facebook: Justice4kaylamoore
April 23rd, 2013 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Events, Mental Illness, Police State, Public Records Act, Racism, Rights
We demand that BPD allow the release of the Coroner’s report and the police report of what happened to Kayla (Xavier) Moore on the night of February 12-13.
Berkeley City Council
Tuesday, April 30th
2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Rally at 6:00pm and speak out at 7:00pm
- BPD has asked the Coroner to delay release of the autopsy for up to 8 months.
- BPD has not released any information about their investigation but the officers involved have all been returned to their job.
- The District Attorney is not even investigating this incident for possible criminal conduct because, “ It wasn’t an officer involved shooting”.
We Hold the Mayor, The City Manager and the City Council responsible for what happened. The city leadership has allowed police to function without accountability and mental health services to be provided by aggressive cops.
For more information contact Berkeley Copwatch at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 14th, 2013 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Events, Excessive Force, In Memoriam, Mental Illness, Police Violence and Killings, Racism, Rights
Berkeley Police may have taken her body, but her spirit lives on!
Celebrate the Life of
Kayla (Xavier) Moore
4-17-71 to 2-13-13
On what would have been Kayla Moore’s 42nd birthday, we invite all justice (and fun) loving people to join us for a remembrance and get-to-know you event in celebration of her life. You see, we are also forging a movement to demand justice for Kayla Moore. Since the night of February 12, 2013 when police claimed to be responding to a call about a “disturbance” on the 5th Floor of the Gaia Building in downtown Berkeley, the BPD has provided almost no information about what happened that night. What we know is that the officers involved have all been returned to work. However, BPD Chief Meehan maintains that he can’t release info until the investigation is over. According to the Coroner’s office, the BPD has asked that a “hold” be placed on the release of the autopsy report. They say it could take 6-8 months to release. What kind of cover up is BPD trying to pull?
Wednesday April 17th 2013 5:00pm
Meet at 2116 Allston Way (near Shattuck Ave.)
We will deliver a PRA to the Berkeley Police at
2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Wy
Endorsed by Coalition for a Safe Berkeley. For info check Berkeley Copwatch at
(510) 548-0425 or email@example.com
April 1st, 2013 — Berkeley PD, Excessive Force, Mental Illness, Racism, Recording police, Rights
As we consider the recent incidents involving BPD and Kayla (Xavier) Moore and Jeremy Carter, Berkeley Copwatch has gone back to our witness archives, and pulled this from January 14th, 2010:
“On Thursday January 14th at approximately 7:10pm, I was walking with my friend on Telegraph Ave. When we got near the intersection of Telegraph and Dwight Way, we saw several police cars with flashing lights. There were about five BPD vehicles, one UCPD car, two plain clothed individuals who I recognized as members of the Mobile Crisis Unit. Members of the public were present and watching from the sidewalk. They were much closer to the officers than I was.
I was on the sidewalk while I tried to notice who was involved and what was happening. I saw a black man in the street with 5-6 cops working to restrain him. His legs were in a “wrap” (the apparatus used to bind the legs of a suspect together . He was handcuffed and his upper body was tied so that he could only be in an upright, sitting position. There was also a white “spit” hood covering his entire face.
As I spoke with witnesses I was told the following:
- The man’s hand was broken and that is one reason why he was complaining so loudly.
- Both (homeless men) confirmed that the detainee had actually been assaulted by two men. He had managed to punch one of them and them he punched something else and his hand was injured.
- Police arrived and handcuffed the man. According to the witnesses, the man did not start yelling until the police told him that he was going to jail.
I asked the men if the police had interviewed them and they said “no”, none of the cops had asked for witnesses. They said that the police had asked two (white) men in a jeep what they had seen, but they had not been asked for information.
The Mobile Crisis Unit people had left the scene and at 7:26pm, the BFD Paramedic van arrived. I assume the man refused medical treatment because none was given. The man, instead of being strapped into the ambulance was tossed, hog-tied and hooded, into the back of a BPD van and driven somewhere. I saw his legs high in the air and over his head. Citizens were kept so far from the scene that it was not possible to identify many of the officers involved. No officers on scene would tell me who the arresting officer was.”
Compare this photo to this footage of Jeremy Carter, recorded on March 13, 2013:
And see the video here:
March 18th, 2013 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Excessive Force, News From the Streets, Racism, Recording police, Rights
On March 13th, 2013 Jeremy Carter was brutally arrested by members of the Berkley Police Department. He has disappeared.
Like the killing of Kayla Moore, Berkeley Police refuse to provide any details.
At approximately 11:20 on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, I witnessed the Berkeley police act in an inexplicably violent and brutal manner toward citizen Jeremy Carter. They acted without provocation.
My co-worker and I were on a coffee break from our jobs in the Human Resources Department of Berkeley Unified School District. We parked on Kitteredge near Shattuck. As we pulled into the parking spot, I saw two officers standing on either side of what appeared to be an African-American youth in front of the Berkeley Public Library, directly across the street from where we had parked. An officer was holding the man’s arm behind his back in what appeared to be an awkward, unnatural angle. Concerned that he was a Berkeley High School student, we exited the car to approach. When we were approximately half way across the street, approximately four additional officers arrived and the young man was thrown and was being held down on the cement. My co-worker returned to get her phone from the car as I proceeded across the street.
I witnessed the young man passively submit to several officers placing a mesh hood taut on his face and proceed to place him in a restraining jacket and then hog-tie him. There was blood smeared across the tight mesh hood at his mouth. I never lost sight of the young man from the time he was standing passively with his arm held behind his back to the time he was on the ground, hooded, bound and bloodied. The young man never showed any resistance, neither physically nor verbally. In fact, as he lay passively, he apologized and told the officers he was scared several times. By this time, several people gathered to watch this horrifying scene, several of whom questioned the police action as the young man was clearly passive, scared and injured. The police reacted aggresively toward the onlookers . At one point, Officer Badge #18 crossed into the street where my co-worker Tracie De Angelis was filming on her cell phone, and violently and aggressively pushed her backward! Moments before he had warned her to back up by pushing her less aggressively.
She complied by moving into the street where he followed her, pushing her harder. I have never witnessed police officers so out of control and impervious to the safety and welfare of citizens. At no time did the restrained young man resist in any way, nor did anyone witnessing the police action act in a way that could be construed as interfering other than to observe, film, and express horror and concern for the young man. When asked by an observer what the young man had done, Officer Badge 18 # responded that he did not have to disclose that. Several people verbalized that the young man needed medical attention, and several of us considered calling 911 ourselves. Finally, after over half an hour of being bloodied, an ambulance arrived whereupon the frightened, passive and injured young man was loaded onto a stretcher, fully wrapped and hooded. This young man, who identified himself as Jeremy Carter, was never the least bit aggressive in any way from the time I spotted him standing upright with his arm pulled behind his back, to the time he was carted away on a stretcher.
As a 45-year old mother and Berkeley School employee, I am shocked by what I witnessed today- the total disregard for human dignity and safety by the Berkeley Police, as well as their demonstration of utter disdain for the everyday citizens expressing concern and exercising right of assembly and speech while showing caring and concern for a fellow citizen who was clearly being abused and injured.
At approx 11:20 am today, March 13, 2013, I witnessed an incident of police brutality of a young, black man on Kittredge St in Berkeley. I parked on Kittredge street for my coffee break. At first there were 2 cop cars with the young man. This took place in front of Berkeley public Library. The cop cars were parked at different angles:one coming from Milvia,one coming from Shattuck. At the beginning, they had the young man with his arm behind his back. We then got out of the car to make sure that nothing further escalated. The next thing we saw was he was put onto the ground face down. He had not resisted arrest. At this point we were not sure why they put him on the ground.
At that point I went to get my phone to film. Somewhere in between the time they put him facedown and I got my phone, another three or four cop cars arrived. The rest I have on videotape but what I can describe is they put a spit mask on him and they hogtied him .You can hear on the videotape that the young man was very scared. He was not resisting arrest at any point in time. At one point, Ofc. number 18 pushed me. You can see on the video. He also pushed me a second time when I was out in the street and threatened to arrest me. The other badge number I could get was number 27. It was when I tried to get closer to get the other officers badge numbers that officer number 18 pushed me. I asked them what they were arresting him for. They would not tell me. I asked them why they hogtied him. They told me he was being violent and aggressive. At no point did I see him be violent or aggressive.
All of it is on videotape and you can see from the video tape that the young man was very scared and was not resisting. I asked him his name. His name was Jeremy Carter. I tried to find out from TJ Curtin who was the sergeant on duty what he was being arrested for, what crime he committed and where they were going to take him: I understand this is to be public information but he would not give me any of that information. At one point I saw blood coming out of Jeremy’s mouth and I was not sure what this was from: perhaps when they put him facedown he was injured. I asked on the videotape (you can hear) if they would be bringing an ambulance because he was bleeding from his mouth. the ambulance did arrive and they put him on a gurney and they would not tell me where they were taking him. You can hear on the tape that I did ask TJ Curtain, the seargent, some questions that he refused to answer. This is a case of police brutality and aggression on a young man who was not a threat in any way.
Originally posted on IndyBay on Saturday, March 16th, 2013
March 2nd, 2013 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Copwatch in the News, Excessive Force, Mental Illness, Police Violence and Killings, Racism
Groups from across Berkeley came together on Thursday morning for a press conference following the death of a woman in police custody to raise questions about police practices, including deadly violence, and the secrecy that shields these actions from public scrutiny. Community members spoke out against police responses to mental illness crises and police violence against transgender people. A People’s Investigation is underway to break the silence, and examine the convergences that led to her death in her own apartment, surrounded by a sizable police force. What happened to Ms. Moore after police arrived for a mental health call? Why did she stop breathing? And if there is something predictable about who dies–disproportionately people of color–when police come to the door, how can the People’s Investigation launched from and by the community help us find answers and fight back together?
In remembering Ms. Xavier Moore, we also remember others–among them, Peter Stewart, killed by police responding to a mental health crisis on the Hoopa Reservation in June of 2007.
For Press Conference coverage, see KTVU:
February 26th, 2013 — Berkeley, Berkeley PD, Berkeley Police Review Commission, Excessive Force, Mental Illness, Police Violence and Killings, Racism, Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2013
Andrea Prichett (Berkeley Copwatch)
George Lippman (Coalition For a Safe Berkeley)
BERKELEY COALITION DEMANDS ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY
Who: Coalition For a Safe Berkeley, Berkeley Copwatch,
Amnesty International UCB Chapter
What: Press Conference
Where: 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley
When: Thursday 10:00am February 28 2013
As 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.
December 16th, 2012 — Police Violence and Killings, Racism
Uhuru News reports on November 18th that five young people from across African American communities in Chicago were killed in one week in early November of 2012. In one instance, fifteen year old Dakota Bright was chased down the street and then executed with a shot to the back of the head by Chicago Police on November 8, 2012 as he walked from his school to his grandmother’s house. Police reported he had a gun. Dakota Bright laid on the ground, dead and surrounded by police officers, while they tried to “locate” the gun. Over two weeks after the incident occured, the family had still not received an autopsy report, police report, or death certificate.
Kovell Curry writes that a statement was released by the family from the funeral on November 16, ‘to Chicago as a warning’. It read:
“Today the family was more than disrespected by Chicago police, while trying to lay Dakota to rest there were helicopters and a mob of police following the funeral procession. The police told one of our cousins to ‘shut the fuck up before you get fucked up next.’ They had rifles in their hands as if we were in a third world country at war. They are trying to scare us but we are not letting up on these killers.”
This matches much of what we are hearing across the Bay Area from families–their children are shot down while walking familiar paths between schools and family homes, they are consistently accused of carrying guns, and after they are shot, often at close range and in the back or on the ground, their bodies are left dead or dying for very long periods in public spaces surrounded by police. From here, the family waits months, even longer, for autopsy reports (that often don’t add up…), police reports, and death certificates.
For Kovell Curry’s full story in Uhuru News, see:
November 23rd, 2012 — Excessive Force, Police Violence and Killings, Racism
“On October 30, the family of Derrick Gaines, the 15 year old who was shot and killed by South San Francisco Police Department officer Joshua Cabillo, filed a federal civil rights action against the City of South San Francisco. Family members, who are seeking $10 million in damages, hired Attorney John Burris to represent them in the wrongful death action. Burris says, “This is a clear case of racial profiling that lead to disastrous results.”
The press conference was held in front of the South San Francisco Arco gas station where Gaines was killed on June 5, and Rachel Guido Red, Gaines’ mother, said she hopes the civil action will lead to a change in police procedures. “These are our kids out there and there’s other ways of dealing with them, other than shooting and killing them,” she said.
The civil suit was additionally filed on behalf of Derrick Gaines’ father, who is also named Derrick Gaines. “Every day I am having a harder time dealing with this….I know how police are, and it’s killing me,” he said at the press conference. “Not a day goes by I don’t miss my baby…that’s my only son.”
For full story, see:
September 16th, 2012 — Copwatch in the News, Police Violence and Killings, Racism
There’s been a lot of organizing in Vallejo following the horrifically violent murder of Mario Romero by the Vallejo Police Department on September 2, 2012. Mario Romero was sitting in his car in front of his home with his brother-in-law when police opened fire on both men. Over 30 rounds were fired into the car, and Mario’s sister, Cynquita, saw the killing unfold. Their brother in law, who was protected by Mario’s body, lived through the barrage. The family of Mario and the community around them has refused to take this quietly.
There have been rallies, marches, community meetings, and press conferences. In the latest of an ongoing series of responses to this violence, the Reverend Floyd D. Harris, Jr., president of the National Network in Action, invited Berkeley Copwatch to Vallejo on Saturday, September 15th, 2012 to present a Know Your Rights Training, to discuss ways to document police activity and organize against police violence, and to meet with Vallejo civilians to discuss the role of police in all of our communities. We met at the Vallejo Police Station, and then moved to the park in the afternoon sunlight.
There was an impressive community presence: long time and senior members of the Vallejo community, including Native American activist and allies, young people and mothers, families who have also lost loved ones to the police, including the family of Guy Jarreau, Jr. (killed by police on December 11, 2012) and vibrant children everywhere. Among these gathered was Mario’s family. It is difficult to put words to how the Romero family showed up there. In numbers alone, they are a presence. But it is something beyond this that affirms the family as something to reckon with, a force. They were massively pulled together and sharp and strong. They bore witness to the violence as a family.
We offer, again, our immense solidarity with this family, and our sadness with their loss.
There are stories in Vallejo about the police that are disturbing, and that echo stories from Oakland to Anaheim, and towns across California. There is the unrelenting killings of black and brown men that rise weekly in this state. There is the immediate and sprawling devastation that is wreaked on families and friends, on the circles and layers of communities affected by each police killing. And other stories emerge–the chilling details that speak to neighborhoods terrorized by police: where cops practice “predatory policing” (in these cases, specific people or families remain targets for years, even generations); where cops repetitively shine lights into the same people’s living rooms night after night; where cop cars roll up on innocent civilians with their lights off, or plain clothes cops crash a scene without uniforms, and violence follows; where violence by cops is investigated internally, by the cops themselves; where ambulances don’t arrive for extended periods after a police shooting, no matter how close the hospitals are; where cops make a traffic stop and the first question they ask the driver is, “Where’d you get this car?”
Everyone there knows the figures: Mario’s killing was the seventh police shooting since May of this year in Vallejo, five of these were deadly. To be clear: Five people have been killed by police in Vallejo since May of this year. Vallejo has a population of roughly 117,000, with a per capita income of $26,000 and an unemployment rate from two years ago at 15.8%. People are being killed in front of their homes in Vallejo, and the community has no access to the names of officers who have used deadly force against their community in the past and who remain on the force. Even in cases where they may have fired, say, 30 rounds into a car. And, as is far too common in cases of police murders, families have difficulty accessing the autopsy reports. And, as in the recent incident, when families and friends and others in solidarity and anger organize rallies that demand answers, the Chief of Police won’t come out to meet them and address their concerns.
We saw a lot of homemade buttons with Mario’s pictures on them, commemorating his life cut short. We saw Guy Jarreau Jr.’s family wearing t-shirts with the date and street names of the intersection of Guy’s murder remembered on the front of the shirt, and a picture of Guy. We waited to start the training because the family was holding a car wash to raise funds for the funeral.
Berkeley Copwatch stands with the family of Mario Romero, Guy Jarreau Jr., and all the other people shot by police in Vallejo. In these struggles for justice and safety, we remain committed to offer whatever solidarity, training, and resources we can to support Vallejo Copwatch and other police accountability initiatives.
In Vallejo, as in Oakland, Berkeley and across California, we need transparency into police behavior that cannot be achieved as long as Copley, the Police Bill of Rights, and the Caloca Boards are in place to protect police behavior from public scrutiny. It is from this reality that the task of patient documenting of police behavior becomes a critical aspect of a larger struggle to redefine community safety, combined with gathering together to share what we have seen, what we know. These gatherings are inspiring, and in these spaces, we find each other to fight back.
Watch this interview with Mario’s sister Cynquita to see some of what is going on in Vallejo:
For local coverage of the recent Berkeley Copwatch training, see
Check this out for a personal account of Guy Jarreau Jr.’s murder by his brother Joshua Henry: