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:
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
by Liberate Oakland
January 8, 2012
Re-posted from HellaOccupyOakland.org
On January 7, 2012, Occupy Oakland supporters participated in an “Anti-repression / Fuck the Police” march to the Oakland police station in order to condemn the series of outrageous and violent arrests committed by the Oakland Police Department during the past week. Also referred to as “Occububbles”, the march was attended by people who brought out mini-teepees, blew bubbles, and played drums.
At the police station protesters were met by a large group of police in riot gear. Police began advancing toward the protesters, and, failing to follow their own “use of force” guidelines, gave no warning to disperse before they began beating protesters who could not run away fast enough. It was not until 16 minutes after the OPD began beating protesters that the first dispersal was given.
A medic reported treating one protester with a broken leg, who had also been shot in the face with a “non-lethal” round. A young woman was clubbed. There were reports that a police officer threw a bike at a medic who was giving medical attention to an injured protester. According to police reports, not a single officer was injured. The total number of injured protesters is unknown.
This week, the National Lawyers Guild issued a statement demanding that the Oakland Police and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Departments end harassment of Occupy Oakland protesters. Members of Occupy Oakland call on the city and the DA to release political prisoners who are facing felony charges for “crimes” no more severe than sitting peacefully in a public space.
Tonight’s protest was also called “Film the Police” march. Numerous community citizens livestreamed the protest and confrontation. Livestreamers who tweet as @OakFoSho @punkboyinsf @BellaEiko @Eyeslam and @JeffKloy provided live coverage of the rally, as no mainstream media were present. Livestream viewers numbered in the thousands.
November 24, 2011
From SF BayView:
You are listening to the Minister of Information on Hard Knock Radio (broadcast on KPFA Nov. 17, 2011). Today we’re going to be talking to San Francisco activist DeBray Carpenter aka Fly Benzo, as he’s known on the streets and in the rap world, about what’s been going on with police terrorism in Hunters Point.
Fly Benzo (DeBray Carpenter), a straight-A student at City College and lifelong resident of Hunters Point, has been beaten and jailed repeatedly since he spoke out against the police murder of Kenneth Harding over a $2 T-Train transfer. Fly is currently out on $95,000 bail, still owes the bail bondsman $4,000 and is raising funds by selling T-shirts.
by Minister of Information JR:
Fly has been very active and his family has been very active in the Hunters Point community. He has been one of the frontline soldiers in this fight for justice in the case of Kenneth Harding, an unarmed 22-year-old Black male who was murdered in Hunters Point by the San Francisco PD over a muni transfer. Fly, what’s happening with you?
Fly Benzo: What’s up?
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell the people a little bit about your history in activism? Can you tell people how did you get active and a little bit about your family and who they are in Hunters Point?
Fly Benzo: My father has been an activist for a long time; his name is Claude Carpenter. My mom (Barbara Banks), she was the first female contractor in San Francisco and she was African American. I really started with my activism when they built the T-Train Line on Third Street around 2003 and I was too young to even work but I was fighting for my people’s rights because it was none of my peoples working that T-Line.
This serene scene in Mendell Plaza, in the heart of Hunters Point at Third and Palou, with DeBray Carpenter aka Fly Benzo (far right) and his father, Claude Carpenter (center), and other residents enjoying community solidarity, is where police have been beating and arresting Fly.
I was too young to even work but I was fighting for my people’s rights because it was none of my peoples working that T-Line.
M.O.I. JR: Well, for people who don’t live in San Francisco, what is the T-Line and why was it important for people to work?
Fly Benzo: The T-Line is basically a train, it’s kind of like BART, it’s kind of like the subway in New York. We never had trains that went to Hunters Point. We had trains that bring goods but we never had passenger trains that come to Hunters Point and they’re basically trying to integrate the City. They’re trying to gentrify Hunters Point and make it easier for people to get to Hunters Point on the train.
M.O.I. JR: But the other thing that was important about it was like a hundreds of millions dollar project that the community didn’t get hired to build. People outside the community got brought in and made the money.
Fly Benzo’s mother, Barbara Banks, the first woman contractor in San Francisco, spoke at the annual October 22nd Coalition rally against police brutality. – Photo: Mesha Irizarry
Fly Benzo: Yes, sir, and even when we did get some kind of cut, the only jobs we got was stop sign jobs, holding up stop signs – and that’s all you’re going to see. You go to any of these construction sites, you’re going to see a whole lot of people holding stop signs and then once the job is over they don’t need them for nothing, nowhere. They don’t need stop sign holders on every job.
M.O.I. JR: So basically what you’re saying is that they were not trained to do any of the high level jobs that would be transferrable at other places of employment or other construction sites. What are some of the other movements that you got involved with before you got involved with this Kenneth Harding case?
Fly Benzo: Another movement would be the Deshon Marman case, where he was arrested for sagging on a US Airways plane. They have no dress code and they let another man fly in nothing but a bikini, nothing but panties and a bra, when they arrest this Black man for sagging and he’s a college student. He only came to San Francisco because his friend was murdered. He was going to the funeral and on his way back he got arrested and taken to jail and he had to get bailed out. Just like me, he has all these false charges. They dropped his charges but he had to bail out of jail.
M.O.I. JR: This was at San Francisco Airport?
Contractor and lifelong community advocate Claude Carpenter, Fly’s father, also spoke at the October 22nd rally on Third Street at Palou. – Photo: Mesha Irizarry
Fly Benzo: At San Francisco Airport, and San Francisco police patrol the San Francisco Airport, but they took him to San Mateo County Jail and then they sent the transcripts or whatever to Redwood City, so it was a whole bunch of controversy with that case.
M.O.I. JR: Yeah, that was in 2011, right?
Fly Benzo: That’s right.
M.O.I. JR: What ended up happening with that case because I did hear about that?
Fly Benzo: Yeah, the case was dropped and I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with the legal aspects of the case. I heard they were offering some free flights.
Then after that I spoke, well, during that, I spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting, and I spoke about how we get criminalized in the Bayview on the T-Train and the police chase people down because they don’t have a transfer on the T-Train while the murderers and the rapists and the robbers get away. I mean we got over 1,000 unsolved homicides in San Francisco. I mean Sharmin Bock (candidate for district attorney) said in her campaign we have 1,000 unsolved homicides – and they chase people down for transfers in Bayview Hunters Point.
I spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting (before the police murder of Kenneth Harding) about how we get criminalized in the Bayview on the T-Train and the police chase people down because they don’t have a transfer.
M.O.I. JR: Well, for those of you who are just tuning in, we are talking to activist Fly Benzo right here on Hard Knock Radio with the Minister of Information JR. Fly, can you tell the people a little bit about the Kenneth Harding case? Kenneth Harding was somebody who was recently murdered by the police in San Francisco, but can you tell them a little bit about the case specifically for the people who have never heard that name?
Fly Benzo: Like I was saying about the Deshon Marman thing, when I spoke before the Board of Supervisors meeting, a couple of days later Kenneth Harding was shot down, and a lot of people in the community know me as an activist so they hit my phone immediately. They was telling me, like, the police killed somebody and then somebody else came up to me and showed me a video and I ran down there as fast as I could from the Monte Carlo. That’s about 8-10 blocks.
M.O.I. JR: And what happened?
Fly Benzo: He was out there bleeding. They had a bunch of cops out there. It was like a big standoff with the police. They had a large area taped off and it was whole bunch of police out there looking everywhere but by where dude was shot for a gun. They’re going up on rooftops and they were looking everywhere for a gun that obviously wasn’t there.
Kenneth Harding was bleeding on the ground. I think they had taken him off by that time, but then we walked around because they had the area taped off. So we walked all the way around the block the other way so we could get to the news reporters and tell them the community’s side of the story, because this Kenneth Harding incident isn’t an isolated incident.
It’s been women that have been beat up by the police for not having a transfer on the T-Train, and I put it on my show. I broadcast it on Channel 29 public access in San Francisco, and my show is called “It’s Really Real TV” and it comes on late night. A lady got beat up for not having a transfer on the T-Train.
Fly spoke passionately at the press conference and rally held by the community on July 18, two days after police murdered Kenneth Harding over a $2 T-Train transfer. The rally was held at Third and Oakdale in Hunters Point, on the sidewalk where Kenny was allowed to bleed to death while police trained their guns on him and the horrified crowd. – Photo: Bill Carpenter
I basically ran from the police and I didn’t have a transfer, but I’m thinking they’re not going to chase me for a transfer but they actually called backup to take me down for a transfer. This is basically criminalizing poverty.
The African American youth in San Francisco have a 70 percent unemployment rate, so our population is rapidly decreasing. It’s going to continue to decrease when the police are criminalizing our poverty in San Francisco. They are already tearing down our low-income housing.
African American youth in San Francisco have a 70 percent unemployment rate, so our population is rapidly decreasing. It’s going to continue to decrease when the police are criminalizing our poverty.
M.O.I. JR: Didn’t you catch a number of cases for being on the front lines and representing the Hunters Point community against police terrorism? How does that tie in?
Fly Benzo: I caught a whole bunch of cases. I spoke on Sharen Hewitt’s show on Channel 29. The next day the police must have seen the show and they arrested me on sight – narc cars and a black and white – and they all hopped out and came straight to me with the handcuffs dangling and arrested me and told me, “You’re not getting cited out this time.” And I was in jail for about five days with resisting arrest charges.
M.O.I. JR: For it to be resisting arrest, what was the initial arrest for?
Fly Benzo: There was no reason to arrest me.
M.O.I. JR: So they arrested you for resisting arrest?
Fly Benzo: Yes, and I didn’t even resist. That’s the cold part.
M.O.I. JR: But I’m saying like how can they get on a charge of resisting arrest when they had no probable cause to arrest?
Fly Benzo: It’s crazy; it’s police misconduct.
M.O.I. JR: OK, what’s the second time?
Fly Benzo: This latest time, a cop pulled out his video phone and started videotaping me after he had unplugged the radio (in Mendell Plaza at Third and Palou, where playing music is commonplace), and the community didn’t like it. He started videotaping me and I’m doing no crime.
DeBray Carpenter, aka Fly Benzo, speaks at his press conference July 28 after his release from jail the first time he was arrested for speaking out against the police murder of Kenneth Harding. – Photo: Brant Ward, SF Chronicle
So I pulled out my phone and I started videotaping him and obviously he felt that a threat to his job or his position or him getting a promotion or whatever – and he wanted to try to knock my phone out my hand. So I told him not to touch me and I recorded him again and he did it again and he tried to grab my arm and tried to put me under arrest.
I wasn’t trying to get arrested because I just got out of jail for five days for nothing, but I know what happens. I mean I was just coming from school, just got to Third Street and Palou.
I saw my brother, I stopped, and I mean they started harassing me as soon as they came to Third Street – like Black people aren’t welcome in San Francisco. If we’re not welcome on Third Street, what makes you think we’re going to be welcome on Market Street? If we’re not welcome on Third Street, what makes you think we’re going to be welcome in Chinatown or Koreatown?
Why can’t African Americans have a cultural mecca in San Francisco? How come every other culture is San Francisco is celebrated in San Francisco? That’s the kind of thing we need to speak on.
M.O.I. JR: So to get to the point where they racked you and your brother up?
Fly Benzo: So they took us, they grabbed my arm and tried to put me under arrest. And by this time, backup was coming and a whole lot of cops were on me.
They tried to charge me with assault on an officer and resisting arrest causing serious bodily harm, but I mean, is videotaping a cop a crime?
Is videotaping a cop a crime?
M.O.I. JR: Where did the assault charge come from? What had happened?
Fly Benzo: I have no idea. I assaulted no one. I didn’t let them just arrest me because I had committed no crime, but I mean at first all they were trying to do was take my phone.
But they put me under arrest, they beat me up. I was hospitalized, and I was put in jail. They gave me $95,000 bail and I had to come up with $7,600 to get out and I’m out on bail right now and I owe the bail bondsman.
They put me under arrest, they beat me up. I was hospitalized, and I was put in jail. They gave me $95,000 bail.
We’re selling T-shirts and I have a Facebook account, Free Fly Benzo. Look it up and you can buy T-shirts. We got all kinds of different designs. Look up my video, “Fly Benzo, War on Terror.” And we have some raw and uncut footage on there and you can check it out.
We have an entrepreneurship program we’re checking out and working on, I Too Have a Dream. We have a club at City College, Black Star Line Coalition. I mean, man, we’re pushing.
I was getting straight As. I was going to court every time. I had a bail reduction hearing. I had letters from my teachers, and the judge refused to reduce my bail.
And this child molester coach from Penn State, his bail was $100,000 and he touched six kids. He’s accused of touching six kids and his bail was only $5,000 more than mine and all I did was videotape a crooked cop. And I’m facing four years in the state pen for videotaping a cop.
This child molester coach from Penn State, his bail was $100,000 – only $5,000 more than mine – and all I did was videotape a crooked cop. And I’m facing four years in the state pen.
M.O.I. JR: One last time, your email address or where people can find you online if they want to get directly in contact with you?
Fly Benzo: Yes, on Facebook, Fly Benzo, or on Twitter, @Fly Benzo.
The People’s Minister of Information JR is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe,” both available, along with many more interviews, atwww.blockreportradio.com. He also hosts two weekly shows on KPFA 94.1 FM and kpfa.org: The Morning Mix every Wednesday, 8-9 a.m., and The Block Report every Friday night-Saturday morning, midnight-2 a.m. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Original Story at:
Probably 97 percent of police act professionally toward protesters. But the other 3 percent are armed and dangerous, and know that they’re unlikely to be held accountable.
By Josh Holland for Alternet
November 18, 2011
Occupations across the country have born the brunt of some violent police tactics, and in a world where everyone has a camera-phone, a lot of their brutish behavior has been caught in photographs and on video.
Police work is difficult and dangerous, and the majority of officers on the street behave like pros. When it comes to controlling crowds of angry protesters, they’re often put into tense situations and ordered to do things they may not want to do by commanders who are far removed from the scene. I’ve witnessed a lot of restraint from cops, which of course doesn’t make the news.
But being human, cops are also prone to fear and rage like everyone else. A minority of cops, like a minority of protesters, lose their cool in tense situations. The difference is that they aren’t amateurs – they’re well trained and have guidelines that they’re required to follow. When a cop loses his or her cool, it can be terrifying. And when a protester exercising his or her right to assemble and speak is a victim of excessive force, it also violates the United States Constitution.
Unlike protesters, cops are also armed, and it’s difficult to hold them accountable for their actions when they don’t behave professionally. Most civilian review boards are toothless and ineffectual. But, as Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union told AlterNet last month, “public video recording has dramatically changed the landscape of police accountability, no question about it. It’s a lot harder for police to sweep allegations of abuse under the rug when it’s on video and on YouTube.”
Below are some of the most stunning incidents of police officers going wild on Occupy protesters around the country. To be fair, we don’t always know the context in which these violent actions occurred – what happened in the moments before the incident was captured on camera. At the same time, when you look at these images, keep in mind that the rule of thumb in use-of-force cases is that police are prohibited from applying more physical force than is necessary to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement task. When they exceed that measure, they’re committing a crime.
For the rest of the article, and footage, see: