On May Day 2012, demonstrators from across the bay area converged in Downtown Oakland to participate in the annual May Day General Strike.
While the day began with spirited marches that snaked throughout downtown, Oakland Police would inevitably intervene by toppling over a female bicycle rider and arresting her. From there Oakland Police would pull multiple people from out of the crowd, taking them to the ground and arresting them.
Video Shot by Jacob Crawford
In the midst of the chaos, members of Oakland Police’s TANGO unit (a group designated to shoot projectiles and use gas against demonstrators) would throw flash bang grenades into groups of people and Tased at least one person (see post)
One thing that is important to note is that responsibility for the deployment of gas falls not only on the officers in control of the weapons, but their supervisors.
Note in this video shot by Simon Sedillo you can see LT Hamilton instructing TANGO Officer Mike Beaver where to throw a flash bang grenade.
Video by Simon Sedillo
In another incident of poor top down instructions, In 2011, Captain Ersie Joyner was reassigned after being accused of giving poor instructions to Victor Garcia regarding when to shoot protesters during the November 2nd General Strike. A young man by the name of Scott Campbell would be one of many people shot and gassed that evening due to poor decision making on Oakland Police’s part.
Video of Scott Campbell getting shot. Taken by Scott Campbell
By Berkeley Copwatch
On March 13, 2013, Jeremy Carter was brutally arrested by members of the Berkley Police Department. He has disappeared. As they did in the killing of Kayla Moore, Berkeley police refuse to provide any details.
This incident is especially disturbing for several reasons.
Where is Jeremy Carter? The man in this video says his name is Jeremy Carter. Berkeley Copwatch has contacted Berkeley police, Santa Rita jail and John George Hospital. As of 3/16/13 none of these institutions has a record of any interaction with this person. WE DEMAND THAT BPD RELEASE INFORMATION ABOUT PERSONS TAKEN INTO THEIR CUSTODY AND THE NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO DIE IN THEIR CUSTODY.
According to witnesses, this person was not violent or resisting the officers involved. Although it was alleged that he had a stay-away order related to the library, he was not alleged to have harmed himself or anyone else. Were police justified in taking this person into custody and were they justified in using the level of force and restraints shown in this video?
According to dispatch records and the officer, this encounter became a “mental health” evaluation. If this is how people with mental health issues are treated in Berkeley at 11:30 a.m. on a busy city street, it raises troubling questions about what happened to Kayla (Xavier) Moore on February 12 in Berkeley when police decided to do a “medical eval” on her in her home. She died and if this is how BPD approaches these types of encounters, it is likely that BPD escalated the situation and then used great physical force on her.
Why are Berkeley officers continuing to harass bystanders who attempt to monitor the actions of officers? Why are they putting their hands on copwatchers?
CONTACT THE MAYOR AND THE BERKELEY CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
TELL BPD TO STOP DISAPPEARING PEOPLE!
Please read the following witness statements:
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 approximately 11:20 a.m. today, March 13, 2013, I witnessed an incident of police brutality of a young, black man on Kittredge Street in Berkeley. I parked on Kittredge street for my coffee break. At first there were two 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, Officer 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.
Anybody with any information please contact Berkeley Copwatch at 510-548-0425.