BERKELEY (CBS SF) – After several days and nights of protests in Berkeley more than 100 residents filled the auditorium at Longfellow Middle School to air their grievances about police misconduct.
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During the demonstrations, protesters smashed windows on University Avenue, and threw smoke bombs, but the general consensus Thursday was that police went too far in confronting the demonstrators. Here is a sampling of some of the comments and grievances aired at the meeting.
“What costs more, broken windows, or 100s of officers on overtime breaking heads and causing lawsuits?” said one woman.”
“I don’t believe property protection merits this level of police brutality. Property damage does occur during revolution,” said another.
“When did the people of Berkeley decide it was okay for the police to make our streets look like Beirut,” asked one man.
“This is a community. We all count for something.”
“Wikipedia says Berkeley is the most liberal city in the country.”
“On behalf of a young black man in West Oakland who wanted to attend but chose not to out of fear of the people who are supposed to protect him. A badge is not a license to terrorize us.”
“I don’t know if this is one of the most liberal cities in the America or Jim Crow South.”
“This is one of the most progressive cities in the country and for it to be the first place where my 60-year-old friend was ever tear gassed is disgusting,” complained another woman.
“Police are totally out of control and some want to give them Tasers too,” said another man.
“No politician deserves to be anywhere in Berkeley if you don’t actively condemn the police violence and take action against it,” warned a woman.
Amid calls of “sell out” and Mayor Tom Bates stood up for the officers, and called Berkeley PD the best force in the country. Still, he conceded, “If somebody stepped out line we will look into that. We’re not going to shuffle things under the rug. If we need to discipline people, we’ll discipline people.” Another council member added “we need to move post-haste to try to restore trust and confidence.
Berkeley City Council will hold a special meeting in January, to focus on Police conduct.