The Berkeley Police Department arrested a group of Antifa protestors on Sunday after their
demonstration rampage and posted their names and mugshots on the department’s Twitter feed. The police department is being criticized for the move with claims that it encourages harassment and abuse. Charges include assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault, and various municipal code violations.
The Sunday rallies saw approximately 4,000 violent Antifa agitators and other militant leftists shut down a “No to Marxism in Berkeley” rally and prayer vigil being held by approximately 400 people with the group Patriot Prayer and an affiliated group, the Proud Boys. The self-proclaimed anti-fascists in what they termed a counter-protest dubbed “Sweep Out the Fascists” the group took over Martin Luther King Jr. Park near the University of California Berkeley campus and beat several of the anti-Marxist protesters.
We have made 17 arrests, and, if necessary, we will continue to make more. We're also continuing to confiscate weapons. pic.twitter.com/xJVYrdD2ag
— Berkeley Police (@berkeleypolice) August 5, 2018
According to the San Francisco Chronicle – “The Berkeley Police Department had prepared for possible violence by setting up barriers in Civic Center Park and by closing surrounding streets to vehicle traffic. The city also banned items that could be used as weapons, as well as face-covering masks, from the protest.
‘We’re going to do what we can to keep people safe,’ said Matthai Chakko, a city spokesman. Neither the conservative nor the opposing groups had obtained city permits.
Eddy Brock, 30, who said his parents were both immigrants from socialist countries, and he was there to protest communism and Marxism. He pointed at the police barriers, saying, ‘All these barriers aren’t for the 30 to 40 patriots who showed up.’
After about 20 people were arrested at a “No to Marxism in Berkeley” rally, most of them Antifa counterprotesters, the department publicized their names, photographs, and cities of residence on social media.
“It really seemed to us like the Berkeley police department was there to … target the anti-fascist protesters,” said Jay Kim, executive director of the Berkeley chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.”
One police officer was also injured in the process of making an arrest, while several other officers were pelted with paint, bottles, and a variety of other objects. Three people suffered minor injuries after a group of “extremists” threw “explosives” — believed to be fireworks and flares — at police and the Alameda County Sheriff’s officers.
We are confiscating weapons and making arrests. pic.twitter.com/YisxhW4FM0
— Berkeley Police (@berkeleypolice) August 5, 2018
According to a statement from the Berkley Police Department –
“Even though there were many hundreds of people, many of whom came armed and hostile, there were no significant injuries to anyone in the public or to City staff. The lack of injuries is fortunate given that extremists threw explosives at Berkeley Police and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office mutual aid officers. Berkeley Fire treated and released three members of the public for minor injuries.
There was significant damage to City property: An extremist element amongst a large group marched westbound by the Berkeley Way parking lot, smashing 21 city vehicles and slashing City vehicle tires, and setting one City vehicle on fire. Three minor dumpster fires were extinguished.”
The average age of those arrested was approximately 33 years of age and the unmasking of these individuals leads many to believe that the people behind these Antifa masks are actually professional agitators, not local college students.
Vice President of Research and Analysis for the Center of Security Policy, Clare Lopez states – “With an average age of 30, those arrested during the violent Berkeley riots of Sunday 27 August do not fit the profile of the average college undergrad. In fact, they more closely fit the profile of professional off-campus thugs and once we understand that Antifa is a motley collection of Marxist-Leninist anarchists, the direct descendants of the 1920s and 1930s communist street fighters in Europe, the better we will be prepared to realize why these hoodlums so violently targeted a ‘No To Marxism’ rally. Antifa was there to defend communism and plunge America into chaos.”
- Jason Wallach, 41-year-old male from Oakland, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- Kate Brenner, 69-year-old female from Oakland, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- Kristen Edith Koster, 50-year-old female from Berkeley, charged with possession of a dangerous weapon.
- Maria Lewis, 29-year-old female from Emeryville, charged with carrying a banned weapon and working with others to commit a crime.
- Thomas Parker, 22-year-old male from Berkeley, charged with working with others to commit a crime
- Caitlin Boyle, 27-year-old female from Oakland, charged with working with others to commit a crime.
- Blake Griffith, 29-year-old male from Oakland, charged with vandalism.
- Sarena Perez, 39-year-old female from Oakland, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- David Chou, 26-year-old male from Santa Cruz, charged with possession of a banned weapon and working with others to commit a crime.
- Freddy Martinez, 31-year-old male from Berkeley, charged with battery.
- Ericka Sokolower-Shain, 28-year-old female from Berkeley, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- Javier Cruz-O’Connell, 22-year-old male from Berkeley, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- Jamie Hill, 30-year-old female from Emeryville, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- Bella Podolsky, 27-year-old female from San Francisco, charged with possession of a banned weapon.
- Andres Gonzalez, 35-year-old male from Oakland, charged with five counts of carrying a banned weapon.
- Jeffrey Garten, 28-year-old male, from Oakland, charged with a single count of carrying a banned weapon.
Fox News reports – “Several California professors slammed the Berkeley Police Department after it posted the mugshots of Antifa protesters arrested Sunday at a rally where windows were smashed, citizens were punched and “dozens of weapons” were confiscated by cops.
Berkeley cops said Sunday that 20 people were arrested demonstrating against a rally organized by so-called “alt-right” groups. The mugshots of those arrested, their names and what they were arrested for allegedly doing was posted to the BPD’s Twitter account — a practice that is not unusual. The mugshots were posted before the protesters were formally charged. The department told The Guardian on Monday that the protesters’ cases were not brought before prosecutors.
Veena Dubal, a law professor at the University of California, said she found it “disturbing” that the police department would post the mugshots and risk the possibility of putting the demonstrators in danger.
“This is very disturbing,” Dubal told The Guardian. “It seems like a public-shaming exercise, which is not the role of the police department…They are making it really accessible for folks who might wish these people harm to locate them.”
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín said the police “did a very good job” handling the rally. But he said he spoke to police about the posting of mugshots on social media.
“We need to look into this and discuss whether this is an appropriate practice going forward,” Arreguín said.”