Since the beginning of the Occupy Cal Day of Action Wednesday, police have arrested 40 protesters — the most recent of whom was arrested Thursday morning after trying to hold onto the group’s last tent which was confiscated by police.
According to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao, a male not affiliated with the university was arrested at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of disrupting and delaying a peace officer and was issued an exclusion order that requires him to stay away from the campus for seven days.
Yao confirmed that officers from both the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and UCPD used batons on protesters Wednesday. He said he was aware of “minor injuries” on the part of both police and demonstrators but could not confirm rumors of someone going to the Tang Center for injuries related to the protest.
In response to protester claims of police using excessive force, Yao said force was “the very last” option that officers wanted to use.
“UCPD does support people exercising their right to free speech and to demonstrate, but we want to make sure people are aware of what’s in policy or what’s in the law,” Yao said.
Yao would not disclose police tactics for future demonstrations, but said there would be police presence at demonstrations on Sproul Plaza — like the planned 6 p.m. general assembly. He added that being present at the general assembly is no different than having police presence at any other demonstration.
He would not say how many officers from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office or the Oakland Police Department were present at the demonstration last night.
Sarah Burns is the lead crime reporter.
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