UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association responds

The UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association released an open letter Monday morning addressed to the campus community and to the UC Board of Regents in response to the events of Nov. 9 and the criticism their actions that day elicited.

Among the most notable parts of the letter is the association’s criticism of the campus administration and board: “Please don’t ask us to enforce your policies then refuse to stand by us when we do.  Your students, your faculty and your police – we need you to provide real leadership.”

Read the full letter below.

An Open Letter to UC Berkeley Students, Faculty, Administration & Regents from the UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association 

It is our hope that this letter will help open the door to a better understanding between UC Berkeley police and the University community.

The UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association, representing approximately 64 campus police officers, understands your frustration over massive tuition hikes and budget cuts, and we fully support your right to peacefully protest to bring about change.

It was not our decision to engage campus protesters on November 9th.   We are now faced with “managing” the results of years of poor budget planning.   Please know we are not your enemy.

A video clip gone viral does not depict the full story or the facts leading up to an actual incident.  Multiple dispersal requests were given in the days and hours before the tent removal operation.   Not caught on most videos were scenes of protesters hitting, pushing, grabbing officers’ batons, fighting back with backpacks and skateboards.

The UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association supports a full investigation of the events that took place on November 9th, as well as a full review of University policing policies.  That being said, we do not abrogate responsibility for the events on November 9th.

UC Berkeley police officers want to better serve students and faculty members and we welcome ideas for how we can have a better discourse to avoid future confrontations.  We are open to all suggestions on ways we can improve our ability to better protect and serve the UC Berkeley community.

As your campus police, we also have safety concerns that we ask you to consider.

Society has changed significantly since 1964 when peaceful UC Berkeley student protesters organized a 10-hour sit-in in Sproul Hall and 10,000 students held a police car at bay – spawning change and the birth of our nation’s Free Speech Movement.

However proud we can all be of UC Berkeley’s contribution to free speech in America, no one can deny this:  Our society in 2011 has become an extremely more violent place to live and to protect.  No one understands the effects of this violence more than those of us in law enforcement.

Disgruntled citizens in this day and age express their frustrations in far more violent ways – with knives, with guns and sometimes by killing innocent bystanders.  Peaceful protests can, in an instant, turn into violent rioting, ending in destruction of property or worse – the loss of lives.  Police officers and innocent citizens everywhere are being injured, and in some instances, killed.

In the back of every police officer’s mind is this:  How can I control this incident so it does not escalate into a seriously violent, potentially life-threatening event for all involved?

While students were calling the protest “non-violent,” the events on November 9th were anything but nonviolent.  In previous student Occupy protests, protesters hit police officers with chairs, bricks, spitting, and using homemade plywood shields as weapons – with documented injuries to officers.

At a moment’s notice, the November 9th protest at UC Berkeley could have turned even more violent than it did, much like the Occupy protests in neighboring Oakland.

Please understand that by no means are we interested in making excuses.  We are only hoping that you will understand and consider the frustrations we experience daily as public safety officers sworn to uphold the law.  It is our job to keep protests from escalating into violent events where lives could be endangered.

We sincerely ask for your help in doing this.

Like you, we have been victims to budget cuts that affect our children and our families in real ways.  We, too, hold on to the dream of being able to afford to send our children and grandchildren to a four-year university.  Like you, we understand and fully support the need for change and a redirection of priorities.

To students and faculty:  As 10,000 students surrounded a police car on campus in 1964, protesters passed the hat to help pay for repairs to the police car as a show of respect.  Please peacefully respect the rules we are required to enforce – for all our safety and protection.  Please respect the requests of our officers as we try to do our jobs.

To the University Administration and Regents:  Please don’t ask us to enforce your policies then refuse to stand by us when we do.  Your students, your faculty and your police – we need you to provide real leadership.

We openly and honestly ask the UC Berkeley community for the opportunity to move forward together, peacefully and without further incident – in better understanding of one another.  Thank you for listening.

Jordan Bach-Lombardo is the university news editor.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Cal

    How about just dismiss the entire campus police force, and start over from scratch.

  • Guest

    We should really stop romanticizing the 60s. You only need to look at the cut-out newspapers in the FSM Cafe to see that the Free Speech Movement was seen then, just as the Occupy movement now, as a bunch of radical revolutionaries.

  • keith schilhab

    Disgfukinggusting. These students are on YOUR side, you baton wielding, slaves to orders. 

  • Police Always Lie

    Bullshit Propaganda, Emotional Appeal, That’s All:
    “How can I control this incident so it does not escalate into a seriously
    violent, potentially life-threatening event for all involved?”
    FBI Statistics (2010): data compiled from ~ 533,000 officers, jurisdiction covering 235 million US inhabitants:
    56 officers feloniously killed in line of duty.
    72 officers accidentally killed in line of duty.
    US gen. population risk of death in car crash (2003) = 0.00015
    10% of officers are assaulted while on duty, but only about quarter of those sustain injury (various levels of severity).

  • Michael Mulholland

    oh yeah, and fix your own damn cop car

  • Michael Mulholland

    yeah, well i threw up a little in my mouth. what a pack of ass-covering lies!

  • Disgusted Alum

    “Please understand that by no means are we interested in making excuses.”

    Are you kidding me? The whole letter is a pile of excuses. And lame ones at that. Own up.

  • Disgusted Alum

    “To the University Administration and Regents:  Please don’t ask us to
    enforce your policies then refuse to stand by us when we do. ”

    Good idea. Even better idea: why don’t we just fire all your asses?

  • Disgusted Alum

    “While students were calling the protest “non-violent,” the events on November 9th were anything but nonviolent.”

    Nobody is buying it.  Sorry. Even if what you say is true, the protesters you chose to retaliate against clearly did nothing in the least bit violent towards you. For example, Professor Celeste Langan — what did she do to you other than offer her arms to be arrested before she was brutally dragged by her hair and thrown to the ground? Looks like you picked on the low-hanging fruit, going after peaceful women and young girls first. The image of those male officers dragging these women and girls by their hair will never fade from my mind. Neither will the brutal jabbing of the very small women in the front row, as well as the completely passive woman you trapped in the bushes and brutalized.

  • Guest

    “Our society in 2011 has become an extremely more violent place to live and to protect.”

    What a load of alarmist bullshit.

  • guest

    Bull shit. Why were they fighting back? Oh, yeah, because they were being attacked… did they really expect students being beaten and pushed around to just sit there and take it? I think major change needs to come about at UC Berkeley… especially in regards to the Occupy Movement and the way in which they censor and oppress the students’ first amendment rights.

  • Williambillmac

    By his lavish praise of the Occupy Movement, the Chancellor pretty invited protestors to come and set up camp on Sproul plaza. For him to say that encampments won’t be allowed and to then denigrate his police force for enforcing that edict is nothing less than shameful.

    • Disgusted Alum

      Oh yes, I’m sure the police had to be dragged kicking and screaming to clear out Occupy. And I’m sure it broke their tender pink little hearts to have to resort to violent force.

  • I posted this on the Berkeley Patch FB post about this letter… The premise that there is much more violence today than in 1964 is just plain wrong. See http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/cacrime.htm Note the second chart that shows the Crime Index (per 100,000 people). 2010 is over 10% LOWER than 1964….

  •                                  WE NEED NO RESPONSE FROM SERIAL KILLERS

    “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.” (Rousseau)

    Do a background check on fbi/police assassins and serial killers (via my sites); then be less concerned about the run of the mill murderer.http://current.com/community/92710699_fear-less-the-murderer.htm
    College campuses across the nation are in fascist/police lockdown under the influence of fbi assassins, as evidenced by gross violations of human, civil, and constitutional rights of our citizens.See my documentations:
    The fbi, military intelligence at CSUN (James Wolf), police, UT chancellor, UT legal counsel all team up to create a fraudulent police report with patently false contents in order to find a way to illegally arrest this fbi whistleblower. See this and related links:
    QUESTIONS! geral sosbee (956)536-0439 One agency of government above all others must be destroyed: the federal burro of investigation (fbi).
    Feinstein is one of the most treacherous traitors in congress:
    BTW: In the early years of the fbi Hoover discovered that his agents were generally not quite capable (for a number of reasons) to deal with the murderers and psychopaths of organized crime in the United States; so, Hoover and his associates set out to correct this inadequacy in a calculated and systematic manner: his agents when deemed appropriate would (by training and mind programming) become themselves homicidal sociopaths. His plan worked so well that in today’s fbi, one cannot always determine which agents (and operatives) are cold blooded murderers and torturers.For example: People who knew H. Paul Rico (ex-fbi agent)”… recall him as a cop who dressed and talked like a gangster. Only much later would it become clear that it was not an act.” Hitman, Howie Carr, Tom Doherty Associates,LLC,175 Fifth Avenue, New York,NY 10010,2011, p.63.http://sosbeevfbi.ning.com/forum/topics/war-on-terror-2010
    Also see:
    Re: Insider Trades:
    http://ttu.academia.edu/geralsosbee http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/part4-worldinabo.html
    Human Experimentation:http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/non-consensual.html

  • PKT

    Birgeneau was off on a tri-nation Asian trip where he attended social events, balla ans galas in honor of he and his wife. A quick google will take you to UCB Int Relations where you can see this as well as a Berkeley Alum page in Shanghai on Facebook where jusa day or two after our beatings, Birgeneau is seen smiling next to his wife in front of a glass of wine. ( http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events?term_node_tid_depth=All)
    He knew before his trip that Occupy Cal was going to occur, as fliers were posted about a month ahead of time. He knew that meant tents at every Occupy event and he emailed the community about it ahead of time. As a leader, he would run through the scenario that a confrontation is a likely possibility. He chose to leave anyways, knowing all of this because his priority is not these young students. He did not even see the videos until he returned Nov 14 he said, but he did go to the ball in Shanghai Nov 12!
    The police would have been the ones who advised him “intermittenly” while abroad. Even if he was here, he does not have the training to tell them what to do. The police will not take orders from someone like that. The police just had their Oct 14-17 2011 urbanshiled.org training and they were ready to go in conjunction with many local police/first responders. They provided the plan for Nov 9, they advised who ever was in charge of decision making and the decision was made acc to Birgeneau “no tear gas or pepper spray” by him acc to yesterdays meeting.
    If we keep the pressure on, Birgeneau will throw the police under the bus to save his position, just like UC Davis. The letter above is an indication of a crack in that relationship.

  • John Smith

    It is obvious that UC Berkeley police is looking for excuses to blame anybody – regents, students, administration, etc other than themselves for their poor handling of a situation.  The simpler explanation would have been “we screwed up”.  The police have a tough job to do and lessons learnt from each such situation must guide future responses but that logic somehow completely failed.   Any excuse with the bad outcome still remains a bad outcome.  They should drop the charges on the students, fess up that they will document the lessons learnt and work with the administration to clarify expectations for future.  All investigations do is produce voluminous documents that don’t necessarily change culture. 

    • Disgusted Alum

      You mean there are still charges pending against these students?????

  • Anonymous

    This is a terrific letter that fully explains the difficulty in policing a campus prone to protests.  Where does protest end and disruption begin?  At what point does free expression infringe on the rights of others to an education?  Birgeneau has a job, which is to run a university without letting it become a Burning Man campground.  He gives UCPD one task:  to make sure campus rules are followed.  The protesters intentionally break the campus rules and link up arms so that UCPD cannot possibly do its job unless it breaks up the human chain.  UCPD’s non-lethal tools are few:  pepper spray and batons.  Use of either tool would result in charges of police brutality.  Birgeneau, hoping to preserve his liberal street cred, throws the UCPD under the bus without explaining how he expects to run a university when he does not allowed police to enforce the rules.    

    • Anonymous

      “Disruption” does not require pepper spray and baton beatings. Perhaps if a student had broken the nose of one of the police officers then you might detain and cuff that one student and hand them over to the local jail. It’s really not that hard to NOT beat or pepper spray a nonviolent student.

      • Anonymous

        How should a nonviolent police force remove the disruption then?  Talking obviously failed.  Gentle tugs won’t work when protesters link up arms.  Protesters who resist arrest are begging for a forceful response from the police.

    • Sarahp

      a campus prone to protests? People wanting to be seen and heard? People accustomed to democracy?

      Police just doing their job, violently breaking up a peaceful protest before it turned into a riot, like what happened in Oakland? Yeah….right.

      Suck it up, UCPD. Or go find fat, $140K per year salary somewhere else, where you don’t have look at a protestors face ever again.

      • Anonymous

        I was just about to say the same thing to the protesters.  Suck it up.  Expect a forceful response when you resist arrest.  Go to a cheaper CSU if you can’t afford UC tuition and are not too elitist, or serve your country to get education reimbursement.

  • “To the University Administration and Regents:  Please don’t ask us to
    enforce your policies then refuse to stand by us when we do.  Your
    students, your faculty and your police – we need you to provide real

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    Finally, the police decide to man (and woman) up and call the administration out on its double-talking bullshit.

    Bobby B knows in his heart of hearts he cannot allow these savages to run wild on campus, but he chooses to shift the torrent of criticism for doing what is the right thing onto the police because he has no testicular fortitude.

  • Liana Mulholland

    I’m Liana, I’m with BAMN, and I was beaten by police on Nov.9th. I was that girl in the cap with the poka-dotted backpack linking arms with  “that small asian girl” that Steven Colbert made so famous (she is actually a women named Yvette Felarca who is the Bay Area BAMN chapter’s lead  organizer). I was knocked down by batons, got back up and was hit again and again until I was helped out of the front line by fellow protesters. I have cracked ribs, among other things, from that day. But in the end we held our ground. I am really proud of that.
    Now I’m part of BAMN’s lawsuit against the UCB administration, UCPD and the various other police agencies involved and we are demanding Birgeneau step down now. I’m really confident that through building the movement and using the lawsuit to expose this police policy we can get  the chancellor out and put all other chancellors on notice. UC Berkeley can continue to lead the way for our movement by using this lawsuit to build the movement, not just to say “we were victims” but to say “we are still holding our ground” “We are still fighting”.
    This letter from UCPD made me laugh because its lies were so over the top. We linked arms and held our ground. That’s the totality of the confrontation with police on Nov.9th. Honestly, I wish we HAD had shields. If we had we wouldn’t have been so badly hurt. Protection and self-defense in whatever ways we can is our right, but the fact is, we had only our bodies on Nov.9th. And they still couldn’t take us.
    I appreciate all the supportive and outraged comments below. I’d like to pick this BS apart quote by quote myself, but you guys took the words right out of my mouth.
    Basically, I just wanna say, if we keep our movement going and continue to hold these clowns accountable, we can really win.
    Also, if you were hurt or witnessed something from Nov.9th, contact us at http://www.bamn.com to join or support our lawsuit. When BAMN does a lawsuit, we do it as a tactic to build the movement. Help however you can.

    • Mike

      All it takes is one look at the name of your organization to understand what you are REALLY about… “By Any Means Necessary”.  I doubt you mean “by any means necessary (except violence)” or “by any means necessary (except resistance)”.  No, your name speaks for itself. 

      You lack credibility.  You lack credibility because I don’t believe you that you were nonviolent.  You lack credibility because you claim outright that you will do whatever it takes to force your viewpoint on everyone else. 

      You’d throw rocks and bottles if you felt it was “necessary”.  You’d break windows and vandalize property if you felt it was “necessary”.  You remind me of another group of people… terrorists.  You believe in *your* mind that what you are doing is righteous, and that’s how you justify everything you do.

      And now, you (and your lawyers) are just looking for a quick payday by filing a lawsuit.  I guess in the end, you will probably get what you want… a free education.  You’ll get a settlement from the University because we all know the costs of defending frivilous lawsuits are too great.  Of course, this will all be at the expense of the rest of the students and taxpayers. 

      Maybe one day, when you join the real world and have to work for a living, you’ll understand that people like you are really just a bunch of snivelling whiners that force the waste of even more money and resources.

      • Guest123

        yay! another privileged dude that doesn’t get it! thank you for your tired repeating of right wing propaganda cliches. even though it’s past noon, i hadn’t heard the “get a job” line yet. thanks for making my day complete!

        • Mike

          Nope, I didn’t say “get a job”.  What I said was one day, when they do get a job and join the real world, they’ll understand what’s really going on here.  But of course you don’t care about that… you’d rather distort my words to try and make your point.

          • Guest123

            telling someone their opinions are invalid until they “work for a living” is the same as saying “get a job” you fucking right wing hick fascist.

          • Sarahp

            “Real world.”

            You win the grand poo prize. Here is your poo: .

            You will probably want a baton with that.

            But seriously. Real world? Protestors brave enough to stand in front of rioting police, knowing they’re going to get jabbed in the ribs and gut? Is that not real?

            I bet you watched this on your computer. After a long day working a job that gives you security but siphons away your dreams. What you feel and do, that’s your real world. You’re welcome to it, since you fertilize it every day.

            The Real World will always be expanding with newness, welcoming people who are enthusiastic and smart. And unafraid. And happy about tomorrow. Because that’s what the Real World is.

      • Liana Mulholland

        see for yourself: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/316-20/8336-uc-berkeley-police-beat-students-in-sproul-plaza I’m the girl with the cap on and the brown shirt and the poka-dotted backpack. I’m standing there, linking arms, and then I was rammed with batons. It’s all right there.  Everyone: watch the video. Do you see violent students? Or police.
        That’s what I thought.
        @mike: I’m more in the lawsuit for the revenge than for the money. These bastards should be punished and made an example of in whatever ways we can win. Any money is just icing on the sweet sweet cake of victory. No one after them will think it’s a good idea to beat protesters.

        • Liana Mulholland

          Also, here’s a link to our lawsuit that was just filed today. It details everything that happened on NOV.9th

          • Liana Mulholland
          • Mike

            Oh, right.  Your lawsuit details everything.  Unbiased.  Just the cold hard truth.  Yeah.  (Guest123, I’m being sarcastic.  Don’t distort my statements here, too). 

            You know, Liana, I watched the video.  Unfortunately for you I’m not convinced by a 5-minute snippet of what happened that day. That’s like showing a 15-second snippet of a police officer shooting some guy in the head.  You would scream bloody murder (and then demand arrests, demand resignations,  file lawsuits, whine to the world, etc).  Of course, the 2-minutes prior to that 15-second snippet could show the police officer negotiating with a crazy man with a gun who has already shot and killed innocent bystanders.  Oh, but that wouldn’t be convenient for your cause so you’d conveniently leave that out.  Get the point?  You show me what happened prior to this video  first.

            By the way, the guy making the video forgot to edit out the guy in the crowd yelling, “Move Forward!”   What did you really expect was going to happen after the police told you to leave (and you refused) and then the crowd (and you) started pushing forward at the police?

            Oh, you’re in it for revenge.  That’s reassuring.  Such honesty.  And here, I thought you were fighting for… uhh… what was it you were fighting for again?  I bet this was your endgame all along. Organize militant action, instigate confrontation with the police, file lawsuit.  That’s what you and your organization does, right?  What a life you live as a professional left-wing extremist.

      • JOEYFOUR

         Seriously? You read her entire post and decided to dismiss it entirely because “I READ YOUR NAME AND I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE REALLY UP TO.”

  • Markl94542

    This open letter from the UCB POA shows a disturbing, paranoic, us-against-them mindset.  If indeed the approximately 64 UCB police officers share the views expressed in this open letter, then it is no mystery why they would beat peacefully protesting students.  More than their abusive behavior, this kind of departmental, cultural attitude is cause for the termination of the chief and potentially most or all of the staff.  The dubious “facts” expressed in this open letter is another example of the lying liars and the lies they tell.

    • Anonymous

      The protesters set the “disturbing, paranoic, us-against-them mindset”.  It’s the 99% against the 1%, remember?  Class warfare.  There can be no warfare without conflict, and protesters contrived a conflict by intentionally breaking campus rules to show they alone own the university.  The UCPD deserves praise for preserving Cal as a functioning university, and all of the students who broke campus rules should be expelled.

      • Disgusted Alum

        Thanks for your commentary, Officer Margo Bennett.

      • Campus rules are not law. Get your head out of your ass.

        Can you actually look at yourself in the mirror after saying that people should be praised for beating those without the means to defend themselves? I may not know if there is or isn’t a hell, but if there is I do know you belong in it.

  • Shaw

    As a Cal Alumni, I cannot believe this is how the organize is responding.  If there were protesters “hitting, pushing, grabbing officers’ batons, fighting back with backpacks and skateboards”, please show us the evidence.  Furthermore, there is no reason why the police shouldn’t prosecute those protesters.  However, there is clear evidence of police using force against protesters who were peaceful, even if they disobeyed a dispersal order.  Peacefully arrest those individuals that disobey a dispersal order.  That’s the way it should be handled. 

    If police officers think beating students and professors is the best way to “control this incident so it does not escalate into a seriously violent, potentially life-threatening event for all involved” I can only imagine what happens in a truly violent situation.  Is the UC Berkeley Police going to using machine guns? 

    I urge you to sign this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/robert-j-birgeneau-chancellor-uc-berkeley-police-chief-resign

    Change needs to occur to move forward. 

  • Guest

    “While students were calling the protest “non-violent,” the events on November 9th were
    anything but nonviolent.  In previous student Occupy protests,
    protesters hit police officers with chairs, bricks, spitting, and using
    homemade plywood shields as weapons – with documented injuries to

    Wow, one would expect an explanation of how Nov.9th was violent, but instead you switch to discussing some other protest?

  • Hchapot

    “Our society in 2011 has become an extremely more violent place to live and to protect.”

    This is bull, society is safer now than it has ever been, if you look at statistics on crime, murder etc.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  While I feel for the UC Berkeley Police Officers, and also feel their pain, so to speak, their letter appears to be disingenuous, although I suspect they just don’t know their own past.  I arrived at Cal the year after FSM and graduated in September of 1969.  It’s a serious reworking of history to pretend that now is so much more violent than then, when everything was just a nice cup of tea.  Total nonsense. Violence was in the air  increasingly during the time I was at Cal, particularly the last 2 years (1967-1969), let’s have no pretense here, and while some of the violence was by students, a good deal was by the various police forces brought in, including the dire Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept. and the SF Tac squad. However, what I’m seeing now is that our police forces have become increasingly militarized, even the campus police, with a knee jerk response to fairly mild forms of protest.  Some real change and guidance is called for, and an end to beating on students.

    • PKT

      thank you for your excellent response.

  • Mike Kazanjy

    Hi, I’m a ’06 Cal alum, and I am appalled at the actions of the UCPD.  I have made it a goal of mine for the foreseeable future to get any and all alumni to cease contributions to Cal or UC until UCPD is disbanded, and a deal can be reached with local PD to respond when needed.  It has been far too long and far too violent a time where UCPD has been told to do things by the administration, and suffered shameful consequences when administrators back pedal.  The police are a blunt object, much like the military.  They break things, and kill and arrest people.  That is not the way that a University should be policing its students.  Period.

    • PKT

      As a student, I thank you. Also, I believe the 2009 incident involved Berkeley Police Department and abuse, so we should consider this in the “deal.”
      I am horrified that UC Berkeley participates in militarization of the campus  http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies by lending buildings and support and that UCPD also receives training like that which they finished just mid-October.
      The Pennsylvania vendor who sold teargas used on Egyptians last week, lists our very own Urban Shield as the local place to buy their products. [http://www.combinedsystems.com/Events.aspx]
       Finally, let us not forget that a student was killed by UCPD, who investigated their own action, reviewed their own tape and drew their own conclusion based on their actions. Birgeneau was sweeping away that dead young man’s life, sure to say it was an “unrelated” incident, before 24 hrs was even up and before a thorough investigation could be done, which still sounds iffy.

  • Matt

    There was no violence before or after that of the police’s.

    • Anonymous

      But campus rules were being violated in plain view of the police.  Should the police do nothing?

      • Guest

        There should be a different reaction to breaking campus rules and committing a criminal offense.

  • Anonymous

    The argument that our society is becoming more and more violent gels well with Tin Foil Commenters from San Diego and Police Unions but violent crime has been decreasing since the mid 90s. 

    • nanou

      Also this – while crime may have risen in the late 60s (not surprising – many, many baby boomers at the age folks more likely to commit crimes)  violent crime has dropped dramatically since the early 70s.  http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/tables/viortrdtab.cfm  =

  • Keystonecarrier44

    WOW! What a bunch of smoke n mirror’s.

    Firstly they start their apology letter  but saying “we know your mad about budget cuts…”? hahaha, no stupid, were made about the obscene abuse of police force, and apparently your only sorry because it was caught on video.

    Adding that cops were attacked by backpacks and skateboards sounds like a justification for your violent acts against college kids, as if it was revenge for the backpack that bumped your riot shield.

    Quoting a 1964 event seemed somewhat nostalgic at first, until toward the end of the article you brought it back up to explain how the people were wrong and how they paid for what they did to the cop car. Wow, you really disgraced that Free Speech Event, twisted and manipulated the facts to serve your own means. Did you find a WMD in a kids backpack on Nov 9th too?

    But my favorite part by far is “That being said, we do not abrogate responsibility for the events on November 9th”.  Seriously, what does that even mean? Abrogate?  Its funny to me because I have written professional apology letters in my career, and so I know how they were trying to act all professional and include big words, and then use the double negative “we do not” to make it so its not clear if you admit guilt.

    All in all, this letter shows a pattern of behavior by this PD that is continuing and escalating. Their actions on Nov 9th were inexcusable. They should all retire or be fired. This letter shows they are not sorry, they didn’t even bother to apologize, and so its clear to me if they don’t even know what they did was wrong, they are liability for another event to occur. They should all retire or be fired. They did however clearly blame the economy, blame the school, and blame the kids that they attacked, for their attack.

    Maybe they couldn’t see what they were doing…the Abrogate might have been in their eyes…

  • Stan De San Diego

    Right on – time someone acted like a responsible adult and acknowledged the truth, something that is far beyond the capability of  either the protesting students or the administration.

    • Mike Kazanjy

      Explain your position with use of fewer pronouns.  It’s difficult to tell what you are saying here.  The UCPD took no responsibility for their unprovoked and illegal actions.  If you are on the side of the police, do some research, bud.  UCDPD police chief was completely thrown under the bus after the Davis events, and I suspect the same will happen with UCB.

      • Caladan

        Regarding your statement, “The UCPD took no responsibility for their unprovoked and illegal actions’, perhaps YOU need to do some research (including looking up the definition of the word, “abrogate”.)

        • Sarahp

          should have read, “We do not abrogate OUR responsibility,” or “We are not seeking to abrogate OUR responsibility.”

          As it is, methinks the writer is being coy about who’s responsible.

          Later the letter says students somewhere are responsible; after that, the year 2011 is responsible; then there’s ‘managing’ the results of years of poor budgets, whatever that means, but it sounds responsible; don’t forget 1964 and the reason we’re in this mess today– FREE SPEECH. Completely responsible for putting the police in riot gear, every time those students want to speechify about something. And of course the Administration is totally responsible.

          UCBPOA letter-writer would like to be treated with a little more respect by protestors. Like they did it 1964, 10,000 protestors passing around a hat to pay for the damaged police cruiser. Those were the days! People knew how to protest without disrespecting authority. Those people deserved the rights they were protesting for. These kids today-eh- not so much. Skateboards and spittle, that tells you all you need to know.

  • Anonymous

    “Disgruntled citizens in this day and age express their frustrations in far more violent ways – with knives, with guns and sometimes by killing innocent bystanders.”  Obviously.  I mean that is exactly what the students were doing.

    • guest

      @Art32: please tell me you do not/did not go to Cal.  The lack of following logic and just plucking a sentence out of context is really embarrassing.

      • Guest123

        explain to me how there is logic in this letter. the police are justifying their use of force because of the quote art32 posted. where in this country did any of those things happen? has anyone been killed in an occupy protest? has anyone in an occupy protest pulled a knife or gun on anyone? it seems to me the only injuries that have occurred at protests lately were caused by police officers overreacting to the situation.

        • Guest
          • Guest123

            hey! you’re a genius. you found an article that mentions death and occupy in the same space. but which of those deaths was caused by a protest? one man, who was mentally ill, killed himself. sooo.. not that one. another was most likely a gang member who was killed near an occupy camp…soo.. not that one either.  the article doesnt say why the man in SLC died sooo… not that one either. 

            do try again though!

      • Anonymous

        Your awkward sentence construction are pretty bad too — let’s call it even you guys.

      • Anonymous

        If I took the sentence out of context, it’s probably because it makes no sense being in this open letter in the first place. I don’t know about you but whenever I make anything public, whether it’s a facebook post or an op-ed, I make sure that what I have written makes sense.

        I mean I understand the purpose of that quote in this letter. It’s going for the “there are dangerous people out there and we are here to protect you approach.” However, please tell me what that has to do at all with the peaceful protesters?

        If the author of this open letter chooses to take events out of context and insinuate that the protesters were violent, then I think it is only fair to call him or her out on their poor judgement.

        Yes I do attend Cal and I’m sure you haven’t.

    • Guest

      Way to take things out of context. Did you have your “let’s-catch-the-most-polarizing-sentence” lenses on?

      • Guest123

        Ok! let me pull out a few more quotes:

        ” Not caught on most videos were scenes of protesters hitting, pushing,
        grabbing officers’ batons, fighting back with backpacks and skateboards.”

        where? at Cal? why has no one seen this?

        “While students were calling the protest “non-violent,” the events on November 9th were
        anything but nonviolent.  In previous student Occupy protests,
        protesters hit police officers with chairs, bricks, spitting, and using
        homemade plywood shields as weapons – with documented injuries to

        what happened on nov 9th that was violent? the linking of arms? what previous occupy student protest? documented injuries to officers– never heard that one before. where’s the documentation?

        “At a moment’s notice, the November 9th protest at UC Berkeley could have turned even more violent than it did, much like the Occupy protests in neighboring Oakland.”

        what gave them any indication of that? people linking arms around a tent? the short asian women they gutted with baton was just seconds away from going on a rampage and violently attacking people? are you serious?

        • Hanunam

          “in neighboring Oakland” — perhaps referring the police use of tear gas?!

      • Claude

        “disgruntled citizens in this day and age” sure is vague.  and referring to violence right after seems to elicit fear as an excuse.

  • Guest

    “Not caught on most videos were scenes of protesters hitting, pushing,
    grabbing officers’ batons, fighting back with backpacks and skateboards.”

    It is standard procedure for the UC Berkeley Police to video-record protesters.  Nov 9th was no exception; there were staff from the UCB Berkeley police department filming the event.

    So why haven’t the police shown any evidence that the students were being violent?  They don’t have even one brief video-clip, or a single photograph of the the police being attacked… because they weren’t.

    The police are lying, Mitch Celaya is lying.

    It is time for the campus police to be disbanded.  There are enough city police officers to go around; the campus doesn’t need to have it’s own police force.

    • Anonymous

      If they’re so disgruntled about the whole incident, then they should all quit. Go find jobs in another department that tolerates beating the crap out of peaceful protesters. 
      Until then, I can only hope that the police review results in the termination of all the violent police officers and any police department administrators who gave the orders to attack students.

    • Anonymous

      Disband the police?  How could you treat fellow union members like this?  The police are part of the 99% too, and they have families to support.  Have your union steward talk to their union steward and arrange some kind of back room deal so that next time you can fake your injuries on Youtube.