UC Berkeley worker released from UCPD custody after union rally

workersrally
Matthew Lo/Staff

Update 2/1/2018: This article has been updated to include information from campus spokesperson Roqua Montez.

UCPD officers tackled and detained a UC Berkeley employee during a rally organized by AFSCME Local 3299, the University of California’s largest employee union.

The rally — which was meant to draw attention to the low wages and alleged mistreatment of some UC workers — began about noon Thursday. In a video circulated on Facebook, the man, who is represented by the union, was detained by UCPD about 1 p.m. The man was identified as housing and dining services employee David Cole by other protesters, who later gathered in front of California Hall to demand his release and encouraged others to join the rally. Cole was released from custody about 6:40 p.m. 

 

Cole allegedly blocked the way of an occupied vehicle that was at the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way, where the protest gathered, and threw a sign he was carrying at the vehicle, according to an email from campus spokesperson Roqua Montez. The driver of the vehicle got out and flagged down a police officer for assistance.

Multiple UCPD officers physically detained Cole after he allegedly resisted arrest, Montez said in the email. He added that Cole sustained a cut on his forehead, which was treated by Berkeley Fire Department personnel after he was detained.

“UCPD and the campus administration always see the use of force as unfortunate and it is used only when necessary to protect the community and the officers involved in carrying out their duties,” Montez said in the email.

Cole has been transported to Alameda County Medical Center, according to the email, and will be charged with vandalism and resisting an officer.

This is a developing article. Check back for updates.

Staff writer Matthew Lo contributed to this report.

Ani Vahradyan is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anivahrad.