Berkeley Police Review Commission meets to discuss review of December protest-related events

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The Berkeley Police Review Commission met Wednesday to discuss its ongoing review of the events surrounding protests that took place Dec. 6, 7 and 8.

City Council charged the civilian commission in January with conducting an investigation of alleged police misconduct and recommending potential policy changes. The commission’s report is scheduled to be released by late July.

According to commissioner Ben Bartlett, the commission must analyze data from the protests for “less-than-lethal” force, as well as potential assaults of journalists and individuals from certain groups, including African American, homeless and LGBT individuals. One major policy to be reviewed in the upcoming report is the city’s policy on “mutual aid”: bringing in assistance from other police departments.

Commissioners had each been assigned a section of footage in a previous meeting and discussed how to handle the high volume of video. The data, comprised of text and videos, was organized by Berkeley Police Department and city staff.

“So far the biggest challenge has the been the sheer size of data to review,” Bartlett said in an email. “We are not many, but I feel that we are up to the task.”

The commission discussed the advantages and disadvantages of forming a subcommittee out of the nine members of the commission in order to better analyze the protests, and it eventually agreed to create a subcommittee.

“You have to rewind and take notes, and rewind and take notes again — it’s a very onerous process, ” said commissioner Ann Rogers at the meeting. She added that there were about 400 clips the commission would have to review.

Contact Anna Sturla at [email protected].