UCPD arrests man in South Berkeley, faces backlash from community

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UCPD arrested a man Saturday afternoon in South Berkeley for possession of a dangerous weapon, generating controversy and backlash from Berkeley community bystanders for lack of transparency regarding the arrest.

About 3 p.m. Saturday, a UCPD officer took a tomahawk ax from a man sitting on the corner of Dwight Way and Telegraph Avenue, according to UCPD Sgt. Thomas Wing. Authorities then attempted to issue a citation to the suspect but could not verify the suspect’s name, Wing said.

In a video filmed and posted on YouTube by a bystander, the suspect can be heard telling officers that the tomahawk ax is his “survival tool.”

According to Wing, UCPD officers arrested the suspect after he became “uncooperative” and because they could not issue him a citation without knowing his name.

“Either you give us your information, or you’re going to jail,” said a UCPD officer in the video.

The man was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon, according to Wing. He added that in the process of taking the suspect to jail, the suspect “resisted and caused damage” to a patrol vehicle.

This incident drew backlash from community members, many of whom questioned why the suspect was being arrested.

“Violence! Let him go!” one man chanted in the video as UCPD officers arrested the suspect.

As the suspect was led to the back seat of a UCPD patrol vehicle, community members swarmed around him and the officers, continuing to protest the arrest.

“Why am I being arrested?” the suspect asked the officers in the video as he was put into the vehicle.

UCPD has still been unable to identify the suspect, who is currently in jail, according to Wing.

Check back for updates.

Amber Tang is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.