Between the evening of March 4 and the early morning of March 5, there were seven reports of vandalism at the private homes of UC Berkeley employees and officials, which are believed to be connected to the pending development on People’s Park.
The alleged vandals slashed tires and broke vehicle windows, threw a brick in the window of a residence and spray painted “highly threatening, hateful” graffiti, according to a statement from campus.
“Preliminary investigative findings lead UCPD to believe these acts of vandalism are connected to pending construction at People’s Park, and are part of an effort to prevent the construction of supportive housing for unhoused members of the community, a new student residence hall, and a revitalization of two acres of greenspace at the site,” the campus statement reads.
One house that was hit neighbored the home of a campus employee, but all of the other houses targeted belonged to UC Berkeley employees or officials, according to a campus spokesperson who requested to remain anonymous.
For one member of the campus administration, the vandalism stated, “you try it, we riot,” the spokesperson said. They added that some people were called “murderers” and other “disgusting” language was used, much of which they could not relay, leaving those affected “deeply concerned.”
“These are people just doing their jobs, and people who are dedicated to serving Berkeley’s students, staff and faculty,” the spokesperson said. “You can imagine what it must be like to wake up in the morning to find that your house has been vandalized and there are horrible, disgusting, threatening words spray painted across your house.”
A multi-agency investigation is currently underway because of the severity of the crimes and because the victims reside in different jurisdictions. UCPD, Berkeley Police Department, Oakland Police Department and San Francisco Police Department all responded to the incidents, according to the campus statement.
The next steps are in the hands of law enforcement agencies, the spokesperson added. Campus has also privately spoken to those who had their homes vandalized.
“The campus will do everything in its power to support the safety and well-being of its employees,” the spokesperson said.
UCPD encourages anyone with information pertaining to this case to contact the department at 510-642-6760.