Man previously charged with robbery to sue city of Berkeley for police misconduct

photo of a Berkeley police department SUV
Phillip Downey/File
Vincent Bryant was previously taken into custody Jan. 2 after Berkeley Police Department received a report of a robbery on Shattuck Avenue. Bryant is now suing the city on allegations of misconduct throughout his arrest and is seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

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Vincent Bryant, who had previously been charged with multiple felonies in January, is now suing the city of Berkeley and the Berkeley Police Department on allegations of overall misconduct during his arrest.

Bryant was taken into custody Jan. 2 after BPD officers received report of a robbery at 2190 Shattuck Ave. Bryant had threatened police officers with a chain, resulting in one officer discharging her firearm, according to a previous article from The Daily Californian.

At the time of his arrest, Bryant was also on parole for prior convictions. According to court documents, Bryant had been charged with residential burglaries and grand theft auto.

BPD released 911 calls from Bryant’s attempted robbery. Officers eventually located Bryant near the Tang Center courtyard. Shots were fired as officers tried to convince Bryant to put down his weapon, according to the body camera footage taken at the scene.

After his arrest, he was charged with multiple felonies, including second-degree robbery, use of a deadly weapon and assault upon an officer, according to the past Daily Cal article.

In February, just one month after Bryant’s charges, Bryant and his legal team announced their plans to sue the city. His legal team cited an alleged “shootout” with a police officer that left him wounded in the jaw.

“Although this situation could have clearly resolved without any violence at all or any use of deadly force, the officer that chose to fire her weapon shot Mr. Bryant in the face causing major injury to his jaw,” alleged Adanté Pointer, Bryant’s attorney, in an email. “Fortunately, Mr. Bryant survived the attempt on his life.”

Bryant’s defense will argue that Bryant was “no real threat” to the public or the officers at the scene, as he was allegedly “at least 20-30 feet” away from all surrounding officers, according to Pointer.

According to the official claim filed to the city by his attorney, Bryant was also suffering from “obvious” mental health issues when BPD officers arrived with “pistols, assault rifles and less lethal weapons,”

“Officers should have simply continued to try to de-escalate and establish a rapport with Mr. Bryant in order to resolve the situation without any unnecessary violence in accordance with officers’ training and the law,” the claim alleges.

According to the claim, BPD officers allegedly grew impatient and did not pursue peaceful negotiation strategies. The claim notes that Bryant is seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

The officer involved in the shooting was immediately placed on leave following the incident but has since returned to active duty, according to a Berkeleyside article.

As of press time, BPD said it could not comment on the lawsuit.

Contact Audry Jeong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @audryjng_dc.