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CALENDAR

A. Meetings held Mondays at 7:00 PM
Come one, come all!

B. Copwatching Shifts
We will be holding shifts every Friday and Saturday in April!  Schedule TBA.
 
C. Flea Market Tabling Saturday April 9
Parking lot of the Ashby BART Station. Stop by and say hi.
 
D. Know Your Rights Training
Learn how to deal with the police, how to safely assert your rights and how to effectively observe the police in your community. 7:00 PM, Tuesday April 26 at the Grassroots House.


JOIN US FOR A SHIFT: MASS COPWATCHING


Since October 2015, Berkeley Copwatch has been holding “mass copwatch” events that invite folks to join us for a shift. It’s been fun and very empowering to have a group of copwatchers patrolling our city and on the scene when police stop people.

We are holding shifts every Friday and Saturday of April! You can check this Facebook Event page for scheduling details; tentative times have been posted as of 4/1.

Or, you can contact us at (510) 548-0425 or 
berkeleycopwatch@yahoo.com to learn where and when we will be meeting.

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Dressed in fatigues, the Berkeley Police Special Response Team unloads pizza boxes and takeout from armored vehicle. These are Berkeley police officers responding to a shooting in which one man was wounded and the suspect turned himself in the next day. Check out the video! Photograph: Andrea Prichett
 

More than three years after her death, the in-custody death of Kayla Moore at the hands of Berkeley Police officers is expected to come to trial this October, according to her sister, Maria Moore.  Addressing students and community members at the Copwatch sponsored DeCal class on the UC campus, Maria explained the circumstances surrounding Kayla’s death and why her family feels that Berkeley Police have failed the community when it comes to providing care for people with mental health issues.

“Her caregiver called the Berkeley police thinking that officers would come and evaluate her and help get her back on her meds. He had no idea that they would come in and make the situation so much worse,” explained Moore.

The killing of Kayla Moore, a transgender African American woman with a history of mental illness, has come to symbolize the militarization of mental health care and the growing problem of police killings of people with mental health problems. When she was wrestled by officers and placed face down on a futon while six officers used all of their strength to subdue her, she stopped breathing. According to the “People’s Investigation: In-Custody Death of Kayla Moore,” the warrant was unconfirmed and the officers had no right to even put their hands on her.

Copwatch will be working with other groups and organizations to publicize the upcoming trial and to challenge the way that emergency mental health “services” are delivered to people in Berkeley, as well as the racism and transphobic behaviors of the BPD officers. Please email us if you would like to help out.

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In late August 2015, Copwatch contacted the Police Review Commission about a proposed revision of the Berkeley Police Department’s 1983 training bulletin that affirmed the right of citizens to watch police.

Copwatch was concerned that the new General Order W-1 was more restrictive of observers and requested that the PRC review the matter. With the help of friends from the ACLU, the PRC was presented at its March meeting with a copy of a 21-year-old policy from San Francisco that not only protects, but EXPANDS the circumstances by which citizens can watch police. Although the PRC agreed to adopt the SF policy, it is yet to be seen whether the Berkeley Police Association and the BPD will allow the change to go through without objection. Come to the next PRC meeting on April 13 at 7 PM, South Berkeley Senior Center to voice your support for the right to watch. 

Excerpts from the SF Policy:
  • Persons shall be permitted to make a short, direct inquiry as to the suspect's name and whether the officer or the suspect wishes a witness. The suspect shall be allowed to respond to the inquiry.
  • If the conditions at the scene are peaceful and sufficiently quiet, and the officer has stabilized the situation, persons shall be allowed to approach close enough to overhear the conversation between the suspect and the officer, except when:
    1. The suspect objects to persons overhearing the conversation.
    2. There is a specific and articulable need for confidential conversation for the purpose of police interrogation.
  • An officer shall not seize, compel or otherwise coerce production of these bystander recordings by any means without first obtaining a warrant.
 Check out the whole SFPD policy.
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COPWATCH DECAL CLASS
 
The Copwatch DeCal class, called "Community Based Police Accountability," is well underway in Spring 2016. Topics covered include militarization, gentrification, mental health and more. Peyton Provenzano and Emma Fogel, both sophomores, are facilitating the class on Mondays from 5:00 - 6:30 PM in Dwinelle, room 247. Community members are always welcome and encouraged to sit in.
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Schedule a speaker for your class or organization!
After four years of foot dragging by the Berkeley Police Department, Copwatch was finally able to get hard data on the number of people stopped by BPD. Not surprisingly (and based on their own data collection), BPD disclosed that it is practicing racial profiling at an alarming rate, stopping Black people at approximately five times as White people.  Berkeley Copwatchers are connecting the dots between police harassment of Black people and the rapidly decreasing African American population. With the unleashing of developers upon our city and gentrification run amok, we need to carefully create a united resistance against racism and corruption within our city.

We are asking community groups and organizations if they would like our people to come to your meeting/gathering and give a visual presentation that lasts less than 30 minutes. Speakers will bring some graphs and facts to help paint the big picture of what is happening in Berkeley, and will also leave ample time for discussion of these difficult topics.

If you would like us to give a presentation to your group or know of another group that may be interested, please call (510) 229-0527 or email 
berkeleycopwatch@yahoo.com.

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In order to achieve our goals this year, we need some stuff! We're looking for a new police scanner and a new computer, as well as the funds to help print materials and revamp our website. Or, if you would like to donate some money to our general fund, that would be amazing too! Berkeley Copwatch is an all volunteer organization that is supported by the community. If you have any leads, or would like to donate, please email us.
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Grassroots House
2022 Blake Street
Berkeley, CA  94704
(510) 548-0425
To Submit to Copwatch Newsletter:
Please send the exact text of your submission to stephanie.maurer@gmail.com with “CW News [month/year]” in the subject line. Your submission should include a title to be listed in the table of contents. The deadline for submission is 8:00 PM on the 25th of each month. I cannot send attachments, so please include an email address for those, if needed. Please specify if you would like your submission to run multiple times and provide an end date.