No Berkeley, Ca, Cop Shots In Your Back

by Steed Dropout
June 14, 2015

Cop pursuit. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Berkeley rates high with street people, and even those who have been arrested tell me they agree.

Now the ultimate best-of-award. Berkeley cops won’t gun you down from behind if you bolt. But are you feeling lucky, punk? (Eastwood).

According to on-line sources, the last time a Berkeley cop shot and killed a Berkeleyan was 2003. And that was a frontal shot and there was, reportedly, a threatening knife involved.

Shot in the back while running from police. It hasn’t happened here in 45 years, when a South Berkeley
drugstore security guard shot and killed a fleeing teenager, who was accused of shop lifting aspirin.

According to a recent Telegraph Avenue incident, Berkeley cops know better than to shoot a fleeing suspect in the back.

At Telegraph/Dwight Way, a cop chase ignites on-the-fly, as some passing bicycle cops, acting on an alert, take off on foot, pursuing a fleeing man. (See above photo)


Cops respond. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Outside a music store, a sidewalk scuffle, brought cops to the most patrolled block in Berkeley. When one of the scufflers sprinted away, cops took off in pursuit.

The most patrolled block is below Haste, and above Dwight Way.

“The fleeing man got away before we could I.D. him,” a cop told me, adding, “We thought we’d get him in an alley off Dwight, but he was gone before we could get him. He fled into South west Berkeley.”

No manhunt, no sweat, no big deal. Back on Telegraph, the on-the-ground sidewalk scuffle that had sparked the chase morphed into a mental health intervention.

Mental health outreach worker, right. Photo by Ted Friedman.

One of the street-fighters, who had drawn police, needed help. He was agitated and incoherent. Police called for Berkeley Mental Health outreach.

“You’re going to a hospital where you will be safe,” the mental health worker told agitated. He was strapped into a gurney as he struggled to resist.

Agitated man struggles in gurney. Photo by Ted Friedman.

If observers, like Berkeley Reporter, noticed a rehearsed precision from responders, the precision could be explained by repetition. Even bystanders seemed rehearsed.

Mental health interventions and drug over-doses occur on this block 3-4 times a week.

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