Police Use Tear Gas Against Protest in Berkeley

December 8, 2014

Police in Berkeley, California, on Saturday night used tear gas against protesters who were demanding changes in the justice system in the wake of the decisions of grand juries in Missouri and New York not to indict police officers in the killings of unarmed black men, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The protest started on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley and moved into the city of Berkeley, which is where the tear gas was used. Six people were arrested. Authorities said that they had to use tear gas to stop vandalism, but protesters said that there was no need for that kind of force. The protest involved students and others.

On Sunday,afternoon, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks released this statement: "In the wake of last night's events in the city of Berkeley, we are calling on the members of our campus community to help maintain calm on and around the campus. While the details of what led to the unfortunate confrontations between some groups of protestors and Berkeley police officers remain unclear, we offer our sympathy to all who may have been injured or had property damaged. We fully understand that there are many in our community, and across the country, who are deeply distressed about recent decisions in New York and Ferguson, and fully support their right to give voice to their concerns and frustration. At the same, we hope that the anger expressed last night will, in the days ahead, be channeled into constructive, non-violent action and advocacy that can advance the ongoing fight for justice and equity in our nation."

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