Cal Protests Post-Mortem: Demonstrators Still Awaiting Charges; Police Conduct Under Criticism



As we've previously reported, Cal got all kinds of crazy last Wednesday and Thursday when a series of sit-ins and demonstrations yielded about two dozen arrests and drew cops, rubberneckers, supporters, and helicopters from all over the area. Today, the Daily Cal's got two articles about issues raised in the aftermath, and it looks like the fate of Thursday's ledge-sitters is still unclear, while protesters are raising concerns about police use of batons and pepper spray.

According to a piece by Sarah Burns, the nine people who occupied a ledge of Wheeler Hall of the better part of Thursday are still awaiting arraignment; according to UCPD chief Mitch Celaya, the University will push the DA to bring charges against them. Meanwhile, all of Wednesday's protesters — many of hwom weren't actually cal students — had been released from jail by Saturday, though some wait arraignment. The seventeen who were arrested for trespassing haven't had charges brought against them (though the DA can still file them up to a year later); the three who were also arrested for obstructing a peace officer have arraignments scheduled for later this month.

Meanwhile, another story details criticism being lobbied against UCPD and local city cops' use of pepper spray and batons in the midst of Thursday's protest. According to the Daily Cal, the UCPD called in officers from Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville to clear the crowd of hundreds that has amassed around Wheeler Hall, and in the course of that process several cops used batons and one used pepper spray. UCPD maintains that its officers' actions were necessary.