Four Berkeley area residents are suing the city, the University of California Berkeley, and the UC Board of Regents because of injuries they suffered at a violence-plagued Milo Yiannopoulos appearance last February.
According to The Daily Californian, the complaint notes the plaintiffs had planned to attend the Milo event but were “allegedly physically attacked by masked figures” who were protesting. It also says campus police “provided insufficient protection for the event’s attendees.”
UC President Janet Napolitano, campus Chancellor Carol Christ, UCPD Chief Margo Bennett, and the Berkeley Police Department are also named as defendants in the suit.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Bill Becker said “In this case we had four innocent people who were not doing anything to provoke anyone. The problem was created by the campus administration, the UC Police Department and Berkeley Police Department not doing their job to protect the public.”
The lawsuit references social media posts, videos and pictures displaying plaintiffs Jennings, Redelsheimer, Hatch and Fletcher suffering from attacks during the riots. One picture, posted on social media, depicts Jennings lying unconscious on the ground after being physically assaulted. Another video shows Redelsheimer and Hatch after being pepper-sprayed and hit with a flagpole while within the barricade, which allegedly prevented them from fleeing the scene. …
According to a crowd management policy that the lawsuit cites in the document, UCPD is responsible for removing “uninvolved parties” from situations involving riots. However, the lawsuit alleges that UCPD “abandoned” Sproul Plaza, where the disturbances took place, and delivered “feckless attempts” to break up the crowd, which left bystanders vulnerable.
“It’s deliberate because they made a conscious decision to employ tactics that were ineffective and showed weakness, thereby emboldening the demonstrators and angering them with their empty threats,” Becker said.
Becker said the lack of protection was “intentional” and referenced evidence that allegedly shows UCPD barricading Sproul Plaza upon seeing demonstrators before “retreating” to the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.
The plaintiffs want compensation for medical bills and “a change in police behavior during violent situations.”
Read the full article (which includes a copy of full complaint).