Berkeley Copwatch investigating transgendered woman's death
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Anthony Fest: Turning now to Bay Area news, the Berkeley Police Department has acknowledged that a Berkeley resident died last Tuesday after a call for a mental health evaluation led to a violent struggle with police. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: On Wednesday,February 13th, a report on Berkeleyside, a Berkeley community blog, said that a 41-year-old, unidentified male had died after struggling with Berkeley Police officers the night before. According to the report, police had been dispatched to the 2000 block of Allston Way for a mental health evaluation at about 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday. The Berkeley Police still have not released the deceased's identity, but Berkeley Copwatch has undertaken an investigation and concluded that the deceased was in fact a transgendered woman of color who resided in the Gaia Building, at 2116 Allston Way.
Andrea Prichett of Berkeley Copwatch told KPFA that the organization is seeking firsthand witnesses and/or individuals who knew the deceased, and asking them to call Copwatch at (510) 548-0425. Prichett also encouraged citizens of Berkeley to call the Police Department to demand a thorough investigation and full disclosure. Copwatch will hold a meeting tomorrow night at 7 pm at their office at 2022 Blake Street in Berkeley for those willing to help with their ongoing citizen investigation of why the so-called mental health evaluation became fatal.
Earlier this month, the Northern California Society for Professional Journalists announced that it will award Berkeley Copwatch with a James Madison Freedom of Information Award for its “effective use of public records to block a Homeland Security grant for putting an armored military vehicle on the streets of Albany and Berkeley.”
More information is available on the Berkeley Copwatch website, www.berkeleycopwatch.org.