Berkeley Police Department

Tasers in Berkeley?

KPFA Weekend News, 10.10.2015

Both the Richmond and BART Police Departments sent taser advocates to the 10.06.2015 Berkeley City Council hearing, but neither is an exemplar of responsible taser use. BART officer Johannes Mehserle claimed to have mistaken his gun for his taser after he shot and killed Black teenager Oscar Grant, and Richmond officer Kristopher Tong tasered Black teenager Andre Little in the testicles.

Berkeley Copwatch to challenge Berkeley City Council re Kayla Moore's death in custody

KPFA Evening News, 04.28, 2013

KPFA Evening News Anchor David Landau: It's been two and a half months since Berkeley resident Kayla Moore died in police custody, after what the police first Kayla Moore reported as a call for a mental health evaluation. Moore was an African American transgendered woman. The Berkeley Police still have not released a report. Nor have they lifted their hold on release of the Alameda County Coroner's report on the cause of her death. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Berkeley Copwatch founder Andrea Prichett, who said that Copwatch will be at the Berkeley City Council meeting to demand answers this coming Tuesday.   

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Andrea Prichett, why is Berkeley Copwatch headed for the Berkeley City Council meeting next Tuesday?

Andrea Prichett: We're calling on people to converge on the City Council meeting this Tuesday, April 30th, because we want the City Council to take charge of the Police Department. And what we mean by that is it's time for the Berkeley Police Department to release some information about what happened to Kayla Moore that night. They've had two and a half months to conduct their investigation and to gather their information and to analyze that information and to make a Andrea Prichett of Berkeley Copwatch finding. That's fine. If they wanta drag their feet, we really don't care. But we do want them to release the police report. We also are calling on the City Council and the City Manager to have the Chief of Police withdraw the hold on the coroner's report that they have placed with the Alameda County Coroner. What we were told when we contacted the coroner's office was that they were not allowed to release it because the BPD put a hold on it. 

KPFA/Ann Garrison: And there's also a resolution regarding mental health on Tuesday's Berkeley City Council agenda, right? 

Andrea Prichett: Jesse Aragon, Council Member Aragon, has a proposal on the agenda, Item 31, that May be declared mental health month. Well, we're takin' up the spirit of mental health month and we 


believe that there should be an absolutely transparent examination of mental health policy, police policies related to the handling of people with mental illness, or people who are having a psychiatric episode. We believe that we should have a public discussion about that. 

KPFA/Ann Garrison: That was Andrea Prichett of Berkeley Copwatch, which will attend this Tuesday's Berkeley City Council meeting at 7 pm. 

For Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.

KPFA/David Landau:  And that Berkeley City Council meeting will be at Berkeley City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Way, Berkeley.Copwatch says they plan to be outside before the meeting begins at 7 pm. 


Berkeley Police delay release of coroner's report on Black transgendered woman's death in custody

Berkeley Copwatch founder Andrea Prichett

KPFA Evening News, 04.06.2013

In February KPFA News reported on Black transgendered Berkeley resident Kayla Moore's death in Berkeley Police custody, after a violent struggle with police at her apartment on Allston Way on February 12th. Earlier this week Berkeley Copwatch, which has been conducting a citizen investigation of Moore's death, contacted KPFA to say that the coroner's autopsy report on the cause of Moore's death will be withheld indefinitely at the request of the Berkeley Police Department.  

KPFA spoke to Berkeley Copwatch founder Andrea Prichett, who said that she and other Berkeley Copwatchers plan to attend the Berkeley City Council meeting on April 30th, at City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Berkeley, at 7 pm. 



Berkeley Copwatch investigating transgendered woman's death

KPFA Evening News, 02.17.2013

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,

For Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I’m Ann Garrison.


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