BPD Responds after Berkeley Copwatch Release of Footage from Less-Lethal Shooting Incident — Copwatc
Well, IT WORKED! Release of the footage lit a fire under the butt of Chief Greenwood. Suddenly, faced with a shocking video, the BPD webpage was updated and the name of the subject was released. The Chief also made sure to reach out to his favorite personal press spokeswoman, Emilie Raguso from Berkeleyside. Their "special relationship" has served the chief well and it did again yesterday. Regardless, Copwatch still demands release of body camera footage and source documents including the police report.
Dear Chief Greenwood,
Thank you for your response. While I appreciate that you released some information yesterday, I find it troubling that your response came only after Copwatch released it's video to the press. Unfortunately, this information release was not in response to a legitimate request for information from your jail staff and a California Public Records Act request. This lack of transparency is very concerning.
As you mentioned, your press release makes numerous "factual" assertions, some of which are not corroborated by information that Copwatch has collected. That is why we are eager to view footage of the incident in context as opposed to still shots of a knife. Again, rather than police press releases about the event, we are eager to see source documents generated about the event and footage that can help us to evaluate whether the practice of shooting kneeling individuals who have no weapon in hand is necessary or humane.
While we are certainly glad that your officers did not kill the man, that seems to be a rather low bar when the totality of circumstances are taken into account. Let's look at the footage that your officers have. Let's look at the store's footage. When I spoke with the clerk at the store, he was happy to provide the footage to us, but their system had already automatically deleted it by the time of our conversation. The store clerk never mentioned being threatened and he was concerned about the way police handled the situation. Based on these conflicting accounts, I believe that it is fair to evaluate whether the techniques employed by BPD in this situation represent use of the least possible force in a situation.
Again, we look forward to transparency and disclosure of the information we have requested.
sincerely, Andrea Prichett
* For reference, here is the Berkeleyside article/BPD press release with pics: https://www.berkeleyside.com/2020/04/08/police-man-with-knife-threatened-clerk-before-officer-fired-baton-round