Last night I joined hundreds of UC Berkeley students in a peaceful protest over the recent acts of Police Brutality (Ferguson, Eric Garner…)#We stood in an interstection one block from campus, Telegraph and Channing, At first the police just stood in a straight line, maintaining order over the peaceful protest. Sadly as the night progressed things became scary. While walking to join the protest, I encountered tear gas right next to one of the Berkeley’s dorms. Students were screaming and running trying to shield their eyes. They rallied people inside dorm lobbies, most of them elderly, to protect them from the police.
Later when I met up with the official protest things were calm. But it only took about an hour for things to turn for the worst. The police began to march forward and push us back. They did so without force, just walked forward with an intimidating grasp on their batons. Later, when they decided to move forward, things weren’t so peaceful. The second time I was moved by the Oakland PD (I have pictures of names), and I told them I lived in a building they blocked off, but they disregarded this and told me to go around the block (which was impossible because they had cornered us). Then next thing you know they are pushing us, not with batons, but with their hands. I was filming an officer and at first he hit my phone so I couldn’t record, then he hit my stomach, and smacked my breast.
For about three minutes later things were calm. We stood and demanded answers from the police. Why were they moving us forward? What had we done? Then the scariest moment of my life occurred. The battle line of officers began marching forward and jabbing their batons at us. They swung and stepped forward, swung stepped forward…The awful part was that, due to the crowd, it was impossible to escape their blows. For a second they backed off, during that time I stepped closer to video tape some abuse happening to my left and to get names of officers. At that moment they started to run forward and hit me. I fell to the ground but luckily these kind men grabbed me and saved me from being badly injured. (THIS IS WHAT YOU SEE IN THE VIDEO)
What happened next is why I can’t sleep anymore. After I was standing I was recording the police or at least trying to while they hit me and kept hitting me and my peers. We screamed and they just hit. When I was about to record an officer beating up this man in a blue striped shirt, my phone was knocked out of my hand by a baton. I immediately lunged for my phone (there was good footage and I am a poor college student okay). The moment i reached for it many cops, i cant recall exact numbers but at least three, started hitting me. Then one grabbed me and pulled me across the police line while hitting me. A female officer joined and started beating me. During this time I saw my friends quickly being beaten away. I cried out and begged the officers who were beating me to let me live. I cried “dont kill me” more times than i can count. Before I know it my hands are forced into the ziptie handcuffs and they are still beating me.
After their temper cooled off they walked me, alone except for hundreds of police officers to a secluded corner. There the police officer tried going through my phone to delete my photos and videos. I immediately told him he was not allowed to do that and he stopped. Then he took my name, age, weight, address and said that I deserved jail. Luckily the bus the takes all the protestors to prison didn’t make it to that area so he let me go.
I just want this story to be told. When I was being beat, no new crews were there. NBC only showed videos of vandalism, but they didn’t show the cops beating up college students for a peaceful protest.