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Law & Justice

Mayor Tom Bates discusses the Berkeley Protests

Dan Lurie
Police Line, 12/07/2014

The Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California Chapter sent a letter to Berkeley officials today condemning the actions of police officers who allegedly used batons to beat photojournalists. We contacted Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and asked him about his perspective on what happened in the streets of Berkeley over the weekend.

BATES: In both cases a small minority of people took over the rallies and actually ended up taking them on a course that was violent. Saturday night they damaged a Trader Joe's, a Wells Fargo Bank, and also a Radio Shack. They actually looted the Radio Shack and Trader Joe's. What was intended to be a peaceful demonstration digressed into a violent situation, and that also occurred on Sunday night too. Unfortunately it was repeated. I think I speak for the people of Berkeley, generally we are in total agreement that we should do something about what happened in Ferguson and what happened in New York City and are totally in sympathy about trying to make a change and see things done differently. But this kind of demonstration distracts from the real issues, and unfortunately the issue is now about violence and police behavior rather than the issues that took place in Ferguson and New York.

Click the audio player above to hear the entire interview.