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Berkeley Could Make It Even Harder For City Police To Control Violent Protests

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter

The Berkeley City Council will discuss Tuesday limiting the Berkeley Police Department’s ability to use force policy.

Proposed by Councilwoman Kate Harrison, the amendment would expand the definition of use of force to include any time an officer uses physical force in any matter, the Berkeley Patch reported. The change would require the California officers to fill out more paperwork and a day-to-day basis, as officers are currently only required to document uses of force when there is an injury, a weapon is used, or a citizen files a complaint.

Harrison’s proposed change also would require the department to publish an annual use of force report and cataloguing each incident by severity and other measures.

Berkeley has been a hotbed of violent protest throughout 2017 and the city council hoped to address police concerns by easing its ban on pepper spray.

When conservative commentator Ben Shapiro appeared for an on-campus speech at the University of California, Berkeley, the college was forced to pay $600,000 in security costs. Barely a week later, the college had to pay $800,000 when provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos came to campus for a 45-minute “photo op.”

Police were able to keep the peace at both events, but appearances by Yiannopoulos and conservative commentator Ann Coulter earlier in the year did not go so seamlessly. (RELATED: Police Gear Up For Berkeley Appearance Despite Cancellation)

Rioters protesting Yiannopoulos’ February event were described as violent by witnesses on social media and video of the riots confirmed that description. Video showed rioters violently attacking Yiannopoulos supporters and people wearing Trump apparel, mercilessly spraying them with pepper spray.

The rioters claimed in a press release that Yiannopoulos was a “tool of Trump’s fascist government” and “has no right to speak at Cal or anywhere else!”

“Milo is seeking to use the campuses to serve a larger fascist transformation of America and its entire culture,” the press release went on to say. “Students are right to SHUT IT DOWN because yes, it’s dangerous. Fascism is dangerous to humanity. And you, if you oppose this with everything you’ve got, will have the honor of being dangerous to fascism.”

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