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One Year Later... Photos from the UC Berkeley Chancellor's House Protest on 12/11/10
After having been wrongfully detained and arrested on the night of December 11th, 2009, while covering a protest at UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's on-campus residence; after having an illegal search warrant issued for my photos the following day while I was still in Santa Rita jail; today, one year later, I filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the UC police department for violations of my First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment rights, as well as the Privacy Protection Act. It is at this point I finally share photos from that night publicly for the first time.
The photo above depicts the booty for which UCPD targeted me. UCPD ignored the fact that I was photographing the demonstration as a journalist and instead looked at me as a goody bag to do with as they pleased.
It was not until the ill-gotten search warrant was quashed on June 18th, 2010, that UCPD returned the original mini-disk containing my photographs. The disk also contained photographs I shot at an occupation at SF State University in the early morning hours the day before (which I had fortunately uploaded to a computer before UCPD confiscated my camera and the mini-disk). The larger CD with copies of my photos is a disk that UCPD had offered me in a court hearing prior to the court order overturning the warrant. In that same hearing, a temporary injunction against UC's use of the photos was issued and UCPD then had to take down a "wanted" web page that had made use of my photographs without my permission.
When the warrant was finally quashed, Judge Yolanda Northridge additionally ordered UCPD to turn over all known copies of my photographs that had been produced, hence the three folders, each with at least one set of color print-outs of my photographs. Note the one on the left includes the text "Must See." The paper on the right is the sworn declaration of all use and distribution of the photos by UCPD that the judge required UCPD to submit.
UCPD has not yet returned the final photograph I shot on December 11th, that of the first patrol car approaching the scene.
Indybay Journalist Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against UC Police Department:
Indybay Reporter Succeeds in Quashing UCPD Search Warrant:
Eight Arrested at UC Berkeley After Concert & March:
The final shot, taken just after this one, was looking down the sidewalk stairs toward the approaching UCPD vehicle below, but UCPD has not returned that photograph.
Officer Wyckoff, when he first approached me, said, "I saw you take a picture of us. We want your camera. We believe your camera contains evidence of a crime." The lawsuit filed today intends to help stop this type of thinking and behavior by UCPD in that it requests a court-ordered mandate for police training related to dealing with the press.