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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | LGBTI / Queer | Police State and Prisons
March for Kayla Moore, Berkeley, California :: Video
On February 12th, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." Exactly one month later on March 12th, while police and corporate media are largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.
From Berkeley Copwatch:
"The BPD's press release of February 13th says that they responded to "a disturbance call" at Moore's apartment. Media reports have said this call was related to mental health. If she was going through a mental health crisis, was anyone present trained to respond to that kind of situation, to evaluate, and deescalate? According to an article from February 26th in the Oakland Tribune: "Berkeley: Man who died after struggle with police was severely mentally ill," rather than take her to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, when they found out she had an outstanding warrant in San Francisco, they told her they were going to arrest her.
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle dated February 13th "Man dies in struggle with Berkeley police," mentions "a disturbance between roommates," as causing the police to arrive. The Daily Californian February 14th article "Man dies after being taken into police custody," says that other residents heard a "commotion on the fifth floor of the building before the officers arrived on the scene." None of the witnesses we spoke to heard any sort of commotion or disturbance until after the police arrived. Why the consistent difference? In fact, the police were at Moore's apartment twice that night. This isn't mentioned at all by the police or media reports. The police first showed up around 11:00pm, and left without incident. The incident resulting in Moore's death was the second police visit, occurring around 11:50pm. According to witnesses, when they returned a second time, there was a sizable police presence. Why did they come back an hour later with so many officers? What were they preparing to do?"
Nearly one month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered. However we do know that there was no commotion or overt disturbance prior to BPD's arrival. We know when Berkeley Police arrived at Kayla's home, for the second time in one night, they had police back-up but they did not have a mental health mobile crisis team with them. We know Kayla was alive and not on the verge of death prior to the arrival of the Berkeley Police. We know police regularly murder people of color, gender-variant people, and people with "mental illness." We also know only one Police Officer in California has been convicted in the death of a civilian and his charges were brought only after massive riots swept Oakland.
Unfortunately Kayla's death is not an anomaly. This past weekend Bay Area Police have murdered four people and watched one woman bleed to death after she was attacked by her abusive ex-husband.
San Francisco Police murdered Aaron Sawyer (23) after he allegedly stole a car on Saturday morning. San Jose Police murdered a man yet to be identified after they deemed him to be "suspicious." Union City Police shot an unidentified man to death after they pulled him over for an unstated reason. Hayward Police murdered an unidentified man after his car crashed into one of their police cruisers.
In the case of Kayla Moore, whether by neglect or intent the result is the same. Kayla Moore is dead. The Berkeley Police killed Kayla Moore.
This is a call for an uncompromisingly militant march against the racist and transphobic Berkeley Police who murdered Kayla Moore. The march will begin at People's Park on Tuesday March 12th at 6:30pm. It is also a call for queer people, trans people, women, and people of color to form a bloc against police murders and harassment at the March Against Capitalism and Police Repression taking place at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland on Friday, March 15th at 8pm
Anonymous Queers in Action