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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | LGBTI / Queer | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Berkeley Police Review Board Disrupted on Anniversary of Kayla Moore’s Death
On the evening of February 12th, a small crowd gathered outside Gaia Apartments in downtown Berkeley to demand answers regarding the death of Kayla Moore, a black transgender woman who was killed by six Berkeley police officers in the apartment at the beginning of 2013.
The vigil and march was only the most recent action in a year-long campaign by Berkeley Copwatch and Kayla’s family after BPD refused to release the details of her death, which occurred after a ‘mental health evaluation’ ended in six BPD officers pinning her to the ground and suffocating her. Speakers, including Kayla’s sister Maria Moore and members of Berkeley Copwatch, spoke in front of the apartment about the tragedy of Kayla’s death and how it is unfortunately not an exceptional case for the Berkeley Police Department, known by local activists for its heavy-handed responses to at-risk populations and its lack of transparency.
When the speakers concluded, the crowd of about 40 people marched to the Police Review Board meeting, chanting “Justice For Kayla Moore!” and “No Justice, No Peace!- Fuck the Police!” The Police Review Board has allegedly been involved in an inquiry into Kayla’s death since last year but has yet to release any information to her family.
The meeting was stormed by participants in the angry march as they shouted "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" and took over the hearing to speak about Kayla's murder and the review board's inaction in investigation. The board, of course, announced that they couldn't tell Kayla's family anything yet, but that the inquiry process was entering a second stage, which consists of a secret meeting at a secret time in which all of the officers would be interviewed and none of the transcripts would be publicly available. The crowd berated officers and review board members and interrupted the meeting until it was over, but ultimately knew that the board had no intention of helping Kayla's family get any answers. Berkeley Copwatch, however, is committed to continuing to help the Moore family get as many details as possible about Kayla's death.