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Berkeley Residents Sue UC Berkeley for Injuries Stemming from 2017 Riot

Protestors Bonfire
The Associated Press

A group of individuals from the Bay Area are suing UC Berkeley over injuries sustained during the February 2017 campus riot.

Several plaintiffs are suing UC Berkeley after they were physically attacked last February while attending a campus event featuring controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. The plaintiffs allege that the University of California Police Department provided inadequate protection for the event’s attendees.

“This action seeks to protect and vindicate fundamental rights,” the lawsuit reads. “It is a civil rights action brought under the Fourteenth Amendment against government actors responsible for creating dangerous conditions and exposing the Plaintiffs to physical harm caused by a violent mob of anarchists at a student-sponsored Milo Yiannopolous event (“Yiannopolous event”) scheduled to take place at the University of California, Berkeley (“UC Berkeley” and “University”) on February 1, 2017.”

The riot, which took place in February, caused approximately $100,000 worth of damages to the public university’s campus.

Bill Becker, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, argued that his clients deserved protection from the masked protesters. “In this case we had four innocent people who were not doing anything to provoke anyone,” Becker said. “The problem was created by the campus administration, the UC Police Department and Berkeley Police Department not doing their job to protect the public.”

The lawsuit claims that state policy requires university police to remove “uninvolved parties” from campus riots. The suit goes on to allege that the University of California Police Department “abandoned” the campus center as the violence erupted, leaving guests susceptible to the violence of organized masked protesters.

“It’s deliberate because they made a conscious decision to employ tactics that were ineffective and showed weakness, thereby emboldening the demonstrators and angering them with their empty threats,” Becker said.

Another attorney representing the plaintiffs told UC Berkeley’s student newspaper that his clients are demanding compensation for their medical bills as well as a change in police presence during violent campus situations.

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