5 charged in UC Berkeley protest

March 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM
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BERKELEY, Calif., March 13 (UPI) -- Five people were charged with misdemeanors related to an Occupy protest at the University of California, Berkeley, that attracted national attention on YouTube.

The Alameda County district attorney's office charged an English professor and four students at Berkeley with misdemeanor resisting arrest in the Nov. 9 incident, for which police attracted criticism for jabbing their batons at students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

The charges "seem odd, given the evidence of what I think was excessive force and irregular arrest procedures," said Celeste Langan, 54, the professor who was charged. A video of the protest posted on YouTube showed police grabbing Langan by the hair and forcing her to the ground.

Police arrested 39 people during the incident at Sproul Plaza, where protesters argued against the school's decision to remove Occupy tents from the administration building's steps, the Chronicle said.

Students Jasper Bernes, 37, Ricardo Gomez, 22, Ramon Quintero, 25, and Zakary Habash were among those charged.

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