Four victims of Antifa protesters, who were injured in the February 2017 riots at the University California, Berkeley during a Milo Yiannopoulos event, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the university, the City of Berkeley, and several members of radical left-wing protest groups in the United States District Court in San Francisco.
The lawsuit, Jennings v. The Regents of the University of California, alleges that the plaintiffs were attacked by demonstrators after campus police left them trapped inside Sproul Plaza, outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center. The plaintiffs, who were not students at the time, had purchased tickets to attend the Milo event at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom.
“Two of the Plaintiffs were beaten unconscious by black-clad, masked anarchists. One of them was beaten as he tried to flee a melee that broke out along Bancroft Way adjacent to the campus,” according to a press release by FreedomX. “Protesters threw rocks and set fires during the demonstration, leading to the cancellation of his 8 p.m. show. Police failed to adequately plan for the expected violent demonstration, which caused $100,000 in property damage.”
The release then links to video of “protesters beating people” and an “attendee beaten unconscious” at the event. A bystander can be heard screaming “leave him alone” as Antifa members begin to surround the unconscious, face-down victim.
“The amended complaint will assert a civil rights class action against the City of Berkeley and the University of California, Berkeley, for violating our clients' 14th amendment right of due process and first amendment right of association,” said FreedomX, the law firm which filed the case. “Under the state-created danger doctrine, government actors engaged in an affirmative pattern of conduct as to make a foreseeable volatile situation become worse than had they not acted at all. The UCPD, under the direction of incident commander Lt. Marc DeCoulode, sheltered itself and strategic response teams from throughout the UC system, in the MLK Student Center completely indifferent to the known and obvious danger of violence filling Sproul Plaza on Feb. 1, 2017. Evidence in the case will show that Lt. DeCoulode and patrol unit Lt. Joey Williams ordered officers who were trying to rescue helpless victims of assault to stop assisting them under pain of termination.”
"What happened at UC Berkeley was not just an act of cowardice and appeasement to the leftwing political vanguard, but a direct assault on the constitutional rights of peace-loving people to attend events at a taxpayer-funded, state campus," said Bill Becker, president, founder, and chief counsel of Freedom X, a nonprofit public interest law firm representing conservative victims of discrimination. "The university was amply prepared to deal with the anarchist groups they were expecting to cause trouble but chose to stand on the sidelines watching as our clients and others wanting to attend the Yiannopoulos presentation were brutally assaulted, even kicked unconscious. Is that what we expect of our 'first responders'? Imagine your house was burning to the ground and firefighters stood on the street afraid to do anything for fear of getting hurt."
Becker told Red Alert Politics that the plaintiff's constitutional rights will be vindicated if they receive an award of even $1 in nominal damages and an order commanding the university to enforce its existing crowd control policies.
Katrina Redelsheimer, a plaintiff in the lawsuit who was caught on video being attacked and beaten at the event, told Red Alert Politics more about the motive behind her lawsuit.
“This is about more than just the four plaintiffs. It’s about all the people who have been subjected to unprecedented political violence in the past two years,” she said. “I hope this suit causes both institutions like UC Berkeley and the culture at large to reverse course and return to American principles of free speech and peaceful transitions of political power.”
Redelsheimer is exasperated because she believes UC Berkeley has yet to acknowledge that people were injured on their watch.
“Since the attack on us, UC Berkeley has failed to acknowledge that people were injured,” she continued. “They have not [...] expelled students who admitted to rioting, nor disbanded student groups that planned and participated in the riot. UC police have made no arrests and have failed to identify a single rioter.”
In fact, she believes the inaction is politically motivated, saying, “It speaks for itself that this massively powerful, well-financed public institution can’t seem to effectively respond to violence on its campus when the perpetrators of that violence just happen to align with the political bent of that institution.”
Peter Van Voorhis (@RepublicanPeter) is a conservative activist, commentator, and journalist who focuses on political issues affecting millennials.