BERKELEY (KRON) — There is outrage on Friday night over the arrest of a UC Berkeley employee at a rally on Thursday.
Witnesses say campus police used excessive force. They spoke with KRON4 on Friday.
According to police, David Cole threw his sign at a car crossing through the intersection where the rally was happening, but witnesses say police may have the wrong guy.
There was chaos as UC police try to arrest David Cole.
The campus cook was among dozens of employees protesting unfair wages at a rally Thursday.
He was arrested after another man driving through the intersection claimed Cole hit his car with his sign.
But witnesses say that’s not true and that police used excessive force in the arrest.
“He’s a coworker of mine,” union president Kathryn Lybarger said. “I work here on campus. He’s a cook right and to see someone like him, a standup member of the community, treated this way, with an arm around his neck slammed to the pavement..to say it’s upsetting is to put it really mildly. Honestly, I’m outraged.”
Cole was cited and released from jail on Thursday evening.
A union spokesperson says the 51-year-old sustained injuries to the head and had to have stitches in his eyes and nose.
“He has been consistently there and involved and a contributor,” Lybarger said. “He’s someone we can rely on. He’s always stepped in and said, ‘How can I help.’ We are demanding that all charges be dropped on David, and actually, there be reforms at UC systemwide to protect students and workers involved in peaceful protest.”
UC’s Chancellor released a statement citing the allegations against Cole and adding the use of force is unfortunate and is only used when necessary to protect the community.
According to the union, Cole was arrested on suspicion of vandalism and resisting arrest.
KRON4 reached out to UC police and have not heard back.
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