The Anti-Police Terror Project (APTP) returned to Emeryville Council chambers at last night’s meeting. Previously, APTP had made appearances at Council and engaged in public comment to draw attention to releasing the Coroner report in the officer-involved shooting of Yuvette Henderson. The City in fact drafted a letter to the county asking that this be expedited and they have since provided this document.
This time, APTP seemed intent on disrupting the meeting to draw attention to the Emeryville Police Department’s use of AR-15 rifles and demanded that they “begin a process to phase out the utilization of AR-15’s in civilian engagements.”
Protesters used cardboard cutouts of AR-15 rifles to draw attention to the issue of Police “Militarization”.
APTP co-founder Cat Brooks approached the podium to issue the demands of the crowd. “We are demanding that as you patrol these streets and as you engage particularly people of color, that you do so in a manner that does not result in their loss of life. We are demanding justice for Yuvette Henderson and we are here to let you know that we’re going to keep coming back, and we’re going keep demanding and we’re going to keep campaigning and we’re going to continue to get louder. We’re not going anywhere!”
When acting Mayor Dianne Martinez attempted to initiate public comment, the crowd broke into a “Justice for Yuvette” chant. When it was clear that the protesters were not present to follow the meeting protocol, Martinez adjourned the meeting. “I’d like to call a recess to clear the chambers. Can I get assistance to clear the chambers please?” The protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the EPD was able to successfully clear the chambers without incident.
Brooks later tweeted the successful shut down of the meeting:
Emeryville City Council is officially shut the hell down. #justice4yuvette
— Cat (@CatsCommentary) April 6, 2016
APTP has framed the incident as Henderson being killed for “allegedly shoplifting” but police reports indicate Henderson was in possession of a revolver. A handgun that was recovered at the scene after she allegedly brandished the weapon in the presence of a Home Depot loss-prevention officer and at passing motorists that police say were an attempt to carjack them in order to flee the scene. Henderson allegedly pointed the weapon at EPD officers prior to them opening fire on her. One of the weapons used by the EPD was an AR-15 rifle and has sparked a debate wether the EPD should be allowed to carry such weapons and what constitutes an “Assault” or “Military Style” weapon.
The Family of Yuvette Hendersen has since obtained the services of civil-rights attorney Dan Siegel and have filed a civil suite against the city for her wrongful death. There was one arrest outside of city hall for possession of a canister of pepper spray. Pepper spray is legal to carry, although there are restrictions on the size and potency of it. The City was able to resume the meeting after Council Chambers had been dispersed.
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A bystander captured the arrest of a protester for possession of Pepper Spray.