Berkeley, CA - The FBI is now working to identify the people involved in the rioting at UC Berkeley on February 1st, so that they can be prosecuted for their crimes.
According to Fox News, a peaceful crowd of non-masked protesters carrying signs had been protesting outside the campus student union building for most of the day. Shortly before self-admitted internet troll and an editor for Breitbart News, Milo Yiannopoulous, was scheduled to speak at an event, a second group showed up and began throwing smoke bombs and flares at the building.
Yiannopoulous later said in an interview that “Violent left-wing protesters stormed the building and forced me to be evacuated by police and by my security detail.”
Margo Bennet, UC – Berkeley Police Chief, said “This was a group of agitators who were masked up, throwing rocks, commercial grade fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers.” The group was dressed in black and wore hooded sweatshirts in an attempt to conceal their identity.
The campus police officers have been heavily criticized for failing to arrest the rioters; only one person was arrested in the riot.
UC Berkeley reportedly has a very strong hands-off policy with protesters, which provided violent rioters with a blanket of protection. The police union lawyer, John Bakhit, said that officers were denied discretion to make arrests.
"The UC 'hands-off' approach was to the citizens' detriment and the officers' detriment in this situation," Bakhit told reporters. "The frustrating thing for the police officers is that they weren't allowed to do their jobs," he said.
The UC Berkeley administrators never anticipated that such a violent crowd would attack the campus. This also highlights the failures of having multiple school administrators in charge of police department policies.
California state Assemblyman Travis Allen called the rioting "a direct result of the permissive attitude of the University's faculty and administration."
Department policies aside, officers did fire paintballs at rioters to mark them for arrest, but they lacked the manpower to actually attempt any arrests.
Blue Lives Matter has been pushing for the anarchists behind the rioting to be pursued as domestic terrorists and prosecuted accordingly. The FBI has now taken on the investigation and it working to identify all of the people involved in the riots.
Do you agree that the rioters should be charged as terrorists? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments below.