The Downtown Berkeley Association is the shell corporation that runs the Downtown Berkeley BID, founded in 2011. By now you’ve probably seen the video, filmed by a brave citizen journalist, of a Berkeley BID Patrol officer1 punching a homeless man over and over and over again because he felt “disrespected” by him. The story made the international press.
Now, Berkeley is far, far off our beat, and, deep down, despite the divers desperate, damp dreams of our local Hollywood BIDs about the gentility and grace of our silicon-addled red-headed stepchildren to the north, we generally find ourselves unable to give even the teensiest shit about what shenanigans they get up to north of Pacoima. However, this case requires comment, shedding some light as it does on the ultimate source of the lies with which we who cover the BIDs are habitually showered.
Berkeleyside has a good summary of the background. Two Berkeley BID Patrollies confronted two homeless men and then, after some shouting, one of the BID Patrollies lost his shit and punched one of the homeless men repeatedly. The whole thing was caught on video, although the truth didn’t come out until the homeless men had been arrested, charged with assault and, that fall-back catch-all bullshit charge, criminal threats, and pled out, even though they were transparently, evidently, innocent. This kind of thing happens every day. What’s more interesting is the Berkeley BID’s spin on this hateful miscarriage of justice.
Continue reading The BID Itself Incites to Violence: the Mendacity of John Tronson, John Caner, and Everyone Else Who Runs a BID