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Cop commission calls for poster policy

By John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Monday February 12, 2001

Resident complains after sighting officer removing flyer for political rally 


Stemming from an incident in which a Berkeley police officer was seen taking down flyers promoting a Mumia Abu-Jamal rally, the Police Review Commission is asking the department to develop a poster removal policy. 

The City Council will consider an recommendation from the PRC Tuesday asking the Berkeley Police Department to develop a training bulletin that would outline police policy on the removal of flyers, placards and posters from city-owned utility poles and lampposts. 

The PRC approved the recommendation with a unanimous vote on Nov. 8. Commissioner Bill Taylor was not present. 

The recommendation was the result of a First Amendment complaint filed by Berkeley resident Stephen Rosenbaum last May. In his complaint, Rosenbaum said that on May 12, he was headed to the BART station at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street when he witnessed bicycle patrol officer Mark Bachman taking down two flyers advertising a Mumia Abu-Jamal rally which was to take place the following day. 

In 1982 Abu-Jamal, a former radio journalist and Black Panther party member, was sentenced to death for the killing of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in Philadelphia after a 1981 traffic stop involving Abu-Jamal’s brother. Abu-Jamal is currently awaiting execution on death row in a Pennsylvania state prison.