On Tuesday afternoon, Berkeley, California city police sought and obtained permission to use pepper spray on violent protesters on Thursday when Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro comes to speak on the campus.
According to Berkeley police Chief Andrew Greenwood, the city banned pepper spray in 1997 as a crowd-control weapon. Greenwood stated at a special emergency meeting of the Berkeley City Council that pepper spray would be a more effective response than batons and tear gas against violent protesters brandishing clubs, shields, and projectiles, according to ABC7.
Greenwood added that a ban on pepper spray “limits the police department’s ability to respond effectively” to violence.
AP reported that the council said pepper spray “shall not be used as a crowd control technique to disperse a crowd or move a crowd. Police may use pepper spray upon specific individuals within a crowd who are committing acts of violence upon police or others.”
During the public comment segment of the meeting, one leftist named Kalar Ensley snapped, "The city would not need pepper spray if there were no white supremacists allowed."
Sansara Taylor, of the leftist group Refuse Fascism, bloviated, "Ben Shapiro after him, Milo, Ann Coulter, Steve Bannon — these people are targeting Berkeley and what's happening in Berkeley is setting a precedent for the whole country."
UC Berkeley police are planning to create a perimeter around Zellerbach Hall, where Shapiro will speak; a huge area will be cordoned off, within which is the university’s famed Sproul Plaza. Only ticket holders will be permitted inside the perimeter.