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Berkeley to consider disarming traffic cops at Tuesday’s city council meeting

2020-07-17

Traffic cops in Berkeley may soon find themselves armed only with a radar gun.

The notoriously liberal town is in discussions to have city officials, rather than armed police officers, enforce traffic laws.

According to SF Weekly, Berkeley’s city council is slated to discuss that initiative, called “BerkDOT” when it convenes Tuesday night.

The plan would ask the Department of Transportation to create a plan that handles traffic tickets, which would take that responsibility away from a police department that is expected to have its funding cut by 12%.

Berkeley’s unprecedented measure comes in the aftermath of nationwide protests over the killing of black Minnesota man George Floyd, who died while a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Council member Rigel Robinson, 24, put forth the proposal, which is being cosponsored by the city’s mayor. The legislation reportedly cites the deaths of African-American motorists Philando Castille, Sandra Bland and Maurice Gordon, who all died in police custody following traffic stops.

A proposal to cut the police department’s budget by 50% will also be on the table at Tuesday’s city council meeting.