2 face battery charges after Alameda rent control protest turns violent

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Two Alameda men are facing battery charges after a protest over rent control turned violent Wednesday night as crowds tried to push into a packed city council meeting. (KGO-TV )

Two Alameda men are facing battery charges after a protest over rent control turned violent Wednesday night.

City leaders are addressing violence and the ongoing rent issue.

An assistant city manager's hip was broken as he tangled with a protester who's now facing felony battery and other charges.

It was all caught on video and perhaps overshadowed the issue at hand, the huge spikes in rent prices on the island.

Alameda City Hall showed a community divided, half landlords, half renters with the landlords arriving first.

"When one side is largely outside, literally outside a door," said renter Duane Moles.

Renters already feeling pinched out of the market tried to squeeze their way into a packed council meeting for a proposed moratorium on rent increases and evictions.

"He comes rushing in, basically, running full-speed ahead. The city official basically holds up his hands and the gentlemen is pushed to the floor," said Alameda police Lt. Jill Ottaviano.



Somewhere in the tangle assistant city manager Bob Haun broke his hip. Police then arrested 68-year-old Bob Davis, a teacher and Alameda resident. John Klein, 64, was also arrested.

"That shouldn't happen and it can't happen," said Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer.

Mayor Trish Spencer, a renter herself, says essentially the violence was a step back as council was trying to take a step forward by passing the moratorium.

"I think we stepped up to the plate. We had a unanimous vote," Spencer said.

Sixty-five days of no rent increases of more than 8-percent within a 12-month period and no-fault evictions are on hold.

YouTube: John Klein's arrest


"It's a real victory and a real step forward for renters in Alameda. The hard work begins now," Moles said.

As city leaders and rental advocates look for long-term affordability solutions police are reviewing new officer body cameras.

"This is the first time that something like this has happened, but we have many videos that we're sorting through," Ottaviano said.

They say the officers' actions were within policy.

YouTube: Trish Spencer Attempts to Regain Order after Renters Uprise

WARNING: This link below contains video that is graphic and contains strong language.
YouTube: Alameda Renters Demand Rights, Get Beaten

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realestaterentsrentersaffordable housinghomehousinghousing marketrental propertydebateAlameda
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