On Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Civic Center Park of Berkeley, California, a Patriots Rally by Trump supporters, including members of Oathkeepers, turned violent when radical leftists in black masks and black clothing, who call themselves Antifa (anti-fascists), launched a counter-rally and clashed with the patriots.
In a memo to Berkeley mayor and the City Council on the April 15 demonstration, Berkeley police chief Andrew Greenwood identified the Antifa as the instigators of violence. Greenwood wrote:
“On April 15, groups initially remained separated in the park. At one point, about three dozen ‘antifa’ entered the park over fencing, ultimately confronting demonstrators, and escalating violence, with fights and assaults breaking out.”
The day ended with eleven people being injured and the arrest of 20 people “for their roles in the violence at Civic Center Park”. The charges included assault with a deadly weapon, battery, and committing a criminal offense while wearing a mask. Authorities said at the time that they will pursue additional arrests as they “review social media and video footage”. (Source: Berkeleyside)
Meanwhile, citizen journalists and sleuths went to work, combing through videos and photos of the violent clash to unmask the Antifa thugs.
On April 19, five days after the clash, online sleuths of 4chan‘s /pol/ News Network and Rebel Media correspondent Jack Posobiec identified one of the masked Antifa rioters who had assaulted people with a bike-lock as a California college professor named Eric Clanton.
Among the people Clanton had assaulted with a bikelock on April 15 was this man in a red t-shirt (see below).
Clanton claims to have an M.A. in Philosophy from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in Philosophy from California State University, Bakersfield.
Clanton had taught philosophy at San Francisco State University. At the time of the April 15 riot, he was teaching at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA. Ironically, one of his teaching and research subjects is ethics.
His faculty profile at Diablo Valley College, now taken down, said:
Faculty – Philosophy, Pleasant Hill Campus
Eric has been teaching at DVC since 2015. He teaches introduction to philosophy with a background in teaching ethics, critical thinking, and comparative philosophy East/West. His primary research interests are ethics and politics. His work in political philosophy also centers on mass incarceration and the prison system. He is currently exploring restorative justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective.
After he was outed online, Clanton panicked. He scrubbed his social media, went underground and, pretending to ask for a friend, sought legal advice on Reddit (source: Dark Triad Man):
“My really good friend is being accused on social media of attacking someone at a protest and now his name is being smeared on social media. Does he have any recourse and can he be in any legal (civil or criminal) trouble because of these rumors?”
Yesterday, May 24, 2017, Berkeley police finally arrested Eric Clanton.
“Eric Clanton, a former teacher at Diablo Valley College, was arrested by Berkeley police . . . on suspicion of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon identified as a U-lock bike lock, and one of those assaults is alleged to have caused a significant injury. […]
Until Wednesday night, Berkeley investigators had declined to say whether they were looking into Clanton, despite the outcry online calling for his arrest. Wednesday, officers arrested him in Oakland at 12:15 p.m. He is being held at Berkeley Jail with a bail of $200,000, according to Alameda County sheriff’s office records online. Clanton, whose listed occupation is college professor, is scheduled for arraignment Friday. Police said they have identified three victims in the case. All three were struck in the head or neck with a bike lock, police said.”
Yesterday, May 26, Eric Clanton appeared in Alameda County Superior Court and was formally charged with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, with the special allegation of causing great bodily injury to Sean Stiles. The charges include the misdemeanor offense of wearing a mask to evade identification. If convicted, Clanton could be sent to prison. (Read the full complaint here.)
Court papers reveal that Clanton struck at least seven people in the head. One person received a head laceration that required five staples to fix. Another was uninjured but had a piece of his helmet broken off. A third was struck across the neck and back, police said.
Clanton pleaded not guilty to all charges. Judge Thomas Nixon set bail at $100,000.
Clanton is represented by longtime “social justice” activist Dan Siegel whom Clanton had retained prior to his arrest. In a statement to the judge, Siegel justified Clanton’s violence by blaming so-called racists: “This case arises in the context of a demonstration by a group of loosely described out-of-town, right wingers… who uttered racist and homophobic comments and engaged in pushing and shoving” with counter-demonstrators. (Source: Berkeleyside, which closed this report to comments, contrary to the newsletter’s standard policy)
Update (August 19, 2019):
On August 8, 2018, it was learned that Eric Clanton entered a “no contest” plea to just one misdemeanor battery charge, for which he was sentenced to three years of probation. The felony charges, a dismeanor charge that he wore a mask during the commission of the crime, and an allegation that he had caused serious bodily injury were all dismissed. (Berkeleyside)