Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police are looking for two young men who hit someone with a gun during a robbery Friday and sent him to the hospital, authorities report.

Friday night at about 9:20, the armed robbery occurred at Carleton and Ellsworth streets, the University of California Police Department and Berkeley police reported Monday.

The male victim — no age listed — was approached by two men “who demanded his property and struck him with a pistol,” according to UCPD.

They took the victim’s property and ran eastbound on Derby Street toward Telegraph Avenue.

The victim was treated for his injuries at a local hospital.

Officers searched the area but could not locate the robbers, described as two men, 18-20 years old and of medium height and build. One wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and had a gun.

Police ask anyone with information to call the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5900.

See the original notification. Read about Berkeleyside’s approach to including race in suspect descriptions.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...

34 replies on “2 men sought after Berkeley pistol-whipping, robbery”

  1. We are continuing to think about these issues.

    Regarding the stories about the Darnell Williams case as compared to Pablo Gomez, you need to keep in mind the timing. Once the Gomez case gets to trial or any kind of hearing that includes actual information about circumstances, we will absolutely report it. Until then, it’s just not available. It took years to get to the Williams trial, and presumably that will be true for Gomez as well.

  2. “As previously explained, the rationale is that race serves to reinforce negative stereotypes in ways age and gender do not.”

    I hope in 10-20 years journalists will look back at statements like this and see how wrong and perhaps damaging that rationale was.

    Your journalistic standards around race and perhaps other descriptions, labels, and identifiers need some serious rethinking/updating, folks. The ones you have are based on a very different era.

    One of your most stellar work was the coverage of the trial of Darnell Williams Jr, the victims and all their families in intimate detail. The amount of humanism and depth you put into it is absolutely outstanding. I am not sure I will ever read such high quality work in the press. That is your core strength. I don’t know what kind of incentives or recognition there is for that kind of work in your profession. The mini-stories like this one and the one on Pablo Gomez (the suspect on the run) were not quite like your other high-quality work.

    If you want to challenge your readers’ assumptions, you would be vastly more effective in those long-form pieces. We are all impatient to get to a better place in our society and it is maddening that the whole issue is not responsive to quick-fixes like the fine-tuning of language, etc.

  3. Have you ever considered that your policy only confirms negative stereotypes about liberal journalists? Sounds to me like you haven’t learned much from what happened last November.

  4. “I think the obvious answer here is because b-side has a difference of opinion in regards to what information is relevant and helpful. ” – More like Berkeleyside knows what behavior will inflame the same SJW crowd whose “investment” they openly solicit.

  5. “there’s too much white paternalism/white liberal privilege in the bay area and it works together with ‘people of color’ enablers to ensure that nothing changes.”

    This.

  6. Luke has summed it up perfectly. Berkeleyside’s attempt at PC news filtering isn’t going to help ease race relations, but only make things worse.

  7. Some Berkeley folks don’t want a larger police presence (Militarized is the term i hear a lot) Me thinks they have something to hide…people with nothing to hide welcome more police…how in the hell could more cops ever be a bad thing?

  8. Emilie, you are absolutely right…Berkeleyside’s policy on the racial components of suspect descriptions matches the national standard. I believe the reason it’s such a debated topic here in the comments section is that it appears to be a conscious decision to provide less information. I’m the kind of person that believes the more information available about the world around us the better…even if some of that information is difficult to digest, or uncomfortable to discuss.

  9. The claims of “national standard” and “best practice” constitute assertions without factual or journalistic basis.

  10. We are uniform and consistent — as described ad nausem and linked at the bottom of the story. No clue what you’re talking about re: pronouns. It’s simply a quote describing what police said happened.

    We have had the very same standard for more than four years. And it’s not just our policy, it’s a national standard and best practice.

  11. there’s a simple solution to this, every time there is a police report with more useful info, one of us commenters could simply include it in its entirety, like this:

    —-
    The suspects were described as:

    Suspect #1 – A Black male, between 18 to 20 years of age, medium build and height, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and holding a handgun.

    Suspect #2 – A Black male, between 18 to 20 years of age, medium build and height.

    they apparently had a pistol, too, that seems relevant

    if they’re not willing to post it, we can

  12. None of the given descriptions would help us identify an attacker three days later. (or ever).
    It’s not relevant to THAT effort, but it IS relevant to our ongoing conversation about racial attitudes in that hostility is shaped by “experiential knowledge” as well as education or slanted media reports. The combo of constant assault, suppression of discussion and inflation of actual (and relatively minor) hoaxes is not helping race relations here, at all.
    If we can’t talk about that we should drop the pretense of “discussion”.

  13. Most violent crime is committed by men, but not all. As a man I find it offensive that the gender of suspects is included in crime reports because it feeds the stereotype that men are more violent than women

  14. This withholding of pertinent information is infantile, IMHO. Please inform your readers about the world around us. Thank you.

  15. If our leaders paid more attention, crime would likely decrease. You know, like bothering to test rape kits – how many years were these not tested? How many women were raped because out City government couldn’t come up with the funds. We do know that the guy who abducted and raped two young Berkeley women-rape kit not tested for years–did rape at least one more woman and likely many more given that most rapes are not prosecuted. You’d think that the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women might be interested in rapists getting caught, but no.
    And, of course Berkeley police can’t have police dogs, or tasers, and holy hell is raised if the police get an armored van. And, of course our vaunted commissions go into overdrive if police use tear gas on violent protestors.
    Berkley crime not higher than surrounding communities? Depends – check Neighborhood Scout: (100 is safest): Emeryville (0), Oakland (1), Berkeley (3), Richmond (9), Hayward (15), Albany (16), Alameda (24), Lafayette (31), Piedmont (35; also adjacent to Oakland). We do like to blame those Oakland people but other communities next to Oakland manage to do much much better than we do. So yes, I am starting from the position that if our city officials paid more attention to it, we would have much less crime. How is that “unrealistic”?

  16. As previously explained, the rationale is that race serves to reinforce negative stereotypes in ways age and gender do not.

  17. If there were super specific information like the perpetrator had a distinctive hairstyle, or tattoo, or clothing, or car, then reporting the skin color of the suspect could help. Otherwise, how could it? it can’t, at least in terms of finding the suspect.

    Every adult in Berkeley knows that 90% or more of these types of crimes are committed by people with black skin.

    But the kids don’t know. And by leaving out the skin color, its possible these kids will grow up without the prejudice of their elders.

  18. “Since UCPD put out a very exact description of the suspects in hopes of receiving the public’s help, why interfere?”
    I think the obvious answer here is because b-side has a difference of opinion in regards to what information is relevant and helpful. There is quite a large amount of well written prose on this topic that was easy to find following Emilie’s links or typing “ap style race in suspect descriptions” into the google. They are much more eloquent than any hackneyed regurgitation I could attempt here again. The bottom line is that B-side is not stepping out into some journalistic avant-garde but following more or less the standard practices of their industry.
    This one is a longer read but provided some nice context of the larger issue, I thought. https://www.poynter.org/2002/the-language-of-race/2094/

  19. ” It is factual information, but it provides no tangible help in understanding what happened or catching the perpetrators.”

    I beg to differ.

    The more specific information you provide, the better chance someone will be able to recall seeing the suspects. If the suspects were caught the ethnicity would be irrelevant. Since they are still at large giving the public as much information as possible is prudent. Since UCPD put out a very exact description of the suspects in hopes of receiving the public’s help, why interfere?

  20. I understand Berkeleysides policy of how much detail they give to a suspect. It seems to be a disservice to the readers though when the UCPD give out a very precise description and the description is then edited once being printed in the Berkeleyside article. At least provide the nixle link as Iceland_1622 was nice enough to do.

    Until then I will be on the look out for two men of medium height and build.

  21. Please explain, in as detailed a fashion as the b-side staff has done in regards to their incredibly standard industry policy on this topic, what knowing the specific race of the perpetrators adds? It’s redacted in the same way that the exact address of the business or residence the crime occurred in front of is redacted. It is factual information, but it provides no tangible help in understanding what happened or catching the perpetrators. Both also have down sides in that the association of the address of the crime (when it’s unrelated to the crime) and race (when it would not help in the least in finding the perpetrator, seeing as the rest of the suspect description is so vague) only would serve to reinforce negative associations with an address (for no reason) or an entire race (again, for no reason).

  22. crimes like this are heinous, but why the need to pile on as if it is encouraged by our city government? The violent crime rate in Berkeley is NOT higher than comparable surrounding communities (Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Emeryville) yet somehow it is the political climate of Berkeley that is to blame that it exists at all? Of course less people get pistol whipped in Lafayette, but that is not an urban environment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these things don’t need to be tackled, but commentors like you seem to start from this incredibly unrealistic image that if only city officials paid more attention to it, crime would miraculously disappear in our town as if by magic.

  23. The suspects were described as:

    Suspect #1 – A Black male, between 18 to 20 years of age, medium build and height, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and holding a handgun.

    Suspect #2 – A Black male, between 18 to 20 years of age, medium build and height.

  24. To the extent that crimes like these might be motivated in part by racial animosity, it’s even more frustrating that we can’t talk about that because its impolitic to identify the people involved. Meanwhile plenty of bandwidth to talk about white privilege and microaggressions. All this baggage needs to be on the table, bar none.

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