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Over this past weekend, a riot involving 3,000 to 5,000 individuals near the University of California, Berkeley campus resulted in three arrests and one hospitalization.

The extremely large altercation also resulted in property damage and is being considered a “fight,” despite an officer from the Berkeley Police Department saying there were “reports of guns and knives” being used during the brawl.

Lt. Andrew Rateaver, an on-duty watch commander with the Berkeley Police Department, was quoted as saying he “wouldn’t go so far as to call it a riot.”

According to ABC News, “Officers dispatched to the vicinity of Channing Way and Piedmont Avenue around 12:30 a.m. found an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people “milling about” the area – which is near numerous sororities and fraternities as well as the University of California, Berkeley campus.”

On Monday, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discussed the altercation involving thousands and how the incident is being spun to say those involved were fighting – not rioting.

Martin told the NewsOne Now discussion panel, “It’s amazing how many media folks ignored this story.”

“Please convince me that if three to five thousand Black folks lost their minds, there would not be wall-to-wall coverage,” said Martin.

NewsOne Now panelist David Swerdlick, Assistant Editor at The Washington Post, told Martin, “There would certainly be arrests and it would clearly be handled differently.”

Jamira Burley, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA, said, “You’re not going to have police officers arresting Berkeley students because their parents probably have money and also probably know how to call up someone to get a favor.”

Later during the segment, Martin threw a jab at a certain Fox News host, saying, “Surely Bill O’Reilly is going to question where are their fathers and mothers, how did they raise them in terms of them out there acting a fool.”

“Surely he is going to say, ‘This is a breakdown in the family of these three to five thousand rioting there at Berkeley,’” Martin said.

Adam Jackson, CEO of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, reminded viewers of how discriminatory policing practices impact African-Americans, “They are set up to see White people as individuals expressing themselves and rioting and destroying property,” whereas Black people are viewed totally differently.

Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the “fight” at UC Berkeley in the video clip above.

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


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Language Matters: Thousands Riot At UC Berkeley, Incident Is Called A Brawl  was originally published on