They wheeled her screaming by the front doors of the Caffe Mediterraneum into a para-medic van.That much we all agreed on.
But the devil was in the details.
Was she on drugs? Why did she growl like an animal and why did her feet and legs twitch in the para-medic van?
One version: she was approached by officers for smoking while blocking the sidewalk near the Med and even though she tried to cooperate, she was dragged against her will into the medical van.
Version two: she had been nuts on the street for days and was clearly on drugs. The police and medics were assisting her.
Julia Vinograd, Berkeley's Poet Laureate and Medhead since the sixties, and I, also a Medhead (since '72), favored the on-drugs theory. Another sixties Medhead witnessed the whole thing outside. He told me the girl had been "unstable" on the street for days. "She needed help," he said. "The cops rescued her."
Not so, say two other witnesses, equally credible. "She was cold sober," said one. "The cops freaked her out and then manhandled her," said one. Another stressed how the girl had pleaded with the cops to leave her alone and tried to cooperate. The situation between the cops and the girl worsened, reportedly, when someone tried to give her a box of food from People's Park. "That cut it with the police," a witness said. "They just swooped down on her after that."
There is no doubt both sides are right. -30-
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