The Antifa-aligned professor accused of assaulting Trump supporters with a bicycle lock will be headed to court two months from now, following a postponement.
Eric Clanton, a professor of philosophy, ethics, and critical thinking at Diablo Valley College, was arrested in May for using a bike lock to beat three people senseless during a free speech rally at Berkeley in April this year.
Police acknowledged that they caught Clanton with the aid of Internet activists who did most of the legwork identifying him as the suspect behind “several violent assaults” at the Civic Center Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Three people received what police referred to as “significant injuries” as a result of the assaults.
In photos circulating on social media, Clanton was pictured donning a hoodie and bandana, with a pair of dark sunglasses, shortly before the assaults. He was identified by members of the image forum 4chan, who examined hundreds of images and videos taken at the rally and prior events, and compared the attacker to other attendees.
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Following his arrest, Clanton was charged with four felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor offense for wearing a mask to avoid identification.
In August, Clanton criticized the police for listening to Internet users in making his arrest.
“Dealing with an unintelligible internet force smearing and threatening me online was not easy, and created stress to say the least, but I had every expectation that very few people would take them seriously, especially considering the character and credibility of their sources,” wrote Clanton in a statement.
The now-removed entry for Clanton on the Diablo Valley College faculty page noted the adjunct professor’s focus on political philosophy, stating that he was “currently exploring restorative justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective.”
As noted by First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh in the Washington Post, “beating people on the head with metal objects because of their political beliefs is not anti-authoritarian.”
Clanton’s lawyer Dan Siegel said today that both he and his client are optimistic for a favorable outcome in February, when Clanton goes to pretrial.
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