Berkeley Protester Live Tweets While Handcuffed

After being restrained, UC grad student says he used his thumbs to send about a half-dozen messages

One of the estimated 1,500 protesters who shut down Interstate 80 in Berkeley on Monday night live-tweeted the unfolding events with his hands tied behind his back.

The 28-year-old University of California, Berkeley graduate student, one of about 150 arrested Monday as part of ongoing demonstrations over the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers, wanted to document what was happening while he waited for the paddy wagon, zip-tie handcuffs be damned.

The student, who asked to be identified by his Twitter handle, @ViolentFanon, managed to send out about a half dozen tweets from his Samsung before police confiscated his phone.

"I brought my hands to one side," he told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday by phone. "I was thumbing it."

The student, who said he hails from somewhere in Southern California, said he was chronicling the protests throughout the night, as throngs of people came out to signal their frustration with decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, where two black men were killed by white police officers who didn't face any criminal repercussions.

As he was seated on the ground with others, all restrained, @ViolentFanon tweeted: "Yes, I'm tweeting in handcuffs. No stopping me. #Berkeley #BlackLivesMatter"

While the student said this was his first arrest, he said he's been part of plenty of protests before, most notably in support of Palestine, which is why he likes to keep his name out of the media. "I'm active in lot of causes," he said. "And people are actively against me." [[285239661,C]] The student said he's pretty sure the lengthy detention period, about five hours from the time he was arrested until he was transported to jail, added to the accuracy of his tweets. 

"I had plenty of time to spell correct," he said.

The 28-year-old said he was released from jail early Wednesday morning.

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