Lawyer for UC Berkeley arson suspect decries 'political investigation,' says client was targeted for 'beliefs in a free Palestine'

Officials arrested Goonan on Monday and he was initially charged with felony counts of possession and use of destructive devices and multiple counts of arson.

The lawyer for a man accused of firebombing a University of California, Berkeley, police cruiser and the arson of several campus areas says the investigation into his client is “political.” 

Cal Fire announced on Monday the arrest of Casey Robert Goonan of Oakland, CA in connection with three arson attacks and the firebombing of a UC Berkeley Police Department vehicle in June.

Officials arrested Goonan on Monday and he was initially charged with felony counts of possession and use of destructive devices and multiple counts of arson. 

He’s being held on a bond of $1 million at the Alameda County Jail.

[RELATED: UC Berkeley arson suspect ‘considers himself a ’scholar-activist,’ ‘abolitionist,’ and aspiring professor]

Jeff Wozniak, Goonan’s attorney, told Campus Reform on Wednesday that the Alameda District Attorney hasn’t yet filed charges, but said the investigation thus far has been political.

”This is a political investigation. It is an investigation focused on Mr. Goonan’s political beliefs in a free Palestine and against the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” Wozniak said.

Wozniak said the search warrant “specifically sought ‘documents related to the conflict between Israel and Palestine,’” which he contends illustrates “that this is an investigation to place blame on Mr. Goonan because of his opposition to genocide and demand for a free Palestine.”

”If charges are filed, Mr. Goonans legal team will aggressively fight the charges. It is my hope, however, that Ms. Price does not engage in this political persecution, does not file charges and that Mr. Goonan is released from jail,” Wozniak said.

According to the San Francisco Standard, 34-year-old Goonan received a doctorate of African American studies from Northwestern University. 

Goonan lives with his parents, whose home was raided at around 10 a.m. Monday morning by several law enforcement agencies including the FBI.

One bio from a 2018 academic journal states that Goonan “considers himself a scholar-activist” as well as an aspiring professor.

A 2019 bio stated that Goonan is an “abolitionist currently living and working in Chicago.”

On Sunday, a post by the name “Marilyn’s Daughters” on said that they set fire to a construction site at UC Berkeley, writing that it was the second phase of the “#Escalate movement.” 

”phase two of the #Escalate movement heats up at u.c. berkeley with a construction site set on fire in broad daylight. this was done in retaliation for u.c.pd’s violent assaults on vulnerable student demonstrators and to punish the university of kkkalifornia system for supporting the genocidal zionist-Israel entity,” the group wrote. “this was an autonomous initiative in concert with the current WEEK OF ACTION currently underway: operation campus flood.”

[RELATED: TERROR?: Anonymous anti-Israel group ‘torched large portions’ of UC Berkeley construction site]

The University of California, Berkeley Police Department wrote that a fire was reported at the Dwinelle Annex Construction Site, and an investigation determined it was arson.

One day after a “firebomb” was thrown at a UC Berkeley building that’s named after a Jewish professor on Thursday, another post was made, calling for “a week of autonomous action,” calling it “Operation Campus Flood,” which lasts from June 14 to June 19.

On June 1, an anonymous group claimed responsibility for burning the police vehicle on Saturday with an incendiary device that was placed below the cruiser.

Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor for the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at UC Berkeley, told Campus Reform that the university is “aware of the social media posts and this is being taken very, very seriously.”