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Columbus, OH (NOV. 29, 2016) ~ USA -- Knife weilding suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan was almost immediately shot by OSU police officer Alan Horujko. Horujko was immediately hailed as a hero by mainstream media. Horujko is perhaps a hero for ending a serious threat. However, it appears that mainstream media is not telling the entire story. Most significantly, several of the students injured during the attack were injured by Horujko’s poor marksmanship, not by Artan’s knife.
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- (WCJB) ~ United States California officials fear dozens may have died in a massive fire that swept through an Oakland warehouse where a concert was taking place Friday night. Nine people have been confirmed dead, and dozens of others remain missing, officials said. In a news conference Saturday, authorities said they expected the death toll to rise, but they did not know by how much. “We’re expecting the worst — maybe a couple dozen victims here,” Sgt. Ray Kelly, spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters. “We did not have a lot of victims go to the hospital,” Kelly said. “It appears that people either made it out, or they didn’t make it out.”

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EL CENTRO, CA (WCJB) ~ United States The El Centro Police Department said it's investigating a video that shows officers using force on a suspect who put several people in danger Tuesday afternoon. The video shows officers beating 23-year-old Elizardo Saenz, an El Centro resident. It also shows a K-9 police dog attacking Saenz. (Click here for video)


Oakland, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- A sex scandal involving Oakland police officers and a then underage girl has all the makings of a TV thriller. The saga is full of twists and turns. The scandal erupted months after Officer Brendan O'Brien committed suicide. O'Brien left a note spilling the details, including names. Three Oakland officers were placed on paid leave. A source said O'Brien in his suicide note confessed to exchanging messages with a young woman who goes by the name Celeste Guap. However, the note says he did not have sexual contact with her. The same sources said she has met multiple officers. In the note, O'Brien named the officers, including one sergeant, involved in the alleged sexual misconduct with Guap. Guap is the daughter of a Oakland police dispatcher. The police investigation will look at whether Guap was under age during some of the encounters with officers. (Click here for video)


New Orleans, LA (WCJB) ~ United States -- On September 4, 2005, New Orleans police received a call from an officer at Danziger Bridge reporting gunfire. Several NOPD officers—including Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso, and Officer Robert Faulcon—arrived at the scene in a Budget rental truck. They proceeded to open fire with assault rifles and a shotgun on an unarmed family, the Bartholomews, who had been walking to a grocery store and were then sheltering behind a concrete barrier. 17-year-old James Brissette—a family friend—was killed, and four other people were wounded. The police shooters stated that while approaching the bridge, they had been fired on by civilians, and were forced to return fire. Homicide detective Arthur "Archie" Kaufman was made the lead investigator on the case. He was later found guilty of conspiring with the defendants to conceal evidence in order to make the shootings appear justified, including fabricating information for his official reports on the case. NOPD lieutenant Michael Lohman also encouraged the officers to "provide false stories about what had precipitated the shooting" and plant a firearm near the scene. (Click here for video)


Aiken, S.C. (WCJB) ~ United States -- A horrifying new dashcam video shows at least one white member of the Aiken, S.C. Police Department search inside a black man’s rectum for the apparent crime of being a passenger in a car with paper tags, which, it bears noting, is not a crime in the state of South Carolina. Driving a car with paper tags isn’t illegal either, as long as they aren’t expired. The car belonged to a woman named Lakeya Hicks, who had the paper tags because she had recently purchased the vehicle. Hicks’ tags weren’t expired, and a check on her license came up clean. However, the cops didn’t let her go. (Click here for video)


Brooklyn, NY (WCJB) ~ United States -- When an unmarked police car drove very close to mailman Glenn Grays in Brooklyn, Grays shouted at the car. Four plainclothes officers got out of the car and started to handcuff him. Grays initially tried to resist, and one of the officers said “Stop resisting! You’re going to get hurt if you don’t give me your fucking hands.” (Click here for video)


Fresno, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- (Warning Graphic Video) Fresno Police shoot and kill mentally ill man within seconds of exiting their patrol vehicle! (Click here for video)


Royal Oaks, MI (WCJB) ~ United States -- Another case of police brutality in the city of Royal Oak. The man doesn't resist at all! The reason for his arrest remains unknown. It appears as if the officers wanted to rip a limb off of him! (Click here for video)


San Francisco, CA (WCJB) ~ United States (Feb. 29, 2016) -- Cops CAUGHT ON CAMERA brutally beating man. When they realize they've been FILMED they try to confiscate the camera and ID the guy recording them. WATCH the video and see how well that went for them. SPREAD THE WORD! THIS IS HOW YOU RESPOND when a VIOLENT COP tries to take your camera! CALL Internal Affairs Division, 415-837-7170 and ask them why their officers BEAT people and then ILLEGALLY try to confiscate evidence of Police Brutality? (Click here for video)
Chowchilla, CA ~ United States -- Tyler Hormel, arrested by Madera County Sheriff''s Office on Monday (Feb. 8, 2016) and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, has been fired from the Chowchilla Police Force, and charged with sexual misconduct. (Click here for video)
Marion County, Florida ~ United States -- A federal grand jury in Tampa has indicted a former Florida sheriff’s deputy on charges of violating the civil rights of an unarmed Black man, who was brutally beaten after surrendering to him and other officers following a brief chase last year, reports Reuters. Former Marion County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Terrell, 33, is accused of using excessive force against Derrick Price during the incident in August 2014 that was captured on video, according to the indictment handed down late Tuesday. Four of Terrell’s former colleagues pleaded guilty to the charge after accepting a deal, according to media sources. (Click here for video)
Wake County, North Carolina ~ United States -- Shon Demetrius McClain died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck 13 days after prosecutors say he got into a fight with officer Markeith Council in Wake County, North Carolina.(Click here for video)
New York ~ United States -- Opening statements and testimony began this week in the long-awaited trial of New York City police officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old African-American man walking down the stairs in his apartment building, part of the Louis H. Pink housing projects in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Jury selection in the case was completed last week. Gurley died more than 14 months ago, on November 20, 2014, as two cops were making a “vertical patrol,” checking the stairwells in the high-rise building. As Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner put it, opening the prosecution’s case, “Akai Gurley is dead today because he crossed paths with Peter Liang.” Liang was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on manslaughter and other charges last February, and both prosecution and defense agree on the immediate events that led to Gurley’s death.(Click here for video)
Oklahoma City, OK ~ United States -- Daniel Holtzclaw has officially been sentenced for the rape and sexual assault of 13 Black women in Oklahoma. Will serve the rest of his life behind bars. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison. Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted in December of 2015, on 18 of the 36 counts he had been facing — including four counts of first-degree rape. (Click here for video)

United States -- Police officers physically outmatched by a combative male, resort to taser use. (Click here for video)

Chicago, IL -- Surveillance video (Click here for video) in connection with a Chicago police officer's fatally shooting 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman was released today by attorneys for the teen's family. A federal judge ordered the release of footage showing the 2013 shooting today after the city withdrew its objection to its being made public. Chicago police officer Kevin Fry fatally shot Chatman Jan. 7, 2013, in broad daylight during a foot chase, according to court records. Chatman’s family had fought for the video to be released as part of a wrongful death lawsuit they filed over the shooting against the city, Fry and Chicago police officer Lou Toth, who pursued Chatman along with Fry during the foot chase. Family members have argued the video will counter the city and police’s narrative that the 17-year-old was a danger to police. IPRA concluded the officers' actions were justified because they reasonably believed Chatman was armed at the time.

Brooklyn, NY -- A newly-released surveillance video (Click here for video) contradicts an undercover NYPD police officer who arrested four people in Brooklyn for allegedly trying to rob him on Dec. 26, 2015, according to a defense lawyer. Jean Scott, 33; Peterson Duplan, 28; Ricardi Joseph, 29; and Samantha Dabel, 24, said that they were approached by a man who tried to buy drugs from them at a hardware store. The undercover cop was identified as Winston McDonald, who testified in court that Duplan allegedly flashed a switchblade at him outside of the store, and said, "Give me your money or I will stab you," according to court papers.

Forth Worth, TX -- The mother of ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch was ordered released from a Tarrant County jail cell after a bond hearing this afternoon. She may be leaving the jail soon. Judge Wayne Salvant ordered her bond reduced to $75,000 with several conditions. The conditions include weekly visits with the Community Supervisions and Corrections Department of Tarrant County. She is also not to consume alcoholic beverages or use social media. “Let’s look at it for what it is, I understand everyone is concerned and there is outrage in the community… but as a judge I have to look at the law,” said Judge Salvant. Couch and her lawyers were present at a 2 p.m. bond hearing at the Tarrant County Justice Center hoping to have her bond reduced. It was originally set at $1 million since she was charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Felon. (Click here for video)

Salt Lake City, Utah -- Exactly one year after a man was shot and killed during an altercation with a Salt Lake City Police Department officer, a former Davis County Sheriff says new video (Click here for video)footage indicates the officer's actions may not have been justified. James Barker, 42, was shot and killed January 8, 2015 after officer Matthew Taylor responded to a 911 call about a suspicious person and an altercation ensued, during which Barker appeared to strike the officer with a snow shovel.

Philadelphia, PA ~ USA -- Corrupt Justice™ has obtained a video (Click here for video) of the police shooting that took place Thursday night at 60th and Spruce streets. Edward Archer, a 30-year-old Delaware County man who has allegedly claimed an allegiance to ISIS, shot and wounded Officer Jesse Hartnett at 11:41 p.m. last night, city police said. Stunningly, Hartnett can be seen in the video getting out of his patrol car and chasing down the shooter after being ambushed. Officials say Hartnett is in critical but stable condition.

Miami, FL ~ USA -- A Florida jury began weighing on Tuesday whether a man who killed his wife and posted a photo of her blood-spattered, lifeless body on Facebook committed first-degree murder. Attorneys for Derek Medina, 33, argued that he was acting in self-defense when he fired eight shots at Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their Miami-area residence. The August 2013 shooting followed a fight in which she had threatened to leave, prosecutors said during closing statements. They argued that Medina retrieved a .380-caliber pistol from his bedroom and pulled the trigger repeatedly in a premeditated act of murder. "Every single shot hit her because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," said Assistant State Attorney Leah Klein in Miami-Dade County circuit court. Medina wrote on Facebook shortly before turning himself in: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did," he added in the post. (Click here for video)

Montgomery County, Pa. -- Bill Cosby, the comedian and entertainer once known as “America’s dad”, appeared in court (Click here for video) to face his first criminal charge for sexual misconduct on Wednesday, for an incident in which he allegedly drugged and violated a woman who considered him to be her mentor. In a hearing lasting less than 10 minutes, Judge Elizabeth McHugh read out the three second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault. He did not appear visibly moved; when asked if he understood the charges, he replied simply: “Yes.” Bail was set at $1m, of which Cosby will have to pay 10% on Wednesday. Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge.

San Diego, CA -- (WARNING, GRAPHIC) Police officials released surveillance video (Click here for video) Tuesday showing the fatal shooting of a homeless man who was believed to be carrying a knife — which turned out to be a pen.

Los Angeles, CA -- Sheriff Deputies accused Noel Aguilar of having a gun after they shot him in the back at point blank range multiple times. Deputy Albert Murade was shot in the stomach during the melee by his partner Deputy Jose Ruiz. (Click here for video)

GIFFORD, Fla. -- An Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy is in the hospital with a gunshot wound after he was involved in a shootout with an armed suspect.(Click here for video)

Denton, TX ~ USA -- Police dash camera video (Click here for video) appears to show a 21-year-old UNT student say "shoot me" several times and an officer say "back away" at least six times just seconds before the student was fatally wounded.

Lynwood, CA ~ USA -- A witness's graphic video (Click here for video) appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies fatally shooting a man near a gas station in Lynwood. It was unclear what led to the incident, in which more than two dozen shots seemed to be fired. No deputies were injured. In accordance with protocol, a multi-agency investigation was underway.

Oklahoma City OK ~ USA -- A former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted Thursday of 18 of the 36 counts he faced, including four counts of first-degree rape, related to accusations that he victimized 13 women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighborhood. Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, sobbed (Click here for video) as the verdict was read aloud. He could spend the rest of his life in prison based on the jury's recommendations, which include a 30-year sentence on each of the first-degree rape counts. Among the other charges he was convicted of were forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and second-degree rape. The jury, which deliberated for about 45 hours over four days, recommended he serve a total of 263 years in prison. The judge will decide later whether he will have to serve the sentences consecutively.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The Chicago police, facing almost daily protests and a newly announced Justice Department investigation, released footage (Click here for video) Monday night showing a 38-year-old black man being shocked by a Taser and dragged down a hallway by officers in 2012.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The family of Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson has ALWAYS said that he was brutally shot from behind by the Chicago Police. This new video (Click here for video) which was only released because of the public pressure on the city, shows they were right all along.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- Reports, released by the city late Friday, show that Officer Jason Van Dyke and at least five other officers claim that the 17-year-old McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though the video (Click here for video) of the October 2014 shooting shows McDonald walking away, and the scenario sketched out by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in charging Van Dyke with murder contends he was walking away as well.

Miami, Fla. ~ USA -- A shocking video (Click here for video) captured by a bystander was recently uploaded to Instagram and sent to us this morning. That footage shows a Miami, Florida man being shot and killed by Miami Beach Police officers.

San Francisco, CA ~ USA -- Shocking San Francisco Police Shooting Video (Click here for video). Five officers unleash a hail of gunfire on a man with a knife.

Michigan ~ USA -- The family of an unarmed teenager fatally shot by an Eaton County Sheriff Deputy sues after son slain during traffic stop for flashing brights. Bodycam video (Click here for video) shows Deven Guilford stopped for flashing his high beams. It ends with a dizzying tumble of images and the sound of gunshots that killed the young driver.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Oakland Occupied! - 2011




November 5, 2011

Oakland, CA (WCJB)

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Ferguson, MO ~ USA (T.A.D.) -- Ferguson police Chief tells ABC's Steve Osunsami there were visible injuries "His face was swollen," he said. "So he'd obviously been hit or punched or something like that." But Brown's family say Wilson appears to be unharmed on videos obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, showing Wilson leaving the Ferguson Police Department just two hours after the shooting. "The lack of injuries on the officer's face demonstrates that they exaggerated his injuries," Crump said.

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"The only good nigger is a dead nigger and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other nigger from coming in the area."

-- July 2011 Statement by Oakland Public Schools Police Chief Pete Sarna, referring to an African-American police officer.

Top News Story!

Infiltration!

Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014


Oakland, CA - Undercover California Highway Patrol officers were attempting to infiltrate a demonstration against police brutality in Oakland. Plainclothes officers dressed in protester attire raised questions about police tactics employed the California Highway Patrol. The undercover work was captured by a freelance photographer working for local media. One officer pulled a gun on the protesters after he and his partner were outed and the partner was attacked. Protesters have flooded the streets of Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco, at times shutting down freeways and devolving into vandalism and looting.

Wednesday, just after 11:30 p.m., about 50 people were marching near Lake Merritt. According to the freelance photographer, some of the demonstrators began calling out two men who were walking with the group. “Just as we turned up 27th Street, the crowd started yelling at these two guys, saying they were undercover cops. Somebody snatched a hat off the shorter guy’s head and he was fumbling around for it. A guy ran up behind him, knocked him down on the ground. That guy jumped backed up and chased after him and tackled him and the crowd began surging on them. “The other taller guy had a small baton out. But as the crowd started surging on them, he pulled out a gun.”

CHP’s Golden Gate Division Chief, Avery Browne, said he is not identifying the officers. Browne said the officer also pulled out a badge and identified himself as law enforcement according to department policy. The photographer and other members of the media and protesters reported that they did not see a badge. The photographer said the officers were wearing street clothes and had their faces covered with bandannas. Browne confirmed this and described them as “plainclothes” and not undercover. He said it was common for these officers to mimic the dress of the other protesters “so they blended in with the crowd.”

He said the officers had been trailing the crowd in an unmarked car. They began following on foot at Ninth and Harrison streets after vandals marching with the group had smashed the windows of a T-Mobile store in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood. He alleges looters made off with merchandise. Browne claims a nearby Wells Fargo ATM was also damaged. Browne said the protesters called the officers out as law enforcement officers at 27th and Harrison. Several protesters took to Twitter to say that the officers had actually instigated acts of vandalism and were banging on windows alongside others. The photographer said he did not see the officers’ actions because protesters had surrounded him and had tried to take the memory card out of his camera. Another freelance photographer, was similarly accosted by protesters.

According to Browne, a man then punched the shorter officer in the back of the head. The officer ended up struggling with him on the ground. The crowd of “about 30 to 50” continued to advance and the officer “transitioned from his baton to his firearm.” He then pointed the gun at the protesters and panned the crowd to keep them away from him and his partner, who was still on the ground fighting with an attacker. While the officer fought with the man on the ground, a blonde woman ran up and kicked him the head, Browne said. She was not arrested, but the officer suffered head injuries and is displaying concussion-like symptoms.

“'Chief, I didn’t know if I was going to make it out of this thing alive,’” Browne said the officer told him. “'They were coming after us, they had already punched my partner in the head. I didn’t know if we were going to make it out alive.’” Browne continued saying: “We know it’s upsetting, we know it’s disturbing, every time a firearm is drawn, whether in a protest situation or in a felonious car stop. But we need to understand that these officers were under attack.” Browne said the CHP was investigating the use of force. He said the officer’s arrest and events leading up to it were also under investigation. He said he has not received reports that the officers instigated vandalism. In fact, they only got out of the car to gather information on the vandals, he said.

Chief Browne said the agency and other police departments will continue to employ this tactic despite Tuesday’s incident. He said they have had plainclothes officers dressed in protester attire walking in these marches since the first demonstration Nov. 24. He said before the officers were outed Tuesday, they were able to collect enough information to prevent four more freeway shutdown attempts. “We will use all of the avenues we can to keep the public safe and gather that information so we can be responsive and be in the proper position,” he said.

He said the main objective of these officers was to collect information on where the group was going. He said they were able to gather that information from their car in the back. The officers allegedly overheard plans to take Highway 24 and Interstate 80 twice on Tuesday. This intelligence allegedly enabled other CHP officers to prevent those attempts. Protesters on Wednesday disrupted traffic at times. They also disrupted a UC Berkeley lecture given by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. However, they did not take over any freeways. Browne said the Oakland Police Department was aware of the CHP’s plainclothes operations. He said that OPD had an officer in Berkeley’s emergency operations center. Oakland police did not return calls seeking a comment.

Browne said the officer that drew his weapon is still on active duty. However, both officers are assigned to the auto theft unit of the agency’s detective bureau. The man accused of punching the officer was booked into county jail on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer. The CHP arrested another protester in Oakland on suspicion of public intoxication, Browne said.

The march had earlier been peaceful, beginning in Berkeley with hundreds of participants calling for justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who were killed by white police officers in Missouri and New York. The recent demonstrations were set off when grand juries declined to file charges in the cases.

War Games!

Posted: 7:58 PM, Sept. 12, 2014 - Updated: Wed. Sept. 17, 2014 07:31 PM PDT

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Operation Urban Shield is a full scale training exercise for first responders. The training teaches prevention recovery and protection during a high threat in an urban area. Some of the tactics and the military style equipment have come under fire. Approximately 300 people blocked Broadway between 9th and 11th streets in Oakland on Friday afternoon in protest of the "Urban Shield" law enforcement disaster training event. The protest was held Friday outside the Marriott Hotel in downtown Oakland where part of the training took place.

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"Soldiers are trained to kill. Officers should be trained to protect and serve," says Jeralynn Blueford, whose son Alan was shot and killed by Oakland police in 2012. Friday she spoke at the protest saying she wanted it known that the training officers undergo during Urban Shield is too extreme, saying officers are in a city - not a warzone. "The militarize [sic] training is not for the community. That is for the war," says Blueford.


"There are violent people out there and there are people who want to do harm to us and the citizens. For that we have to be properly equipped and properly trained," says JD Nelson, Alameda County Sheriff Office spokesman.

Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel says teaching officers these skills and the usage of the equipment is unnecessary. He says the standoffs in Ferguson were a perfect example of that, when officers used military style equipment to battle people in the street who were outraged after unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by police. "Oakland like many other communities has acquired armored personnel carriers, helicopters, night vision goggles all of this militarized equipment. I think we should send it back," says Dan Siegel Oakland Mayoral Candidate.

"Most of the time you're never going to need this kind of equipment but when you do you'll need it," says Nelson. San Jose Police say military equipment isn't needed on its streets. The department is returning a surplus military vehicle that was built to withstand IED's in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The conference began on Thursday and will continue through Monday.

Home Training!

Posted: March 18, 2014 3:34 PM PDT | Updated: April 20, 2014

Oakland, CA -- Late last week, the City of Oakland made national headlines when it agreed to pay a $4.5 million legal settlement to Scott Olsen, the Marine Corps veteran who was critically wounded by Oakland police during a confrontation with Occupy Oakland protesters in 2011. Yet despite the large payout (which was first reported by the Express on its website), the Oakland Police Department brass promoted two cops who were involved in the Olsen incident. In fact, one of the officers — then Captain Paul Figueroa — is now the assistant police chief, and is the second most powerful person in the department.

OPD dispatch tapes from the night of October 25, 2011 highlight Figueroa's role in the unwarranted use of force by police officers on demonstrators. At about 7:25 p.m., Figueroa told the police officers at the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway that "we're going to stick with announcements, our goal is to allow them to peacefully protest, and we'll facilitate it then best we can ...."

But then, just minutes later, at 7:28 p.m., Figueroa ordered officers to put on their gas masks — a preparation for the use of tear gas — and to make announcements to disperse the crowd of demonstrators. At 7:34 p.m., Figueroa told his officers to "watch out for projectiles, we haven't seen any yet, just watch for them." Three minutes later, Figueroa said: "We're going to let them peacefully protest, we're going to continue to make announcements [to disperse] ...."

At the time, Figueroa was addressing commanders of OPD's Tango Teams — tactical squads of five officers and one sergeant each, which were armed with shotgun-fired less-than-lethal rounds, tear gas, and flash-bang grenades. As the Express reported in December 2011, those teams also included several OPD officers who had used deadly force in the past and had been involved in numerous use-of-force cases over the years.

Then, at 7:40 on the evening of October 25, 2011, Figueroa ordered Tango Team sergeants Roland Holmgren and Patrick Gonzales to disperse the crowd. "Tango Team deploy gas, deploy gas into the front of the crowd," Figueroa said over the radio.

Eighteen seconds later, an unnamed OPD officer shot Olsen in the head with a beanbag round that consisted of lead birdshot wrapped in cloth. At the time, Olsen, 24, was standing about fifteen feet from the Tango Teams at 14th and Broadway. The firing of the beanbag round was a blatant violation of OPD's crowd control policy. Then, while Olsen lay on the ground, an Oakland cop lobbed a flash-bang grenade into a group of people who had rushed in to help the wounded veteran. Video of a dazed and bleeding Olsen being carried to safety by fellow demonstrators quickly went viral and was seen by people around the world within hours. Olsen, who is now 26, has permanent brain damage.

At the time of the shooting, Figueroa had no business being the incident commander or accepting the position: He was the head of the department's internal affairs division. As such, he would be responsible for investigating any misconduct stemming from that incident. It was a clear conflict of interest. As it turned out, OPD botched both the administrative and criminal investigations into the Olsen shooting. To this day, the department has yet to identify the officer responsible.

Nonetheless, Interim Police Chief Sean Whent, who also had previously been the head of the department's internal affairs division, promoted Figueroa to assistant chief last year. OPD brass then promoted Tango Team Sergeant Holmgren to lieutenant earlier this year.

That promotion came despite the fact that former OPD consultant Thomas Frazier had singled out Holmgren for submitting alarmingly similar reports from officers who were at the scene when Olsen was shot. The officers all said in their statements that they did not see Olsen lying in front of the barricade after he was shot. They also said they did not see the people who came to his assistance or the flash-bang grenade thrown at those people. Frazier said the reports submitted by Holmgren from officers Michael Leite, Todd Martin, Thomas Sotto, Chris Saunders, and Robert Roche were not credible.

Frazier made those comments in a highly critical report on OPD's response to Occupy Oakland. "After review of hours of video footage involving the injured party (who appears to be approximately 15-25 feet in front of the police skirmish line when he was struck and fell to the ground), the fact that no law enforcement officer, supervisor, or commander observed the person falling down or prostrate in the street during the confrontation was unsettling and not believable," Frazier wrote in his report.

Then-City Administrator Deanna Santana attempted to redact portions of Frazier's report that concerned details of OPD's misconduct, including criticisms of the department's inadequate planning before the October 25 raid on Occupy Oakland; the use of internal affairs officers during the raid on the Occupy encampment and during the protest later that day (including Figueroa); failures by the department to follow its own crowd-control policy; a seriously mishandled criminal investigation into the wounding of Olsen; revelations that Olsen was gravely wounded by a beanbag round identical to the ones used by OPD that evening; and serious misgivings from OPD officers who told Frazier's team about the department's lax attitude toward misconduct and discipline.

Holmgren also had been involved in the illegal use of force against anti-war protesters at the Port of Oakland in 2003. And he was involved in a drunken brawl with prison guards at a charity boxing event in 2010. He also was disciplined for turning off his chest-mounted camera during clashes with Occupy Oakland demonstrators on January 28, 2012.

In addition, in 2012, independent investigator Jacob Crawford and I identified Roche (whose report Holmgren submitted) as the Oakland police officer who lobbed the flash-bang grenade toward Olsen and the group of people who rushed to his aid. (Full disclosure: Crawford worked as an investigator for Olsen's attorneys, Jim Chanin and Rachel Lederman, in the case against the city. I was not involved in the lawsuit.) OPD fired Roche for his actions, but he is challenging the termination in arbitration.

Oakland police officials did not respond to questions about why Figueroa and Holmgren were promoted in light of their involvement in the Olsen incident and other use-of-force cases.

In a statement, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan expressed regret at Olsen's injuries and said OPD had since reformed its crowd control policies. "We regret that Mr. Olsen suffered these injuries and hardships," Quan said, "and I want Oakland to know that because of that evening's events we took determined, constructive steps to change our policing procedures."

Although OPD's crowd control policy was recently revised as part of the Spalding et al v. Oakland settlement for a November 2010 mass arrest of Oscar Grant protesters, the department still has tear gas, blast grenades, and less-than-lethal beanbags as part of its crowd control arsenal. Other Bay Area law enforcement agencies, such as the San Francisco Police Department, do not allow the use of tear gas.

The Oakland City Attorney's Office said in a statement last week that the city will pay $1.8 million of the settlement with Olsen, and that the city's insurance carrier will pay the rest of the $4.5 million. To date, Oakland has paid out $6.3 million in legal settlements for police misconduct during Occupy Oakland demonstrations. A class action lawsuit over the mass arrest of hundreds of demonstrators on January 28, 2012 is still in the courts.

As for Olsen, he said he's relieved that his injuries were not worse. After the shooting, he temporarily lost his ability to speak and perform basic motor functions, and while he has improved significantly with therapy, his memory, concentration, and speech are still impaired. His current medical expenses are more than $200,000. "I'm grateful this is over," he told me in an interview just before the legal settlement was announced. "It's been very difficult to think about or plan for a future during this lawsuit."

Olsen said he hopes OPD discontinues the use of flash-bang grenades and less-than-lethal beanbags so no else gets injured liked he did. To this day, being at the intersection of 14th and Broadway makes him uncomfortable, as does being around police. "When I talk to police now, most of the time I'm shaking inside," he said.

The Alameda County District Attorney never filed criminal charges against Roche or other OPD personnel for their conduct during the Olsen incident and subsequent investigation.

"There's no positive result in this," Jim Chanin said. "Scott Olsen has a permanent injury, and the city has lost millions of dollars."

When asked last Friday by a reporter if he felt like he had won, Olsen replied, "I didn't win part of my brain back that's dead. I thought I wasn't in Iraq anymore. I thought I was safe."

Suppression of the Evidence:

'US cops tried to erase on-line evidence of police brutality!'


Google has been asked by a US law enforcement agency to remove several videos exposing police brutality from the video sharing service YouTube, the company has revealed in its latest update to an on-line transparency report. Another request filed by a different agency required Google to remove videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. The two requests were among 92 submissions for content removal by various authorities in the US filed between January and June 2011. Both were rejected by Google along with 27 per cent of the submissions. The IT giant says the overall number of requests for content removal it receives from governmental agencies has risen, and so has the number of requests to disclose the private data of Google users.

“Another Nigger fried. No big deal.” -- April 16, 2011, Statement by New York City Police Officer Michael Daragjati, boasting of his false arrest of another African-American male.

Occupy Oakland!

"Democracy is messy." -- Oakland, California Mayor Jean Quan commenting on the police raids against Occupy Oakland Activists, after previously expressing support for the Occupy Oakland Activists.

The U.S. Occupation!

November 28, 2011 Oakland, Calif. – Occupy Wall Street protesters around the nation continued to press their case Monday amid arrests, by rejecting heated up across the nation Monday with arrests, missed deadlines and refusals to move in Philadelphia and Augusta, Maine, and a call for strikes across the University of California's 10 campuses. In Davis, protesters called for a strike of the entire 10-campus University of California system timed for a University of California Board of Regents meeting.
The Regents, fearful of being a flash point for protests, had canceled their in-person meeting originally scheduled for San Francisco and instead opted for teleconferencing. They planned to take public comment from four UC campuses, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Davis and Merced. Public furor over the Nov. 18 pepper spraying of protesters by UC Davis police has made the campus a magnet for Occupy protesters from around the state. In numerous postings on YouTube and other sites, video shows a campus police officer in riot gear first showing a line of sitting protesters a canister of pepper spray and then walking down the line, spraying directly into their faces at close range. Other officers then move in to disperse the protesters, who had been ordered to leave. Ten people were arrested.

Bank Backlash!

Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 06:00 PM

The Occupation!

Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 4:50 PM PDT United States/OAKLAND/New York (WCJB) -- This week, there were turning points on both coasts, from the arrest of a man at Zuccotti Park in New York on sexual assault charges, to an explosive showdown between protesters and police in Oakland, Calif., leading to injuries and dozens of arrests. "We go from having a peaceful movement to now just chaos", said a woman demonstrating in Oakland. And that chaos is reverberating across the country. Heather Gautney, an assistant professor of sociology at Fordham University who has participated in recent demonstrations in New York and Philadelphia, says the violence in Oakland has galvanized both sides. Unlike New York billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has roots in the community, and has given protesters in her city wide latitude, she says.
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But "when you create this kind of space, you have to use it wisely", she says, arguing that police "brutality" in Oakland opened the door to new tensions there and in other cities. In the City of Alameda, On a counter above Nazi insignia and waterproof socks, the Alameda Surplus Store displays 10 varieties of gas mask. The goggle-eyed masks are a hot sell lately at military supply stores in the East Bay, and not for Halloween. Protesters from the Occupy Oakland movement began shoring up on breathing protection after police used tear gas to roust their downtown encampment Oct. 26 and later to quell protests that night and this week. Some protesters stuck to homemade aids such as vinegar-soaked bandannas. Others sought an upgrade. "They want to take precautionary measures," said store owner Moiz Raniji, pleased by the uptick in sales at his East Oakland outlet. He had sold at least 50 in the past 10 days. At Berkeley Surplus, hoarse and red-eyed protesters bought up the stock of 20 masks last week. The store ordered more and has been selling them consistently, said employee Mitchell Langon. "I had one girl who came in who was at the front lines," he said. "She wasn't a militant, violent type, she just got stuck in the middle of it. They want to be protected because they're going to be in the crowd."

The Egyptian Occupation!

Cairo's Tahrir Square!

Cairo, Egypt (WCJB) -- Military police poured into Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday in hopes of stopping clashes between protesters and police, as the Egyptian government said a "truce" had been declared through a group of clerics.
Not since the fearful days after Sept. 11, 2001, have so many customers come in looking for protection against chemical agents, store owners say. The unexpectedly forceful police response the night of Oct. 26 spurred the mask boom. A gas canister lobbed by police is believed to have injured and hospitalized protester and Iraq veteran Scott Olsen that night, and many other demonstrators felt the sting of being enveloped in acrid white clouds. Police lobbed gas canisters again after midnight Wednesday when some protesters began wreaking havoc downtown. Journalists have also bought the masks for protection as they report on the protests, some after having been tear-gassed.

Occupy Oakland: A City Undecided!

Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 4:00 PM Oakland, CA -- After first supporting the camp, forcing it to close and then allowing it to spring back up, Mayor Jean Quan now appears to be leaning toward wanting the camp evicted again. Quan told residents and others gathered at a raucous City Council meeting this week that the Occupy Oakland encampment at City Hall is damaging the city. Hundreds of jobs are being lost, police are being diverted from violent parts of town, some businesses are closing, and others are choosing not to locate in downtown Oakland at all, she said at Thursday's special City Council meeting. Quan's actions during the past two weeks have left both supporters and opponents of the Occupy Oakland camp bewildered and frustrated. Her mixed messages, whether she delivers them herself or through others, indicate that she is unwilling to make a decision, Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente said. "Honestly, I think her nature cannot allow her to make a decision. The city is really suffering the consequences of that," said De La Fuente, who has emerged as the mayor's most vocal critic on the council since she took office. De La Fuente expressed grave concerns about what he said is Quan's inability to take a stand. Quan has been criticized for flip-flopping on Occupy by business owners, residents and the Oakland police union, which issued an open letter to residents Tuesday saying police were confused and did not know how to respond to protesters because of the mayor's mixed signals. The city's inability to get protesters to cooperate was apparent again Friday when campers who gathered for a morning meeting were met by Arturo Sanchez, assistant to the city administrator. Sanchez reiterated the city's concerns over a propane tank in the camp's food tent and the larger structures that have arisen, such as the medic tent, which is staffed by nurses twice a week. Sanchez told the group that at some point, "those structures will have to come down," but did not specify when. Sanchez's warning was not well received. Fire inspectors who walked through the kitchen Friday afternoon again asked campers to remove the propane tank, which was covered in a black garbage bag. "As much as you say you respect our position, please respect ours," said a camper named Dennis, 39, who had just moved from the Occupy Santa Cruz encampment. "No structure will come down without a general assembly vote."

Occupy Oakland! 'The General Strike: 70 Anarchists!'

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011, 11:21 AM
Oakland Police officers in riot gear form a battle-line at the Occupy Oakland, General Strike demonstration on Wednesday, November 3, 2011!
Oakland, CA -- Thousands of protesters converged on the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth-busiest harbour, swarming the area and blocking exits and streets with illegally parked vehicles and chain-link fences. The City of Oakland became a rallying point when Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen was seriously injured in a clash with police last week in an incident that caused nationwide outrage among the protesters. Organizers in Oakland had viewed the day as a significant victory. Supporters in New York; Philadelphia, Los Angeles and elsewhere staged smaller-scale demonstrations - each group saying its protest was a show of support for Oakland. Police said thousands of people demonstrated throughout the day and were peaceful except for a few incidents of vandalism. The peace of the day did not last long into the night. Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan told media affiliates in San Francisco that vandalism occurred after the General Strike ended. Jordan said up to 70 anarchists were 'bent on creating problems.' A few broke into a vacant building, shattering windows, spraying graffiti and setting fires along the downtown Oakland streets. Several private and municipal buildings sustained heavy vandalism. Photo: [Oakland, CA] Police Officials conduct surveillance of the Occupy Oakland: 'Snow Park Encampment' (Wednesday, November 2, 2011) a second site of Occupy Oakland Protest and General Strike. Protesters voicing anger over budget cuts that forced the closure of a homeless aid program converged on the empty building where it had been housed. A group of demonstrators moved to occupy the Traveler's Aid building in order to, as some shouting protesters put it, "reclaim the building for the people." Oakland Police arrived and proceeded to arrest and dislodge protesters who occupied the downtown building. ’Protesters reported running from several rounds of tear gas and bright flashes and deafening pops that some thought were caused by ‘flash bang’ grenades. Dozens of protesters wielding shields were surrounded and arrested. Protesters began hurling rocks, explosives, bottles and flaming objects at riot officers. ‘There's absolutely something wrong with the system,’ said Jessica Medina, a single mother who attends school part time and works at an Oakland café. ‘We need to change that.’ Meanwhile, protesters and police faced off for the rest of the night in an uneasy standoff. About 103 people were arrested after the general strike, during the unrest late Wednesday and early Thursday. One-third of the arrestees are from Oakland. Roughly two-thirds of the arrestees taken into custody for failure to disperse and other charges came from as far away as Texas, Michigan, New York, Utah, New Jersey, and Oregon. Of the 103 who were arrested, 32 people are from Oakland, 42 are from the Bay Area, 15 are from other parts of California and 9 are from out of state. Two of the arrestees were 17-year-old juveniles who were cited and released. One is from Washington, the other from San Mateo County. Photo: [Oakland, CA] Police Officials conduct (helicopter) aerial surveillance of the Occupy Oakland: 'General Strike' (Wednesday, November 2, 2011) at the Downtown Oakland Location. The Occupy Oakland encampment, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza sprang up on Monday, Oct. 10. It was torn down by police in an early-morning raid on Oct. 25. The Occupy Oakland camp sprang up again on Oct. 26 and there are about 100 tents and about 300 people living there now. The campers on Friday morning arose to chilly temperatures but promised to stick it out, rain or shine. People wandered around the camp this morning with their hoods up, drinking hot coffee and trying to stay warm. "I can survive any weather," said Kenaja Mwari, 23, of Oakland. Gesturing toward City Hall, he added "If we aren't going to let the people stop us, why would we let some weather stop us?".

Occupy Oakland! 'The General Strike:' The Port is Closed!

Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011, 2:00 PM "As many as 7,000 people, by police estimates, clogged the main port entrance on Middle Harbor Road and seven other gates as the sun went down, chanting slogans and halting all truck traffic going in or out. 'Whose port? Our port!' many yelled, while dozens climbed on top of the idled trucks and waved signs." OAKLAND, CA -- After a night of confrontations with police and 80 arrests in downtown Oakland, Occupy protesters temporarily blocked an entrance at the Port of Oakland Thursday morning, attempting to prevent trucks from entering. The protesters removed the fences about 9 a.m. after meeting with ILWU president Richard Mead, who appealed to their sense of fairness after they were told the dockworkers would not receive their full day's pay if they couldn't get to work. The protesters then fanned out to other entrances at the port to picket.
But it had been a tense scene at the port entrance at Adeline and 3rd streets, where truckers faced off with about a dozen protesters who erected a chain-link fence across four lanes of traffic and reinforced it with Dumpsters to keep truckers and port employees out. At one point while the barricade was up, one driver ran through it and said he would run down the protesters. In response, a female protester yelled "You are trying to hurt us over your job? For money? Really?" Another driver got out of his truck and confronted the protesters. One of the female protesters told him, "Don't touch me or I'm going to call the police." The police never showed up. Isaac Kos-Read, director of external affairs at the port said the marine terminals were up and running Thursday after thousands of protesters managed to shut down the port Wednesday night. He said there were no injuries during Wednesday night's occupation. He also said that the demonstration prevented longshoremen from working the second and third shifts, and continued disruption to port operations will hurt employees and the already struggling economy. "Any additional missed shifts represent economic hardship for maritime workers, truckers, and their families, as well as lost jobs and lost tax revenue for our region," Kos-Read said. "Continued disruptions will begin to lead to re-routing of cargo and permanent loss of jobs, a situation that would only exacerbate the on-going economic challenges of our region."

Occupy Oakland! 'The General Strike!'

Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2011, 1:16 PM
Photo: Oakland, CA at 14th Broadway, Wednesday, November 2, 2011, site of Occupy Oakland Protest and General Strike.
Oakland, CA -- Protesters inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement "declared victory after thousands of demonstrators shut down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports late Wednesday, escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September. ... The nearly five-hour protest at the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth-busiest shipping port, was intended to highlight a daylong 'general strike' in the city, which prompted solidarity rallies in New York, Los Angeles and other cities across the nation." "Hundreds of teachers, nurses and city workers took the day off to join in the day of protests. A diverse array of others including school children took part in a series of demonstrations that began this morning, focused on a host of issues ranging from income inequality to police brutality."
Photo [Oakland, CA]: Protesters march past 14th Broadway, Wednesday, November 2, 2011, site of Occupy Oakland Protest and General Strike.
Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 1:16 PM Oakland, CA -- Oakland police are to be the subject of a formal investigation after Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull at an Occupy Oakland protest last week. Oakland's Citizens' Police Review Board is launching the investigation after it received a complaint on Friday. Police in Oakland are bracing themselves for a general strike on Wednesday, which has been announced by the city's Occupy movement and is expected to cause disruption across the city. A source at the review board said the investigation will begin in the next few days, and is expected to last "several months". "We're reviewing the information we have at the moment," the source told the media.
Pictured above: Olsen, 24, was seriously injured after being hit on the head by a police projectile. He is still in hospital and unable to talk, communicating only through short written messages.
The board received the complaint from a member of the public. The complaint "relates specifically to Scott Olsen", and was not filed by a member of Olsen's family. An investigator has yet to be assigned to the case, but will be "within the next few days", the source said. "I think it's a wonderful thing," said Alan Brill, who acts as a spokesman for Occupy Oakland. "Just like every once in a while people do things that are wrong from our side, there is a small percentage of police that are out of control, and I'm glad they're being investigated." Pictured Above: Acting Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Oakland City Administrator Deanna J. Santana. Olsen, a former marine who served two tours of Iraq, was injured on Tuesday 25 October as police cleared the Occupy Oakland camp from its base at Frank Ogawa plaza, outside Oakland city hall. Police used teargas and "less lethal" weapons to clear the plaza. Olsen was apparently struck in the forehead, knocking him to the ground. Video footage shows a police officer throwing an explosive towards a group of protesters who went to Olsen's aid (see below).
(Oakland police admit that they used tear gas and baton rounds, but have denied the use of flash bang grenades. However, this video conclusively shows (and proves) that an officer lobbed a flash grenade into the crowd attempting to provide medical aid to Olsen.) More than 15 police agencies were involved in the operation that day, including San Francisco sheriffs. There has been speculation on social media sites that it was a San Francisco Deputy Sheriff (Scott Bergstresser) who injured Olsen, with some Twitter and Facebook accounts naming him as the responsible officer. However, sheriff spokeswoman Eileen Hirst said that while a platoon of 35 sheriffs did attend the Oakland operation, none of them were carrying teargas or less lethal weapons. Hirst said the San Francisco sheriffs' involvement in the operation in Oakland was being reviewed internally, but none of the 35 officers who attended on 25 October had been suspended.
Thousands of Occupy protesters are expected to gather in Oakland for the general strike and mass day of action on Wednesday. The strike aims to "shut down" the city, culminating with a march to the Port of Oakland to prevent the transit of cargo. "Oakland was the site of the last general strike in the US," said protester Tim Simons, at a press conference on Monday. "On Wednesday, we're going to make history once again. We're going to make Oakland proud." Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011, 10:17 AM
Oakland police search tents in Frank Ogawa Plaza on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, as they disperse Occupy Oakland protesters in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photography)
Oakland, CA -- Veering around police barricades, Occupy Oakland protesters held a late-night march through Oakland streets, a day after one of their number — an Iraq War veteran — was left in critical condition with a fractured skull following a clash with police. The show of force in Oakland by police along with SWAT arrests in Atlanta, GA, precipitated the violence that injured war veteran, Scott Olsen. Mr. Olsen was marching with Oakland demonstrators Tuesday when he suffered a cracked skull in the chaos between officers and protesters. It is not clear exactly what type of projectile hit the veteran, however the group Iraq Veterans Against the War said officers lobbed the projectile.
(Pictured left, Oakland Police Officer, Sgt. Patrick Gonzales wields a shotgun towards protesters.) The 24-year-old Marine remained in critical condition, said a spokesman for Highland Hospital in Oakland. Another showdown between police and protesters in Oakland was averted late Wednesday night as several hundred filed out of a plaza declared off-limits for overnight use and marched through nearby streets. Oakland Police erected barricades to prevent the marchers from reaching a freeway, sending the group down side streets en masse. Small contingents of officers could be seen following behind but there were no signs of any confrontations or arrests. Demonstrators in other cities have built a working relationship with police and city leaders. However, they now wonder how long the "working relationship" would last and whether they could be next to face riot gear-clad officers and tear gas as their counterparts in Oakland faced Tuesday morning and night. Many now ask whether they will be handcuffed and hauled away in the middle of the night like protesters in Oakland and Atlanta? In Atlanta, police in riot gear and SWAT teams arrested 53 people in Woodruff Park, many of whom had camped out there for weeks as part of a widespread movement that is protesting the wealth disparity between the rich and everyone else.
Mayor Kasim Reed said on Wednesday that he had no choice to arrest them because he believed things were headed in a direction that was no longer peaceful. He cited a man seen walking the park with an AK-47 assault rifle. Reed said authorities could not determine whether the rifle was loaded, and were unable to get additional information. A reporter talked to the man with the gun earlier Tuesday. He wouldn't give his name — identifying himself only as "Porch," an out-of-work accountant who doesn't agree with the protesters' views — but said that he was there, armed, because he wanted to protect the rights of people to protest. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that the Occupy LA encampment outside City Hall "cannot continue indefinitely." Villaraigosa told the media that he respects the protesters right to peacefully assemble and express their views, but they must respect city laws and regulations. San Francisco police have already cleared two encampments. Most recently, police estimated at least five protesters were arrested and several others injured in a clash Tuesday evening. Other cities, such as Providence, R.I., are moving ahead with plans to evict activists. Posted: Wednesday, October 26th 2011, 2:30 AM - Updated: Wednesday, October 26th 2011, 2:58 PM
Photo: Oakland, CA at 14th Broadway, Saturday, October 22, 2011, site of Occupy Oakland Protest.
OAKLAND, Calif. - In Oakland, tensions between the city and protesters have been escalating since last week as officials complained about what they described as deteriorating safety, sanitation and health issues at the site of the dismantled camp. The Oakland site was among numerous camps that have sprung up around the country, as protesters rally against what they see as corporate greed and a wide range of other economic issues. The protests have attracted a wide range of people, including college students looking for work and the homeless.
Photo: Oakland, CA at 14th Broadway, Tuesday, October 25, 2011, site of Occupy Oakland Police Incursion.
On Tuesday morning protesters were taken away in plastic handcuffs, most of them arrested on suspicion of illegal lodging. Authorities removed about 170 demonstrators who had been staying in the area overnight after repeatedly being warned that such a camp was illegal and they faced arrest by remaining. City officials said 97 people were arrested in the morning raid. Demonstrators returned later in the day to march and retake the plaza. They were met by police officers in riot gear. Later dozens of police in riot gear and hundreds of protesters supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse in downtown Oakland, with authorities using tear gas to respond to demonstrators' repeated attempts to reclaim the plaza campsite. The first evening scuffle broke out after several hundred people made their way back to City Hall. Shortly thereafter, several small skirmishes broke out and officers cleared the area by firing tear gas. The latest such skirmish came Tuesday night around 11:15 PM (PDT) in front of City Hall, where a haze of chemical smoke still hung in the air following several similar clashes at the site over the course of the night. It was the fifth time in about three hours that police a fired a volley of tear gas to disperse a crowd at the scene where ongoing tension has erupted into conflict throughout the day. The number of protesters has diminished with each round of gas. Initially the protesters had gathered at a downtown library, marched toward City Hall where they ultimately were met by police officers in riot gear, who cleared the area by firing tear gas. The scene has repeated itself several times since. But each time officers move to disperse the crowd, protesters quickly gather again in assemblies that authorities have declared illegal. Tensions would rise as protesters edged closer to police line and climax when someone throws a bottle or rock and authorities response with volleys of gas.
About 200 remained late Tuesday, mostly young adults, some riding bicycles, protecting themselves from the noxious fumes with bandannas and scarves wrapped around their faces. Helicopters scanned the area late Tuesday and scores of officers wearing helmets and carrying clubs patrolled the streets. Fire crews responded to small blazes in trash containers. Police have denied reports that they used flash bang canisters to help break up the crowds, saying the loud noises came from large firecrackers thrown at police by protesters. Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan (pictured above, center) told reporters at a late night news conference that authorities had no other choice, saying the protesters were throwing rocks and bottles at officers. "We had to deploy gas to stop the crowd," he said, according to a media report. City officials say that two officers were injured. At least five protesters were arrested and several others injured in the evening clashes. Protesters moved about uneasily even as one used a bull horn to express his resolve. "This movement is more than just the people versus the police," Mario Fernandez said. "It's about the people trying to have their rights to basic services." He added, "This crowd isn't going anywhere anytime soon."
Photo: Oakland, CA at 14th Broadway, Wednesday, October 26, 2011. Oakland Police have established a presence in the plaza where a pre-dawn raid Tuesday dismantled an encampment of Occupy Oakland protesters that had dominated the area for more than two weeks.
Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:02 am - Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 3:51 pm OAKLAND, CA -- Hundreds of police descended on Occupy Oakland early Tuesday and arrested at least 85 people, as protesters tried to hold them off with firecrackers, re-purposed police barriers, kitchen utensils and even the City Hall Christmas wreath. Early reports from police say the raids, which began about 4:45 a.m., went smoothly, with all protesters cleared out of the tent city at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in less than 30 minutes. A second encampment in nearby Snow Park was also shut down. No injuries to protesters or officers were reported, no children were found in the camp and dog owners were allowed to leave with their pets, Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said.
After the raids concluded, Mayor Jean Quan said the plaza will remain open as a free speech gathering place "for peaceful protest" during park hours, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Quan -- who was in Washington, D.C., lobbying for money for the Port of Oakland -- said City Hall "has been trying to walk a fine line between free speech and public safety." The first week of the encampment was mellow, Quan said, with campers responding to every concern the City raised. More than a dozen law enforcement agencies from around Northern California backed up Oakland police during the operation, which launched in the early hours of Tuesday from the O.co Coliseum near 66th Avenue. City Administrator Deanna Santana said Oakland needed backup because the city's police force numbers are so low. The assisting agencies included the California Highway Patrol; sheriff's deputies from Alameda, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties; and police officers from Berkeley, U.C. Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont, Pleasanton, Union City, Newark, Alameda and San Jose. Police Chief Howard Jordan said hundreds of officers assisted but would not cite an exact figure.

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Movie Intermission!

The O.J. Simpson Murder Saga: 20 Years Later!


Description: Simpson hired a high-profile defense team, initially led by Robert Shapiro and subsequently led by Johnnie Cochran, and which also included: F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Kardashian, Gerald Uelmen (the dean of law at Santa Clara University), Robert Blasier, and Carl E. Douglas, with two more attorneys specializing in DNA evidence: Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. Los Angeles County believed it had a solid prosecution case, but Cochran was able to persuade the jurors that there was reasonable doubt about the DNA evidence (a relatively new form of evidence in trials at the time) -- including that the blood-sample evidence had allegedly been mishandled by lab scientists and technicians -- and about the circumstances surrounding other exhibits. Cochran and the defense team also alleged other misconduct by the Los Angeles Police Department. Simpson's celebrity and the lengthy televised trial riveted national attention on the so-called "Trial of the Century". By the end of the criminal trial, national surveys showed dramatic differences in the assessment of Simpson's guilt between most black and white Americans. Previous Video: Courtroom Brawls, Outbursts, Fights with Cops, suicide, murder and more! Read more on the State of Florida v. Michael Dunn (Indictment, Police Reports, Civil Complaint).
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