Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said today that he wants to discipline 44 of his officers for misconduct in their handling of Occupy Oakland protesters at three major demonstrations in the past year. Jordan said at a briefing at City Hall that his Internal Affairs division has received 1,127 complaints about alleged officer misconduct at Occupy Oakland protests in the past year.
Jordan also revealed that one of his officers - not an officer from an outside agency - fired a beanbag that critically injured Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen on Oct. 25, an incident that galvanized the Occupy movement.
A scathing report released Friday by the Oakland, Calif., police department came down hard on certain Oakland officers for their part in three Occupy protests on the streets of Oakland last year.
It also said for the first time that it was an Oakland police officer who fired the bean bag shot that hit and critically injured an Iraq war veteran. That officer, according to Chief Howard Jordan, is also the subject of a criminal investigation connected to the injury to Scott Olsen.
The city's official report followed an unprecedented 1,127 complaints by citizens against officers during those protests that happened on Oct. 25 and Nov. 2 of 2011, and Jan. 28 of 2012.
They were part of the Occupy movement that brought tens of thousands of people to Oakland for a series of demonstrations that turned violent.
Chief Jordan said he wants to fire two officers, demote another, suspend or give a written reprimand to over a dozen for their actions during the violent protests. Another 23 will receive written reprimands and 3 others will receive counseling and additional training.
This Youtube video captured recently seems to be NYPD preparing possible new recruits for mass arrests.
One week away from the September 17th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the NYPD are erecting giant concrete walls around Zuccotti park and getting their helmeted blues ready to roll out with mass arrest gear and batons.
Other plans for tight security include check points throughout Lower Manhattan, according to this email sent out by the Director of Security at Pace University:
September 14, 2012
Dear Pace Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Monday, September 17 is the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. As a precautionary measure, NYPD will establish check points throughout Lower Manhattan. It is important that employees and students carry Pace ID cards in order to gain access through these checkpoints. Locations of the checkpoints are still to be determined.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Director of Security
Once again, the NYPD will be disrupting Manhattan far more than the Occupy Wall Street protesters could ever imagine if these checkpoints are established. And I take it Mayor Bloomberg won't be joining in for cake and coffee?
When: Wednesday, August 8th 2012, 5-7pm Where: Gracie Mansion (88 E End Ave, NYC) RSVP on Facebook | #OccupyGracieMansion
The 1% mayor of NYC is so sure he can buy anything and anyone, as easily as he bought the office of mayor, including an unprecedented third term.
In his attempt to transform our city into his own 1% fantasy land, he has created a police state: where minority citizens are daily terrorized with stop and frisk; where only the most healthy, wealthy and white are welcome, and the “unwanted” are driven out of their homes and neighborhoods; where peaceful protesters are attacked with pepper spray and batons, and brutally evicted from lovingly built unique realizations of true democracy.
The 1% mayor has shown nothing but contempt for the disability community, has stomped on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and bought high-placed defenders of corporate-power in order to use our law against us in court.
On Wednesday, August 8th, will you swallow the 1% mayor's lie that he wants to honor the ADA, play along with his hypocrisy, forget your dignity and disability pride? Or will you join the Disability Caucus of Occupy Wall Street and let the 1% mayor know we cannot be bought for a hamburger and a pat on the head?
5:00: Sound Demo (Bring your own drum/ noise maker)
5:30: People’s Picket (Bring your own protest Sign)
6:00: Community Feast (Bring your own favorite dish)
7:00: Sleepful Protest Planning Session (Bring your own sleeping bag)
This is a non-violent protest action open to all who are angry about the mayor's 1% policies, which continue to marginalize New Yorkers of all backgrounds.
More videos surfaced online on Sunday of the LAPD violence at Thursday’s Downtown LA Art Walk.
Many helicopters hover above the streets. Full riot gear was worn by some officers during the ordeal. Rubber bullets and other projectiles were in use. The police were very aggressive. All this over chalk painting on the sidewalk?
In the video above at 4:49, you can see a man in a white t-shirt shot at very close range with a projectile weapon. He falls to the ground and is clearly incapacitated. After the man stumbles to the ground, two Occupiers come to his aid but police move in, chase the occupiers off, 14 officers surround the man, while one officers kicks the man in the face, then other officers smash his face into the pavement, and violently arrested him.
This next video shows the incident from ground level:
Members of Occupy Los Angeles say that recent efforts to clean the "skid row" area of the city are actually a ploy to eventually rid the area of its homeless population, so that a powerful group of lobbyists can begin efforts to help their clients realize plans to redevelop the area into profitable businesses.The CCA is a business group that lobbies city and state government to grease the wheels for development in downtown LA. They represent local businesses, as well as large corporations, such as Chevron, Walmart, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo and Bank of America .
Police say that any property not placed in the city provided storage facility during the cleaning operations must be mobile, and kept moving all day long, until the one of the Injunctions kicks in at 9pm and people are allowed to sleep. At 6am, they must begin moving around again until the night. You can hear police explain in the video above "You cannot return to where you were, and you cannot stay where you are now." Come 9pm, the homeless have to find a new spot to sleep for the night because they are not allowed to return to the "cleaned" areas, and then each day the process begins again.
Occupy Los Angeles, LA CAN, Occupy the Hood, and Occupy Skid Row have all kept a presence in the area to protest the efforts of CCA, with Occupy LA reporting over this past weekend. From Occupy LA's website:
First thoughts written last night: ”4 Arrests in Midnight LAPD Raid on CCA Siege – Occupy Los Angeles – three of my best friends and roommates, and an unknown 4th man ARRESTED. Charges unknown. Police orchestrated tactical raid with 25+ cops, pepper spray out and batons were swinging. Captain Frank (at a compañera’s trial yesterday) pointed at her and said, “Don’t I know you?”. Another police officer told a fifth occupier that “You’re getting arrested tomorrow.”
I couldn’t move, trapped inside a tent and seeing silhouettes of gum-chewing cops, fidgety and in war-mode. LAPD’s true colors emerging.
You want to talk targeted kidnappings and terror? Cops were laughing as they pushed and hit us. Laughing as they sent 3 snatch squads and took my friends in the dead of night.”
We’re traumatized and enraged. Three of my roommates were snatched by LAPD last night. Bails are $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000…. they’ve been some of the most visible organizers with the siege on the Central City Association (1%’s lobby here in Los Angeles) for nearly a month. They have all been harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and arrested by the LAPD before. They have all been occupying for months and are inspiring in their defiance and rejection of the oppressive status quo.
The arrests began over alleged chalk drawings, despite the 9th circuit court decision of Mackinney vs. Neilson that states, “No chalk would damage a sidewalk.”
Since May 29, occupiers and homeless advocates have camped out each night in front of the CCA’s offices in downtown, as part of an ongoing “siege” protest that was originally only meant to last seven days. The action was coordinated by Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy the Hood, Occupy Skid Row and the Los Angeles Community Action Network.
Obviously, occupiers, who would prefer government to be free of corporate influences, are ideologically opposed to the lobby group. In fact, one could say the CCA is Occupy LA’s local archenemy.
Heather Meyer, an occupier who has been camping out in front of the CCA, said the lobby is “behind everything that is oppressive.” She cites as an example the groups opposition to the recently passed “Responsible Banking” ordinance, which requires banks doing business with the city to turn over information on loans and foreclosure activity and making it readily available to the public.
“They are the lobbyists for the one percent,” she said. “They are the epitome of money in politics.”
The CCA has done more than support bankers to irritate occupiers. The CCA also successfully opposed community efforts to block the construction of a Walmart in Chinatown. They helped kill a city ordinance that would have required hotels to keep their employees 90 days after a change of hotel ownership, according to their website.
As further evidence of the power the lobbyists at CCA wield, the report cites CCA announcing their intentions earlier this year to further lobby for more police resources for the skid row area. The LAPD soon after announcing 40 more officers being sent in to patrol despite there only being a “minor uptick in reported crime” in a neighborhood that “still reports some of the lowest crime levels in the city,” according to the Downtown News.
To explain the decision to respond so strongly to a minor uptick in crime, the LAPD stated:
In recent months, the department has been fielding more complaints from residents and businesses about aggressive panhandling and people sleeping on the sidewalk during the day, he said.
“We are having an increase in quality of life issues and we don’t want to lose any ground that we’ve gained in that area,” Perez said. “We want to stop the problem before it explodes. We’re just being proactive in our analysis and response to the area and understanding it.”
Interestingly enough, it sounds as if the increase in complaints began around the time CCA announced it would begin lobbying for more police...
If you continue to read the Downtown News article, it really does a great job of making skid row sound bad. I've seen it, it's a depressing and disturbing area that seems like you've crossed some great divide into an undeveloped nation. So many people with nowhere else to call home. Then it finishes with a quote from CCA's CEO:
“There hasn’t been an area in the entire county of Los Angeles that has not benefited from making Downtown come alive,” said Schatz. “When people are sleeping on the streets… it affects our ability to continue to attract investment and continue to make this Downtown thrive.”
As I read that quote, it didn't sound to me as if what happens to the people of skid row was a priority, or even a concern at all.
I'll keep you posted on any updates on the situation.
No doubt you all remember the shocking pepper spray attack on peaceful student protesters at UC Davis last November. Today the report into that incident has been released and the results are damning, accusing the Chancellor of poor leadership and concluding that the use of pepper spray was unjustified and should have been prevented. The laissez-faire attitude of the UC Davis police chief is especially appalling.
The report spreads blame for the events that led to the confrontation across several members of the UC-Davis leadership but said Pike was primarily responsible for the "objectively unreasonable decision" to pepper-spray the demonstrators.
"On balance, the evidence does not provide an objective, factual basis for Lt. Pike's purported belief that he was trapped, that any of his officers were trapped, or that the safety of their arrestees was at issue," the report states. "Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police."
But while criticizing Pike, the report also cites "systemic and repeated failures" among campus administrators it said "put officers in the unfortunate situation in which they found themselves."
The type of pepper-spray canister he carried was "not an authorized weapon" under campus police guidelines, and the officers "were not trained in how to use it correctly," according to the report.
Chancellor Linda Katehi told investigators that she envisioned "a limited operation in which police would demand that the tents be taken down but would use no other force," the report found.
However other top-level officials did not receive that message because the chancellor "did not effectively communicate this" during deliberations.
According to the report Chief Spicuzza initially tried to convince officers not to wear riot gear or use batons or pepper spray, but she was unsuccessful.
It also found "There is also evidence that she wanted her officers to withdraw if they encountered resistance," but as investigators weren't allowed to interview her they had no further details.
No one in the campus leadership took responsibility for ensuring they understood the way the police operation was to be handled, the report stated.
"The command and leadership structure of the (campus police) is very dysfunctional," the report adds. "Lieutenants refused to follow directives of the chief."
This conclusion stemmed in part from "heated exchanges" between Spicuzza and those in her charge had regarding how to proceed with the operation and her eventual "concession that her officers will do things their own way and there is nothing she can do about it."[Emphasis mine.] What was this, "mob rule" of the campus police? Spicuzza may as well have given the investigative team their interview and replied with a "Meh" to every question.
The report also takes on the claims by campus police that the video footage of the pepper-spraying incident shows that they were under threat and facing a "hostile crowd." It blasts those claims out of the water with video images of Pike and another officer who "were able to move through the crowd freely" and stepped over seated protesters three times "just minutes before Lt. Pike sprayed those same protesters."
The report contains recommendations to about how to improve communication and the police force, and how to better respect freedom of speech issues as well as various aspects of life on a university campus.
There were no recommendations regarding disciplinary actions.
Here I thought the police brutality in New York was reserved for just Occupy Wall Street activists. But here a group of New York City police officers were so busy kicking and beating a man with their batons that it took them a little while to realize they were being recorded.
They had the man on his back, ordering him to put his hands behind his back while continually beating him with their batons, and stomping him with their feet making it impossible to actually comply with their orders as he was trying to dodge the blows.
Once they finally noticed the videographer, one of them pulls out a pepper spray canister, shakes it and walks toward the videographer with the canister pointing towards him.
“Move back, Move Back! Move Back!"
This took place in the Bronx and the video was uploaded on January 30, 2012.
The video above shows the UC Berkeley protest on Nov.9, 2011 with campus police beating students back with batons.
The assistant police chief tasked with reviewing campus police actions during the November 9, 2011 protest at UC Berkeley wrote that "Some of these findings will be controversial," in his 50-page report to the UC Berkeley police chief. Critical of the administration, he found that the police should have been allowed to use pepper spray on the protesting students.
Outraged protesters are calling the report a "a tactical handbook for warfare against students."
Berkeley's Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, traveling in Asia that day, had prohibited the use of pepper spray. That ban proved prescient, as Birgeneau later noted, because UC Davis officers were captured on video weeks later using the chemical irritant to coat seated protesters, prompting outrage around the world. Reviews of UC Davis police actions are pending.
In the Berkeley report released Friday, Young said that police acted properly in every way: in removing the tents, in their preparedness, in their training. He had several recommendations, including that police prepare formations out of view of protesters, to better take them by surprise.
He lamented, however, that "force options" for police were limited on Nov. 9.
Referring to pepper spray, he wrote: "A few focused applications on the crowd that blocked the officers near the row of bushes would likely have cleared that area very quickly, with few additional baton strikes."
Perhaps because this is the campus police reviewing themselves explains the outrageous conclusion that during this absolutely peaceful protest police should have been allowed to use both pepper spray and the batons to beat students. If this is considered standard procedure on our nation's university campuses, it's a wonder that we haven't yet seen more Kent State-like situations. Is it only a matter of time?
To see the full review of UC Berkeley police actions, click here.
The following video shows the police response to the student protest at UC Davis on November 18, 2011 with pepper spray being used liberally on seated students.