The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Oakland’s police chief could lose his job after he missed a slew of important emails after setting his spam filter to reject messages with terms including ‘Occupy Oakland’ and ‘police brutality.’ Police Chief Howard Jordan had city staff put the email filters in place last October after a spate of violence following a police raid of an Occupy encampment in Oakland, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He said he did so because of a deluge of anonymous critical messages, but then missed emails from city officials and a court monitor overseeing a potential federal receivership — or takeover — of Oakland’s embattled police department. Police Chief Could Lose Job After Spam Filter Fail (via slantback)

(via infoneer-pulse)

Oakland police may face sanctions over handling of Occupy protests | Reuters

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the city of Oakland and its police department to submit a plan within a week to address a backlog of complaints stemming from their handling of Occupy protests, threatening sanctions if they fail to do so.

The mandate by District Judge Thelton Henderson follows the release of a report by an outside monitor that said Oakland police used “an overwhelming military-type response” to the demonstrations.

The report also confirmed, for the first time from an official source, that an Oakland police SWAT team member fired a beanbag round at an Iraq war veteran during clashes in October. […]

The Oakland Police Department has been subject to court-ordered external monitoring and review since the 2003 settlement of what was known as the Riders case, in which four officers were accused of planting evidence, fabricating police reports and using unlawful force, according to the Oakland police.

“It would be problematic enough if, as seems inevitable, (Oakland police’s) compliance levels were to backslide as a result of their failure to address the Occupy Oakland complaints in a timely fashion,” Henderson wrote in his three-page written order.

“Such failures would be further indication that, despite the changed leadership at the City of Oakland and its police department, (Oakland police) might still lack the will, capacity, or both to complete the reforms to which they so long ago agreed,” he wrote.

Henderson said that if officials fail to submit the plan by next week and implement it by May 14, “the court will consider appropriate sanctions, including the imposition of daily or weekly monetary sanctions, until compliance is achieved.”

occupyallstreets:

Whistleblowing Wednesday: Cop Identified In Scott Olsen Incident Also Fatally Shot 3 People While On Duty
Oakland Police officer, Robert Roche has been identified as the officer who threw a flash-bang grenade at Iraqi veteran Scott Olsen and his rescuers on October 25th.
Video from the tear gas-soaked night of the 25th shows a prone Olsen lying in front of metal barricades and police in riot gear. As several protesters ran to Olsen’s aid, someone from the cluster of police appears to lob a flash-bang grenade into the crowd gathered around the young veteran. The stun grenade explodes amid a cloud of tear gas and deafening noise, scattering Olsen’s rescuers.
An extensive review of video footage and Oakland Police Department records by this reporter indicates that Robert Roche, an acting sergeant in the Oakland Police Department and member of OPD’s “Tango Teams,” threw the flash-bang at Olsen and his rescuers. 

It’s also not the first time that Roche’s actions have come under scrutiny. Police records show that Roche had previously killed three people in the line of duty.

In one clip of footage shot on October 25 by KTVU, the camera zooms in on a helmeted, gas-mask wearing officer in OPD insignia pointing a shotgun at the crowd. Olsen’s inert body is also visible in front of the barriers. Another video clip shows the same officer training his shotgun on the crowd, lowering the firearm as a crowd gathers around Olsen, and stepping back behind a line of San Francisco sheriff’s deputies on the barricade line. A grenade is then tossed at Olsen’s body as rescuers arrive.
Roche is a rifle officer who has also served in gang enforcement units. He has been involved in three fatal shootings during his career:
In 2006, he fatally shot seventeen-year-old Ronald Brazier after the teenager fired on Roche and two other officers.
In 2007, Roche shot and killed an unarmed Jeremiah Dye in a crawlspace under an East Oakland house. Dye had run from police after his cousin shot and wounded an OPD officer during a traffic stop.
In March 2008, fifteen-year-old Jose Buenrostro was shot to death by Roche and two other officers while in possession of a sawed-off rifle on 79th Avenue in East Oakland.
 Buenrostro’s family received a $500,000 wrongful death settlement from the City of Oakland in 2010, even though police claimed that Buenrostro pointed the weapon at them. Buenrostro’s family contended that he did not threaten the officers.
Roche and Sergeant Ronald Holmgren, who supervised Tango Team 2 during the October 25 crowd control actions, were not assigned to the Tango detail on the evening of the November 2 General Strike, according to Oakland Police Department records. However, Roche was photographed on the street during the January 28 confrontation with Occupy Oakland protesters, shotgun in hand.
OPD’s “Tango teams,” or tactical teams, have been at the heart of some of the most intense clashes of the Occupy Oakland movement (see “Oakland Used Violent Cops Against Occupy,” 12/21/2012, “). Aside from the Olsen incident, video from the evening of the November 2 General Strike shows an unidentified OPD officer wearing a rucksack emblazoned with “Tango Team” striking US Army veteran Kayvan Sabeghi with a baton. Sabeghi was later hospitalized for a ruptured spleen.
Source

occupyallstreets:

Whistleblowing Wednesday: Cop Identified In Scott Olsen Incident Also Fatally Shot 3 People While On Duty

Oakland Police officer, Robert Roche has been identified as the officer who threw a flash-bang grenade at Iraqi veteran Scott Olsen and his rescuers on October 25th.

Video from the tear gas-soaked night of the 25th shows a prone Olsen lying in front of metal barricades and police in riot gear. As several protesters ran to Olsen’s aid, someone from the cluster of police appears to lob a flash-bang grenade into the crowd gathered around the young veteran. The stun grenade explodes amid a cloud of tear gas and deafening noise, scattering Olsen’s rescuers.

An extensive review of video footage and Oakland Police Department records by this reporter indicates that Robert Roche, an acting sergeant in the Oakland Police Department and member of OPD’s “Tango Teams,” threw the flash-bang at Olsen and his rescuers.

It’s also not the first time that Roche’s actions have come under scrutiny. Police records show that Roche had previously killed three people in the line of duty.

In one clip of footage shot on October 25 by KTVU, the camera zooms in on a helmeted, gas-mask wearing officer in OPD insignia pointing a shotgun at the crowd. Olsen’s inert body is also visible in front of the barriers. Another video clip shows the same officer training his shotgun on the crowd, lowering the firearm as a crowd gathers around Olsen, and stepping back behind a line of San Francisco sheriff’s deputies on the barricade line. A grenade is then tossed at Olsen’s body as rescuers arrive.

Roche is a rifle officer who has also served in gang enforcement units. He has been involved in three fatal shootings during his career:

  • In 2006, he fatally shot seventeen-year-old Ronald Brazier after the teenager fired on Roche and two other officers.
  • In 2007, Roche shot and killed an unarmed Jeremiah Dye in a crawlspace under an East Oakland house. Dye had run from police after his cousin shot and wounded an OPD officer during a traffic stop.
  • In March 2008, fifteen-year-old Jose Buenrostro was shot to death by Roche and two other officers while in possession of a sawed-off rifle on 79th Avenue in East Oakland.

Buenrostro’s family received a $500,000 wrongful death settlement from the City of Oakland in 2010, even though police claimed that Buenrostro pointed the weapon at them. Buenrostro’s family contended that he did not threaten the officers.

Roche and Sergeant Ronald Holmgren, who supervised Tango Team 2 during the October 25 crowd control actions, were not assigned to the Tango detail on the evening of the November 2 General Strike, according to Oakland Police Department records. However, Roche was photographed on the street during the January 28 confrontation with Occupy Oakland protesters, shotgun in hand.

OPD’s “Tango teams,” or tactical teams, have been at the heart of some of the most intense clashes of the Occupy Oakland movement (see “Oakland Used Violent Cops Against Occupy,” 12/21/2012, “). Aside from the Olsen incident, video from the evening of the November 2 General Strike shows an unidentified OPD officer wearing a rucksack emblazoned with “Tango Team” striking US Army veteran Kayvan Sabeghi with a baton. Sabeghi was later hospitalized for a ruptured spleen.

Source

(via anonymissexpress)

Some people might be inclined to give credence to the first version, which comes from the New York Times, over the second account from freelance journalist Susie Cagle. But as Aaron Bady points out, the Times and other mainstream outlets often lazily cobble together their stories by regurgitating the Oakland Police Department’s press releases. Cagle, meanwhile, is one of the few journalists who has been on the scene reporting on Occupy Oakland from the beginning, getting arrested twice for her efforts. But people who aren’t deeply involved in these movements aren’t likely to know that they should be reading Susie Cagle and not the New York Times. And so, if they’re willing to give the police the benefit of the doubt, they’ll likely go along with the Times story and shake their heads at those irresponsible and infantile protesters. Thank you Peter Frase. (via susie-c)

If someone engages in violence, find a way to arrest that person without tear gassing or pepper spraying the rest of us. That is YOUR JOB as a law enforcer or elected official. MY JOB as a citizen is to demand that government and law enforcement aides and protects We The People in a peaceful manner. The moment a police officer uses a firearm on any assembly of American citizens in your city it is you, dear Mayor Quan, who is guilty of not doing your job. Your job is to protect the citizens of Oakland. Your job is NOT to find ways to justify tear gassing the citizens of Oakland. Dear Oakland Mayor Quan, you do not need to call me, here is MY response to YOUR demands | ministryoftruth

No, Mayor Quan, I will not denounce OccupyOakland as a whole for the actions of a few unlawful individuals, but I will denounce the Oakland Mayor’s office and the Oakland Police Department for totally bungling the police response to Occupy Oakland every step of the way. The moment the Oakland PD fires tear gas at a crowd they are in the wrong, no matter what the circumstances. I will not condemn the people of Oakland for being tear gassed and beaten at random in their own streets. I will instead condemn the Mayor and Police Leadership of Oakland for allowing the people of Oakland to be tear gassed and beaten at random in their own streets. Dear Oakland Mayor Quan, you do not need to call me, here is MY response to YOUR demands | ministryoftruth

shortformblog:

Occupy Oakland-related e-mails leaked: Earlier this evening, The Bay Citizen and San Jose Mercury News published thousands of e-mails from Oakland mayor Jean Quan dating back to the initial crackdown on Occupy Oakland. Here’s a sample e-mail, from page 14 in this document: Despite Quan’s claims that she was not keeping a close eye on the Occupy drama, this e-mail says that she was in fact watching every minute of a key altercation between protesters and police. Dig in. (ht ProducerMatthew)

shortformblog:

Occupy Oakland-related e-mails leaked: Earlier this evening, The Bay Citizen and San Jose Mercury News published thousands of e-mails from Oakland mayor Jean Quan dating back to the initial crackdown on Occupy Oakland. Here’s a sample e-mail, from page 14 in this document: Despite Quan’s claims that she was not keeping a close eye on the Occupy drama, this e-mail says that she was in fact watching every minute of a key altercation between protesters and police. Dig in. (ht ProducerMatthew)

(via randomactsofchaos)

Whenever journalists are arrested/detained for reporting the news, everyone’s freedom is at risk. KGO Radio reporter Kristin Hanes • Discussing her arrest late Saturday as the Occupy Oakland protests flared up. She and Gavin Aronson of Mother Jones were among the over 200 people placed into custody Saturday night, as the Oakland protests reached a new breaking point — including the burning of an American flag. Both mayor Jean Quan and the police were quick to pin negative attention on the protesters: “The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground,” Quan said in a statement. However, it’s important to keep in mind the nature of the police actions — including violence towards protesters and the use of tear gas grenades. An OpenSalon writer has a pretty informative first-person piece worth reading, which describes both the nature of the protesters (not as bad as reported) and why things flared up Saturday. source (viafollow)

(Source: shortformblog)

“It looked like a trap” | Kevin Army

On yesterday’s Occupy actions in Oakland:

The day began with a rally at noon at Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza. I asked many people if they were planning to enter the building. Almost everyone said they were uncertain, they would wait and see how things were going. There were about 500 people gathered.

The march to the building left at 1 PM. Right away a man tried to drive his car through the march. He got mad, the protesters got mad and it did not look good. Some people stepped in, cleared the way, and after a while he drove off. The tension of that moment carried through most of the day and into the night, though there were moments of relief too.

After a few blocks, we came across police blocking off certain streets, herding the protesters through Laney College. By this time there were over 1,000 protesters. It was becoming clear that the police knew where the protesters were going; the secrecy was in vain. I ended up walking around and taking a different route, as I had promised myself I wouldn’t get arrested or hurt. I learned the targeted building was the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, and I proceeded there with caution. The Kaiser Center is vacant and is not currently in use.

As I watched the larger group moving toward the building, it looked like a trap. Very soon after the protesters arrived at the Kaiser Center, the police fired tear gas into the crowd. Those of us standing two blocks away could taste it. Later, when I spoke to people who had been at the front, everyone said they Occupiers had done nothing to provoke the tear gas other than arriving at the building.

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