From Rachel Lederman, Bobbie Stein, Michael Flynn
Berkeley Daily Planet Wednesday October 26, 2011 – 12:14:00 PM
The Oakland Police Department’s violent response to last night’s peaceful march was unjustified and their actions violated OPD’s own Crowd Management / Crowd Control Policy. That Policy, developed in collaboration with NLG and ACLU attorneys, was adopted by the City of Oakland as part of a federal court settlement, arising from the OPD’s 2003 violent clashes with longshoremen and anti-war demonstrators at the Port of Oakland.
“The police violated just about every provision of their own Crowd Control Policy last night,” said Bobbie Stein, a NLGSF attorney. “Tear gas canisters and flash bang grenades were thrown directly at protesters. A man’s skull was fractured when he was hit by one of these objects. Demonstrators were shot with rubber bullets and shot-filled ‘bean bags’. All of this is prohibited under the Policy that we helped write and under which all OPD officers and commanders are required to be trained.”
The violent police action began at 4:30am yesterday when hundreds of officers moved in on sleeping demonstrators. They tore down the Occupy Oakland encampment and made 115 arrests.
“The NLG is committed to defending the demonstrators until all are released from custody and cleared of all charges,” said NLGSF Executive Director Carlos Villarreal.