Oakland PD told a judge it wouldn't use projectile weapons any more

The Oakland PD's use of projectile weapons such as flashbang grenades used in the assault (possibly by non-OPD officers) on the Occupy Oakland camp seems to violate the 2004 court settlement it agreed to in a class-action settlement with Iraq war demonstrators who were assaulted by police: "You would think that after signing an agreement and paying out taxpayer money to 'compensate' for abusive police practices, the Oakland Police Department would learn how to behave in a civilized fashion when dealing with people exercising their First Amendment rights." (Thanks, Cowicide!)


    1. Unfortunately since some of those are actually fired from relatively indirect trajectory launchers, they’re always going to have a- enough force behind them to seriously injure someone, and b- plausible deniability for actually targeting that body part. “No, we weren’t aiming for that guy’s face, that’s just where it struck. I feel awful about breaking his skull, honest.”

      Obviously it isn’t unreasonably hard to deliberately aim for a person with that projectile, but the flight path is indirect enough that it’s easy to convince people it was accidental.

      tl;dr- with “non-lethal” weaponry, police can get away with murder.

      1. Obviously it isn’t unreasonably hard to deliberately aim for a person with that projectile, but the flight path is indirect enough that it’s easy to convince people it was accidental.

        Official guidelines specifically prohibit firing the canisters into an area where they would be likely to hit anyone since serious injury is a probable and predictable consequence of doing so. If they fired into a crowd then it’s irrelevant whether or not they were aiming for a specific person.

  1. So the police aren’t abiding by the terms of the agreement.  Is there any legal recourse? Are they trivially able to get around the agreement by bringing in out-of-town muscle that wasn’t party to it? If the agreement is as toothless and loophole-addled as it appears, then it was never more than a facade.

  2. My understanding  is that the problem stemmed from OPD calling in other local agencies for help. Maybe that is just their spin on it, but in many of the photos and video, you can visibly see the words sheriff on the officer’s riot gear. I don’t think this should get them off the hook, but it does explain some of the confusion.

    1. If there was a clear chain of command among professional officers, then no, not it does not explain any of the confusion.

      If there was not this clear chain of command in response to a weeks long civillian protest (hardly an emergency moment) then peoples jobs MUST be put on the line.

      The police need to remember that they are OUR brothers as well, NOT JUST EACH OTHERS.

    2. There’s a certain obligation, whatever field you’re in, to be ‘up to speed’ on a whole bunch of stuff which is germane to your profession.  It shows that your responsible, interested, and professional.

      A medical doctor who still believes that ulcers are caused by stress need to be taken to task.  A physicist who believes that Newton got all of it right, needs to be slapped up-side the head.  A computer technician who’s installing RG-58 cabling for your network, needs to be fired on the spot.

      A police officer who doesn’t pay attention to the law, isn’t aware and doesn’t make it a priority to be aware about important local legal decisions that affect their job shouldn’t be allowed to handle weapons of any kind.

      It’s inexcusable.  There’s no other way to put it.  It’s inexcusable.

    3. They called them in and then did not supervise them.
      This is a complete failure in managing a situation that had a potential for going horribly wrong.  What happened was just short of the worst case scenario where the police managed to kill one or more protestors.
      The OPD saying its the fault of the other guy is just passing the buck, they came at the invitation of OPD.  Its not like 17 rouge police wannabe agencies showed up and said lets make this a complete clusterfuck.

      1. Its not like 17 rouge police wannabe agencies showed up…

        They may not have been wearing rouge at the time but their faces sure are red now.

        1. several were wearing masks so you can not be sure.
          picking on the poor defenseless dyslexic… hurmph.

  3. Right wing media/blogosphere is still trying to suggest that Olsen was hurt by a fellow protester………

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