Oakland PD Must Feel that the City’s Taxpayers Have Money Burning a Hole in their Pockets

Wow, they’re not fast learners are they? Oakland paid over $2 million for injuries to 58 people after the Oakland PD fired wooden dowels, bean bags and rubber pellets during an April 7, 2003 protest against Iraq, resulting in, for example, this:

Credit: ThinkProgress

In the same settlement, the Oakland Police Department announced a new policy that…wait for it…

Crowd dispersal methods that create risk of injury to crowd members and bystanders are prohibited

Therefore the police would…

arrest individuals who refuse to follow valid police orders, rather than using weapons or other force to move them…”

no longer indiscriminately use wooden or rubber bullets, Taser stun guns, pepper spray and motorcycles to break up crowds, under an agreement announced [November 5, 2004]….


If demonstrators refuse to comply [with audible orders to disperse], police are allowed to deploy tear gas “on the edge of the crowd,” form a skirmish line and push back protesters with batons but not strike them.

The totality of force used against Scott Olsen, his rescuers, and the rest of the marchers appears to be less brutal than that used in the 2004 incident.  Still, I wonder what the taxpayers of Oakland think about a unit commanded by their police department using overproportional force against a march for economic justice after said name police department just got done costing them millions in settlements for unjustifiable “crowd control” techniques?


  1. […] evidence that the Oakland Police Department are not fast learners here, here, and here. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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