OPD spies on and beats protesters - Page 2

Public records show monitoring, use of force

Recently sunshined public documents confirm the OPD sends plainclothes officers to Occupy meetings.

Use of force

Oakland Police have been under fire from critics and targeted with lawsuits by the National Lawyers Guild and ACLU for excessive use of force. The OPD's self-reported Incident Statistics, as well as complaints from protesters and Oakland residents, help quantify the problem.

The OPD reports 176 uses of police force at Occupy Oakland events, which include Oct. 25, Nov. 2-3, Nov. 14, Nov. 19, Jan. 7, Jan. 14, and Feb. 11. For Jan. 28, a day on which OPD made 408 arrests at an Occupy Oakland protest, UOF statistics are still "to be determined."

The document describes several types of UOF. On Oct. 25, these included baton (26 uses), chemical agent (21 total uses), non-striking use of baton (19 times), control hold (five), four uses of "weaponless defense technique" and five uses of "weaponless defense technique to vulnerable area." In four reported instances, police "attempted impact weapon strike but missed."

On Nov. 2-3, police report 49 total uses of force. These include 15 baton uses, two chemical agent deployments, six uses of "weaponless defense control hold" and eight uses of "weaponless defense technique" with one falling into the category of "to vulnerable area." OPD also reports one "Intentional strike to head with impact weapon," and one "strike to head—other than an intentional strike to head with impact weapon."

On Nov. 14, the second clearing out of the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza that resulted in 33 arrests, the OPD reported that force was used against only one subject. The subject in question was treated with one "takedown-leg sweep" and three uses of "weaponless defense technique applied to a vulnerable area."

On Nov. 19, Occupy Oakland engaged in a one-night occupation of a park at 19th and Telegraph, with no arrests for illegal activities but six baton strikes against protesters.

The documents also show that, since Oct. 25, the OPD has received 1,053 complaints for its Occupy crackdowns. These relate to 76 separate cases, some of which received a great deal of complaints. For example, there are 554 registered complaints about the Oct. 25 raid for "various issues, i.e. use of force, tear gas, rubber bullets, and first amendment rights violations."

Some of the documents describing complaints have been censored; a complaint made by 113 people concerning Oct. 25 has been blacked out, likely due to "ongoing investigation." Most of the complaints concern police violence, with residents alleging that they were struck with batons, kneed, and knocked to the ground.

Some were brutal. A complaint from Oct. 25 alleges that "Officers found a person alone, beat him, and broke his knee." Another complainant "alleged that he was not resisting when he was arrested and OPD officers 'pool cued' him in the ribs ten times with a baton, kneeled on his back and head, and used 'joint locks' on him."

A complaint from a Jan. 7 march states that "alleged OPD officer pulled a female from her bike causing her to fall and hit her head on the ground." Another Jan. 7 complaint: "alleged OPD officer kneed [complainant] in the back causing his spine to break."

There are 88 complaints alleging officer misconduct from the infamous Jan. 28 "move-in day" protest. On that day, several complainants were allegedly struck in the head and face with batons. 

The Guardian will continue to analyze OPD documents as they become available to us. 


I was injured in Oakland on Move-In-Day as well. I spent a couple hours in the hospital day and I am still suffering from some pain, and trauma. I frequently awaken in the night from nightmares and I am consistantly haunted by flashbacks of the brutality I witnessed that day. I am suffering kidney damage and and a couple broken ribs total after that day. I am getting ready to return to San Francisco after a month-long retreat to Oregon for recovery time. With my Leukemia and the fact that my kidneys were already having probems when I was injured, the officer who struck me very well could have killed me. I am collecting evidence to support a full lawsuit and thought you should know. I am thankfull to the Guardian for exposing Oakland Police Department for their disgusting UOF and lack of human connection. I am heartbroken over it. These were children once and now they have no connection with the humanity in the people they are hurting. It is sad and disgusting and I will Fuck The Police every week until they get it that we are not enemies, we are trying to save them from a dying world and a murderous system. I was 14 when this system decided the welfare of the banks was more important than my life. Diagnosed with Leukemia I fell ill and was never treated. Now I am frequently too ill to get out of bed and if I get up anyways it is more pain than I care to recount. I am still going strong, fighting with my every breath to end this killer system and bring about a new world where I can rest in peace knowing that what happened to me, will most assuredly NEVER happen again.

Posted by Miran Istina on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 9:45 am

absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing! stay strong and keep spreading your hopeful message

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

She does not have cancer and her name is not Miran Istina. Her name is Mandy Chappel aka Mandy Tewalt. By allowing her to continue to publish these fantasies you are colluding in her delusions. She's sick all right - but not with cancer.

Occupy is a noble movement but people like Miran aka Mandy are using it for their own ends and through their lies - damaging it deeply.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

Yes, she is full of fantasy. You can find more of her drama on facebook at her fake name of Miran Rose Istina

Posted by susan on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 12:02 am

You write, "In 2003, undercover officers admitted to leading an anti-war march during a Port blockade protest."
This was from ACLU's The State of Surveillance Government Monitoring of Political Activity in Northern and Central California in 2006, referring to a 2003 protest at the Oakland docks at shich OPD attacked nonviolent protesters injuring 60. I talked with Mark Schlosberg from ACLU about this at the time and he acknowledges that they did not check with anyone and based their report solely on the testimony of the cop. The Oakland cop's statement simply does not make any sense or show any knowledge of how we in Direct Action to Stop the War organized; we did not elect anyone to anything, the obvious route (BART to Docks) was chosen in a general meeting and our tactical team was chosen from well known folks in affinity groups. While anyone could show up at our public meetings, the idea that two plainclothes cops can walk in and take over an action is both not possible, did not happen and makes us look ridiculous. In this case, the Oakland Police simply bragged--and lied.

Posted by Guest pre-occupation on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 1:03 pm


nice blog initally :)

as i couldn't find any creative commons licenses on your blog, and in the past had some troubles with hysterical bloggers, believing me to be content- stealing from their sites (even whough referring to author, date and original link of the post), I am aksing, if it was eligable to share your contents by copying and linking it on one other's personal blog?
Please note that author and original link will be provided, if I reblog.

I am asking for content like this one http://www.sfbg.com/2012/03/13/opd-spies-and-beats-protesters?utm_campai...

Thanks for answert


Posted by Sunny Romy on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 10:19 am

After the police raid I went over in support of the initial re-encampment March on the same day they were kicked out. That's when the 2 Iraq veterans were injured on the night of October 25th to 26th. The outcry and public support across the nation in response were massive and welcome.

Speaking helps but fighting in the courts takes so long that there are lags in filing and fighting in court. Obtaining reports from both the lawyers and the people who need to file( it can't be done by your supporters) will be another wave of the appeals to justice for the people who believe in responsibility and adjudication. Even if the current justice system fails to hear us, then we show that the legal steps were taken to redress our grievances against the police suppression.

Protest is another form of redress to our grievances to the people. I hope we continue to grow in community building across the Occupy sites.


Posted by Hardcase on Mar. 24, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

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