Sunday, November 07, 2010

An update on Oscar Grant's Murderer and the Protests Which Followed: Newsflash, the OPD is Still Fucked Up

So Friday night a friend of mine was arrested at the protests against Police Brutality in response to the verdict in the Johannes Mehserle case (a pitiful 2 years with time taken out for time already served).  I was on the outside trying to get whatever information about her that I could to friends and family (social networking was extremely helpful here, friends and family communicated on Facebook while I gathered info via Twitter and on the latter point I owe a big thank you to Mark who managed to get info from the Sheriff's office that was invaluable, THANK YOU!).

While I could not have possibly been more polite on the phone I was treated with extreme rudeness and condescension by the person I spoke with.  This echoes other experiences my husband and I have had with the Oakland PD, who apparently think it is perfectly OK to be pissed off with someone who is requesting them to perform the duties they are paid to perform.

Well, apparently it only gets worse if they are forced to respond to something as extraordinary as a protest march (/sarcasm).  Just as in the July protests (and with even LESS provocation) the Oakland PD decided the best thing to do in this situation was to force a confrontation with largely peaceful protesters and in many cases treat them with extreme disrespect.

But don't take my word for it!  Listen to someone who was on the inside.

A sample:
This process (of even getting us into the cars) took an hour. The man cuffed in front of me had a renal liver issue, and was about to pass out. The police offer partnered with him was informed of this, and refused to steady him or allow him to sit. He then started to collapse and was allowed to temporarily sit on the ground.
Throughout this process, police were making countless jokes to each other about us, and directly to our faces, including laughing hysterically as they told us that we were all being booked on felonies, an outright lie that they knew was a lie as they had already filled out our booking papers with the misdemeanor of “unlawful assembly.” As water bottles were passed out to the police, many of us requested water. Not only were we were refusedeven those of us with medical conditions, but a policeman near me even poured out a bottle of water on the ground in front of someone who had requested water, and laughed in the person’s face.
When I was finally put into a paddy wagon with 12 others, the driver deliberately drove in an erratic and irresponsible manner, slamming on the brakes suddenly for no reason and swerving just to make us bounce around and hit the hard sides. It was the single most nauseating ride of my life, and that’s no coincidence.
Read it all: Police Brutality at the Oscar Grant Protest on November 5th, 2010