"We Are Confused" - An Open Letter To Citizens Of Oakland From The Oakland Police Association (And Response)
Letter from the Oakland Police:
1 November 2011 – Oakland, Ca.
We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland. We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families. We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.
As your police officers, we are confused.
On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza. We performed the job that the Mayor’s Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.
Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in – to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before.
To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the “Stop Work” strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.
That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against “the establishment.”
But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest? Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?
It is all very confusing to us.
Meanwhile, a message has been sent to all police officers: Everyone, including those who have the day off, must show up for work on Wednesday. This is also being paid for by Oakland taxpayers. Last week’s events alone cost Oakland taxpayers over $1 million.
The Mayor and her Administration are beefing up police presence for Wednesday’s work strike they are encouraging and even “staffing,” spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for additional police presence – at a time when the Mayor is also asking Oakland residents to vote on an $80 parcel tax to bail out the City’s failing finances.
All of these mixed messages are confusing.
We love Oakland and just want to do our jobs to protect Oakland residents. We respectfully ask the citizens of Oakland to join us in demanding that our City officials, including Mayor Quan, make sound decisions and take responsibility for these decisions. Oakland is struggling – we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead – not send mixed messages. Thank you for listening.
Response to the Oakland Police from an anonymous commenter:
Let me make it crystal clear. The people and vets are absolutely livid because your actions were not the actions of law abiding civilian law enforcement. Your people acted like ruthless mercenaries playing Rainbow 6 on civilians with less-than-lethal rounds at a standoff distance that you know damn well is easily deadly. Your tactics were dangerous, and completely against any recommended use of those non-lethals you were deploying. If CS gas was absolutely necessary, you had no business delivering it in 40mm launchers, it should have been under-hand thrown, and kicked down the line... then flash bangs! What the f**k!! Seriously?! It was completely clear on the video your last priority was public safety. There were no paramedics standing by to take away anyone injured, and I didn't see any one of your cops so much have a twitch of compassion when several non-combatants were injured on the ground. None of you are f**king spec-ops operators, and I guarantee anyone in the military who is/was and heard you trying to portray yourself as super soldier wouldn't do you the favor of pissing on you if you were on fire.
You know what, f**k all of you motherf**kers that took part in that operation. The only problem is that this mayor doesn't have any metaphorical balls. Because if I were mayor, I'd cut the real balls off of every officer that fired a shot on that line, fire them, prosecute them and make them say a public apology on TV to the citizens of Oakland, starting with the chief of police.
You give good cops a bad name and put the public in danger.
Protecting the citizens... bullshit.
Dear Oakland Police - You Have No Power!
"You have no power. Your uniform has the power. Take your uniform off. Where is the power?"
"You are being employed to animate that uniform which is an extension of the state and that's all you are. Therefore you are expendable."
"While you give your soul away, while you give your mind away, while you give your morals and decency away, advancing this fascist dictatorship you will be ok with the facsists you are serving."
"But your children and your grandchildren have to live in the world you are creating. One day you are going to have to understand that, and I don't envy you the moment when it dawns on you, because it's going to be horrific, the world you've actually created."
"The people in uniform, the dark suits that administer the system, while not being the originators of it, they have to start breaking ranks. Ok? Get some backbone, open your mind, look at what's going on."
"Get some frickin' backbone before you administer, impose, and enforce a world that will be grotesque for your children and grandchildren, in fact not even that, for yourself."