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August 27 marked the sixth officer-involved shooting by Oakland police in 2015, and the fourth resulting in death. This does not count Richard Linyard, who police claim suffocated to death after he squeezed himself between two buildings during a police chase. All of OPD's victims this year have been of African descent. The victim was Yonas Alehegne and it's been reported that he was homeless and an immigrant, possibly from West Africa.
In an example of collaboration with privacy advocates, on November 17, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors passed a comprehensive privacy policy regulating the county's use of cell phone interceptor equipment (often referred to in the press by “Stingray” or “Hailstorm”) before approving the purchase of an equipment upgrade. The policy requires a warrant before any deployment of the device and periodic audits of use.
In a show of solidarity, labor unions and Black Lives Matter activists staged a protest on November 10 which targeted Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. Some two hundred protesters gathered outside D.A. O'Malley's offices demanding that she “Drop the charges against the Black Friday 14!” They declared that the struggles for economic justice and racial justice were two sides of the same struggle. Inside the courthouse, a delegation of labor leaders occupied O'Malley's office. No arrests were made.
In the city of Alameda, rent increases and evictions remain unregulated. Landlords are pushing rents up sky high and/or evicting people out of homes they've been able to afford for decades. On November 4, an estimated 200 Alamedan renters went to their city council to demand an end to unfair rent hikes and displacement. City Official Bob Haun shoved a 68-year-old Alameda Rental Coalition leader and police tackled another protester to the ground where he lay bleeding while police restrained him. After a hearing that lasted past 1am, the council voted for a temporary 65-day limit of 8% on rent increases and ban on no cause evictions.
On November 13, the San Francisco Public Defender’s office released video of two Alameda County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) Deputies beating a man who is curled up on the ground. The first deputy tackles and punches the man and then both proceed to hit him with their batons for nearly a minute, repeatedly striking the man in the head and all over his body. They only stop beating him after other ACSO deputies and SF police arrive on the scene. Instead of rendering medical aid, the arriving police walk around the seriously wounded man, shining flashlights on him as he moans in pain, crying out for help.
On October 11, a group of indigenous people held a sacred ceremony and observance on the historic Gill Tract Farm to honor the land and the ancestors who lived on the land for over 10,000 years. The gathering was convened by the Indigenous Land Access Committee (ILAC) — a group of Ohlone and other native people who envision reclaiming land stolen from them, and restoring spiritual and cultural lifeways in solidarity with indigenous people on every continent harmed by colonization.
A "Stingray" is a device that simulates a cellphone tower and intercepts all phone traffic in its range. A new California law set to go into effect this January requires most state and local agencies to conduct a public hearing and to create a privacy policy before acquiring a Stingray or equivalent device. But on Tuesday, October 13, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider whether to approve a request by the Alameda County District Attorney to accept money from the state to acquire an upgraded Stingray known as a "Hailstorm." If approved, and if the purchase is consummated before the new year, the new Stingray law would not apply.
UPDATE: The decision on approving the grant money for a Stingray upgrade was postponed to an indefinite date, probably December.
East Bay:   2