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Indybay Feature
Wed Nov 16 2011 (Updated 10/10/12)
ACLU and National Lawyers Guild File Suit Against Oakland Police Department
Wed Nov 16 2011 (Updated 10/10/12)
Occupy Oakland Suit Seeks to Stop Police Violence Against Protesters
On November 14th, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the National Lawyers’ Guild (NLG) filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Oakland Police Department (OPD) for its egregious constitutional violations against Occupy Oakland demonstrators. The ACLU-NC and the NLG are suing OPD on behalf of Scott Campbell and other demonstrators subjected to excessive force during recent demonstrations. Campbell, a videographer and Indybay contributor, was shot with what police euphemistically call a "bean bag round", which is a fabric bag full of lead shot fired from a shotgun, while filming a police line at Occupy Oakland after midnight on November 3rd following the November 2nd general strike. Additional plaintiffs include Kerie Campbell, Marc McKinnie, Michael Siegel, and NLG Legal Observer Marcus Kryshka.

On two recent occasions, October 25th and November 2nd, OPD and cooperating police agencies under their direction attacked the plaintiffs and other Occupy Oakland supporters who were peacefully participating in a political demonstration. Police indiscriminately shot flash bang grenades, other projectiles and excessive amounts of tear gas into crowds of peaceful protesters. Police also fired other projectiles at individuals who posed no risk of harm, but were clearly engaged in First Amendment protected activity, such as filming police at a demonstration. This conduct violates the Fourth Amendment by subjecting protesters who posed no safety concerns to unnecessary and excessive force and violates the First Amendment by interfering with their rights to assemble and demonstrate.

OPD’s recent conduct violates its own Crowd Control Policy, adopted in the settlement of a lawsuit arising from OPD’s prior mishandling of a large protest in 2003. The policy strictly limits the use of force and prohibits the indiscriminate use of shot-filled "bean" bags and other projectiles against crowds or peaceful protesters.

imc_pdf.gifRead more | imc_video.gifShot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland | See also: imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifBattle for Occupy Oakland - Palo Alto PD Attack Indybay Reporter, 10/25/11: video & photos || Class Action Lawsuit Asserts Constitutional Violations at Oscar Grant Demonstrations
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