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OPD confirms shotgun incident & exonerates officer
The OPD has finally responded to a complaint I filed last year -- that a police officer pointed a shotgun in my face.
This is from January 28, 2012, Move In Day of Occupy Oakland. I was in a peaceful demonstration involving about 2,000 people in Oakland when officers of the OPD pointed shotguns at us. Also that same day, they mass arrested 400 of us.
I need to make just one comment on this thing: When I was young I served four years in the US Marine Corps, firmly believing at the time that I was defending our rights and freedoms. That was fifty years ago. Last year on Jan 28, I was attempting to exercise the First Amendment rights which I had supposedly helped defend while in the USMC.
daniel41 [ ] trip.net
LETTER OF RESPONSE FROM OPD INTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION
January 17, 2013
RE: IAD File Number 12-1233
Dear Mr. Borgstrom:
You initiated a complaint with the Oakland Police Department (OPD). An investigation into the allegations has been completed. The allegations and investigative findings are listed below:
Use of Physical Force Comparable to a Level 3- in regard to the allegation by the complaint that an officer threw a flash grenade at him: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to determine the alleged conduct did occur but was in accordance with law and with all OPD rules, regulations, or policies. A finding of "Exonerated" has been determined.
Use of Physical Force Comparable to a Level 4- in regard to the allegation by the complaint that an officer pointed a shotgun at him: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to determine the alleged conduct did occur but was in accordance with law and with all OPD rules, regulations, or policies. A finding of "Exonerated" has been determined.
The Department apologizes for any inconvenience this incident may have caused you. Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please telephone me at (510) 238-3161 on any weekday between 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. You may also file a complaint with the Citizen's Police Review Board. Their telephone number is (510) 238-3159.
Danielle M. Outlaw
Lieutenant of Police
Internal Affairs Division
MY LETTER TO THE CPRB
(Note: The CPRB was required to turn over complaints to the OPD)
June 22, 2012
Dear Members of the Oakland Citizens Police Review Board:
In Oakland on January 28, 2012, I was tear gassed and blasted with "flash-bang" grenades both during the afternoon and in the evening. Also, an officer aimed a shoulder weapon (presumably a shotgun) at my face, and for an instant it looked like I'd be the next Scott Olsen. All of this has been documented by numerous photos and videos taken that day. I'm in several of those photos and videos, wearing a blue pullover in the afternoon and a green jacket in the evening. I'm 70 years old and my hair is white, so I'm easy to identify in the photos and videos.
At about 3:15 p.m. (January 28) I was heading south on Oak Street. The Oakland Museum was on my left, and up ahead was a line of police at the intersection.
An officer, perhaps 20 or 30 feet in front of me, aimed a shoulder weapon (presumably a shotgun) right at my face. On seeing that, I immediately raised my arm to shield my eyes from a hail of pellets which I thought would come. (The officer didn't fire, however, the first rule of weapons handling is that one never aims a firearm at anything one does not intend to shoot.)
Flash-bang grenades exploded in the midst of the crowd around me. The sound was ear splitting. My ears hurt. Tear gas filled the air, and I choked.
Just before this happened, I saw many photographers to the left of me, on the sidewalk and steps of the Oakland Museum. So this scene is well documented. There are photos of this scene online; me with my arm raised over my face. There are also photos of police aiming shoulder weapons at the crowd, aiming at face level.
I have spoken about the above at two hearings of the Citizens Police Review Board: at the CPRB hearing of February 9, 2012 hosted by Occupy Oakland at the Grand Lake Theater, and at the CPRB hearing on May 16, 2012.