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Indybay Feature

Demand Accountability for OPD Shootings

Tuesday, October 04, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Critical Mass
M. Goldstein
Location Details:
Oakland City Hall, 3rd Floor

City Council is set to give final approval to a $1.2M settlement with the family of Demouria Hogg, a 30-year-old father of three shot to death last year by Oakland police, the first in a new spate of questionable OPD homicides. The victim was unconscious in a car on a freeway offramp. He could not be roused by sirens, loudly amplified commands, the firing of beanbag rounds, or even the breaking of windows in his car. A pistol was on the passenger seat, but police could have finished clearing out the window over it, which they had partially broken, and grabbed the gun or kept him from reaching it. They could have simply waited until he came to, with a negotiator ready in case a standoff developed. Instead, those in charge decided to extract him. They assigned a 28-year-old officer with 18 months' experience to provide "lethal cover."

When officers started breaking the driver's side window to pull Mr. Hogg through it, he, predictably, twisted his entire body towards the passenger seat, i.e., away from the glass being shattered near his face. This movement led to his being successfully tased by the cop providing non-lethal cover, but the near-rookie charged with making an instantaneous life-or-death decision fired too, killing him.

OPD called this a "standoff"; immediately showed videos to the lawyer for the shooter, who told the press they showed Mr. Hogg going for the gun, but refused to release the videos publicly; and put out the usual irrelevant smears about the victim's character. Eight months later -- having waited until attention died down -- D.A. Nancy O'Malley exonerated the shooter without even considering whether the commanding offcers did anything wrong. After another three months the Citizens' Police Review Board concluded no one was blameworthy.

Clearly someone told City Council that a jury could well disagree -- it doesn't take a million dollars to settle a meritless nuisance suit! Please come and support our call for (a) accountability on the part of command staff, (b) requiring authorities to decide whether charges should be filed as quickly as they would if one of us shot an officer and claimed self-defense, and (c) an end to selective release of information by OPD.
Added to the calendar on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 9:05PM
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