oakland police arrested hundreds of protesters in the past year, but prosecutors declined to file charges against the vast majority
by Tim Phillips
As Occupy Oakland plans to retake Oscar Grant Plaza this afternoon, statistics show that 109 people have been criminally charged as a result of Occupy Oakland rallies since police evicted the encampment one year ago today. Yet those rallies resulted in 737 arrests, so the overwhelming majority of arrestees were never charged. Of the arrestees who were charged, 3 went to trial and were found guilty, 22 had their cases dismissed, approximately 30 accepted plea deals, and 55 are still fighting the charges.
In addition, Oakland police chief Howard Jordan announced two weeks ago that 44 officers should be disciplined, including 2 who should be fired, for violating crowd-control policies during Occupy Oakland marches in the past year. None of the proposed punishments immediately took effect, because officers could appeal. Jordan acknowledged that one officer fired a bean-bag round into the head of Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen on October 25, 2011, seriously injuring him, and another officer threw one or more projectiles – apparently a flash-bang grenade – at demonstrators who came to assist the bleeding Olsen.
On December 13, a hearing is scheduled regarding whether a federal judge should order the first takeover of a local police department, the Oakland police, by a federal receiver.