oakland police chief used spam filter to avoid seeing occupy-related emails

by Tim Phillips

Beginning on October 27, 2011, certain emails to the Oakland police chief went straight into his junk mail folder, which he never checked. Yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle article explains:

People who’ve e-mailed Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan over the past year about Occupy Oakland probably didn’t get much of a response. That’s because he used a spam filter to dismiss messages sent to him with “Occupy Oakland” in the subject line, according to a federal court filing Monday. Same goes for the phrases “stop the excessive police force,” “respect the press pass” or “police brutality.”

Jordan initially used the spam filter to stop a flood of emails related to the October 25, 2011 demonstration at which an Oakland police officer fractured Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen’s skull by firing a lead-filled bean-bag round at his head. Jordan conveniently forgot about the filter until a couple weeks ago, when a judge ordered the city to investigate why Jordan had missed one or more emails from the federal court monitor overseeing the police department’s compliance with court-ordered reforms. Emails containing the phrases listed above will now go to Jordan’s inbox.