News

Palo Alto police involved in 'Occupy' incident

Police use tear gas to deal with object-throwing demonstrators

The Palo Alto Police Department assisted Oakland police Tuesday (Oct. 25) during the "Occupy Oakland" protests in which an Iraq War veteran was critically injured, Sgt. Kara Apple confirmed Thursday.

Palo Alto sent 10 officers trained in crowd control and tactics, two lieutenants and the department's Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC) in response to the Oakland-based protests that are a part of the growing "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

Daly City resident and Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, 24, was injured during an evening protest after being hit in the head with a tear-gas container, according to reports. The Oakland Police Department continues to investigate the incident.

Apple said that CS (tear) gas canisters were used by Palo Alto police during the protest in response to demonstrators who were throwing objects at police. The Palo Alto Police Department uses CS canisters that are deployed by hand, Apple said. The canisters do not explode but rather burn CS gas internally and then emit smoke.

Palo Alto police do not use rubber bullets, she added.

Oakland police officers in riot gear used less-than-lethal munitions on about 300 protesters Tuesday night after a day of police raids and riots when "Occupy Oakland" campers were evicted from a city plaza at Broadway and 14th Street, an Oakland police spokeswoman said.

Seventy-nine arrests had been made Tuesday morning at the encampment.

During a protest Tuesday night many officers were assaulted, doused and hit with hazardous materials and struck by large rocks and bottles that had been thrown at them, Oakland police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said.

Oakland police had put out a "mutual aid" request to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, which in turn asked the various police departments in the county what personnel and assets they could provide. Oakland police requested mutual aid from several other counties as well, Apple said. No one from the Palo Alto Police Department was injured during the protest, she said.

The "Occupy Oakland" demonstrators announced that they would return to the plaza every night at 6 p.m. to continue the protest. At a media briefing Tuesday night, interim Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said there were more than 1,000 protesters at the height of the clashes.

A vigil for Olsen was planned for Thursday (Oct. 27) evening, according to organizers for Occupy Oakland and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

— Tyler Hanley

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Constabulate
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

PAPD's participation isn't anything to brag about.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

With due respect and honor to Mr. Olsen's military service, he, like all the other demonstrators, should realize that they chose to put themselves in a confrontational position with the police. From what I read and observed, the police used no level of force until they were subjected themselves with rocks, bottles, and physical assault. The demonstrators were given ample opportunity to gather and make their statement, and after a reasonable amount of time, given the option to disperse. There are limits to civil disobedience and they crossed the line in my opinion. When one puts themselves in that position, even with the police using less-lethal force, the possibility of some injury exists. The demonstrators put themselves in this position voluntarily. Blaming the police afterward is simply an ideological tactic. They ignore the reasonable expectations and law, provoke the police, and use the fallout and results to further their cause. It is a situation that they created, and at least short term, I really don't know how the police or local governments could handle this any differently.

A civilized society must have parameters. Again, people should most definitely have the right to gather and express themselves, but not at the expense of everyone else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Longtime Palo Altan
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm

The cops' excessive use of force provoked the protesters, creating a much more tense situation. Shame on the cops. May cooler heads prevail on both sides.


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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Watch the videos of gas bombs and grenades being thrown into the crowd. It looked like a war zone. Only one side was armed to the teeth.

Oakland PD has a history of heavy handed response, sad that PSPD participated. Same march last night and once OPD was told to not start a war, it was peaceful.

Most occupy protests are on the police union's side, as they are with all employee organizations that represent the 99%.

Sad that a Marine who survives two tours in Iraq is has his skull fractured by Oakland police.

Where were you, Mayor Quan?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

And Longtime, may I ask how would you recommend the police handle this matter? The demonstrators were given ample opportunity to gather and make their statement. Several days in fact. They were also given repeated warnings to disperse peacefully, with a large window of time to comply. They refused. The demonstrators begin to vandalize property, pelt the officers with rocks and bottles, and physically assault them. The officers respond with less than lethal force to maintain order for the rest of the community, and you solely point a finger of blame on them. What about reserving some responsibility on the people who created the situation to begin with. Again, another ideological tactic. Place the police and government in a no-win situation, and blame them no matter what the outcome.

The officers are dealing with a large number of people refusing to comply with any direction and becoming violent when any intervention is made. They have to make split second decisions, in a chaotic scene, with unreasonable and violent people, and you place shame on them. I'd really like to see if you could do better. I do agree with you wholeheartedly in a hope for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by why
a resident of University South
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

why can not they arrest the real criminal who are right now doing tradings and collecting oil money from overseas?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm

And for Ruby, undoubtedly it is a difficult and challenging task to police a community like Oakland. Oakland PD has its share of issues in dealing with the behavior of their officers. As you stated, OPD has a history there. Let's not forget however that Oakland itself also has a long, notorious history of violence, gang warfare, and not that long ago, a tragic day where four officers were killed in the line of duty. Again, I bring this up to illustrate that the environment in Oakland is difficult, and that there is more than enough violent history to go around. To relate your opinion without recognizing that environment, and in fact, the many demonstrators that responded to the police in a violent manner over the past two days, is not in my opinion being entirely responsible.


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Posted by mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Stay on track Why. I agree that white-collar criminals be sought out and prosecuted. No question. But remember that our local governments and police departments are not charged with those global responsibilities. They are the first responders who have to deal with the most visible, actively taking place, in-your-face, out of control, potentially violent circumstances. The local police are focused on street crime, public safety, and quality of life issues. To throw out a global concept like you have is non-productive and quite frankly, a distraction.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by why
a resident of University South
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

if they go ahead arrest the real criminals, OPD will gain the support from gangs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Support PD
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm

@ Mason: FINALLY, THANK YOU! You got the story straight. Thanks for standing up for the officers that worked with Oakland. Why is it that people can camp out, do drugs, crime, etc. but when the police get involved to protect us others can't handle it?

Again, thank you for telling the story the way it is! If you are an officer, THANK YOU for doing the job you do. Most people wouldn't be able to handle it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

The original occupy protest at Liberty Park on Wall St was petering out and dying when NYPD ramped up it's force and arrested a lot of people on the Brooklyn Bridge. Since then, America has finally noticed and is on occupy's side.

With the Brooklyn Bridge overreaction by NYPD, the media noticed and essentially the movement then started in other towns and occupy wall st gained huge momentum.

So thanks, OPD (and PAPD?) you overreacted and occupy oakland gains traction, momentum and support from the 99%.

Job well done.

Sadly, OPD doesn't understand that most of the OWS movement is on THEIR side in this struggle. OWS wants jobs, jobs strengthen the economy, a stronger economy equals tax revenue, higher revenues mean less cuts to police.

And no GOP attacks on their pensions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by why
a resident of University South
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm

A man goes out to pick a fruit, first he saw a watermelon,he picked it up, then he saw a sunflower seed, he droped the watermelon to pick it up,and eat it, but he still felt hungry, now he did not have anything.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm

So Mason's saying that Olsen asked for it. Nice.

I'm generally a supporter of law enforcement, but not in this case. Their behavior was indefensibly violent & over the top. Quan is clearly an amateur and amateur hour needs to be over.

I am so glad that last night was peaceful & law enforcement clearly rethought their strategy. It was a good, fast reset & for that, they should be acknowledged. Not thanked, but acknowledged.

This was probably the only time PAPD gets the fun of shooting tear gas into a crowd - let's hope so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm

"but when the police get involved to protect us" Watch the video.

OPD wasn't protecting anyone. There was little to no violence or vandalism until OPD started cracking heads. Using CS gas bombs. Throwing grenades. Shooting projectiles into a crowd of Americans.

Fracturing the skull of a US Marine.

How was PAPD being there protecting you? Our overtime paid for it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Support PD
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

@ Rudy: Where you there????? WHY IS IT OK TO THROW STUFF AT THE POLICE? THE POLICE SAID TO LEAVE!!!!!!!!!! PEOPLE DIDN'T! Instead of watching videos maybe you should be there and see it from the police view. I'm HAPPY that my tax money PAYS the PD to work overtime. They are protecting me one way or another. What the hell do you do for me? NOTHING! Get the story straight before making comments. They are always TWO SIDES to every story. I'm so sick and tired of AMERICANS not standing up for the men and women who protect us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Watch the end of KTVU's video, at about the 3:00 mark: Web Link

Scott Olsen is laying on the ground and the police fire tear gas at the people trying to help him. Just terrible. Were they causing any trouble? I consider myself a supporter of the police, but any PAPD officers involved should resign or be fired for doing such a thing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Bill's got it right & so does Ruby. Don't let your respect for & support of law enforcement blind you to their mistakes. Those mistakes can have life-changing & life-ending consequences.

I've worked closely w/the police and am well aware of their strengths & weaknesses. In this case, they were in the wrong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Funny! "Get the story straight before making comments. They are always TWO SIDES to every story."

There ARE two sides, you only see one them, though, don't you? Watch the video. Were you there?

"I'm so sick and tired of AMERICANS not standing up for the men and women who protect us. "

How am I not "standing up" for them? I always have, I always will. I will not tolerate hostile overreactions by men we hire to wear guns.

You yourself admitted is a maligned force with a history of trouble.

"Standng up" does not mean wearing blinders saying any and all police forces can do nothing wrong, make a mistake or knowingly overreact, whether an individual decision or a command decision.

You should consider "standing up" for the rule of law, for common sense management decisions, instead of insisting that nothing was done wrong - video to the contrary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Hmmm, not suggesting for one second that anyone, including the marine, was asking for it. I apologize if I over-simplified within the confines of this brief commentary. People may not be asking for it to put it in your words, but they do put themselves in a precarious situation when they refuse to comply with a lawful order. You suggest that the police approach was over the top, and indeed these scenes are chaotic. Let's back it up just a bit however. The demonstrators were allowed to gather, occupy, and express their opinions for several days. They were told to peacefully disperse long before any enforcement action was taken. The demonstrators refuse. Taking the next logical step of progression, the police were met with hurling rocks, bottles, and physical assault. The police then respond with less than lethal force. Understandably some injuries take place, including among the police ranks. The police should not be held as the primary source of blame here given the circumstances. And again, although I don't believe anyone "asks for it", there are many who relish for these confrontations as a platform to further their cause. They place the police and government in an incredibly difficult situation, almost a no-win, and then leap to criticize whatever the outcome. Raising a martyr is most definitely an ideological tactic. I raise the issue to encourage anyone weighing in on this issue to consider both sides.

Sorry Hmmm, as much as I agree with the majority of your insight on this forum, I truly believe that we have to put the bulk of the responsibility of this mess on the demonstrators. It is a situation they created and could have ended on their own. A society must operate within some reasonable parameters. They expressed themselves as our Constitution allows, but not at the expense of the rest of society.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm

"place the police and government in an incredibly difficult situation, almost a no-win"

Definitely a no-win **when** the orders come to confront an otherwise peaceful crowd, essentially instigating the few things that were thrown, and responding with brutal force.

CS gas. Grenades. Shooting into an unarmed crowd, all because a couple a******s threw some rocks.

So if the orders were to not confront, to allow the march to finish and go back to the park? Not a "no-win". More of a win-win. Want proof? Like they did LAST NIGHT.

"They expressed themselves as our Constitution allows, but not at the expense of the rest of society. "

Last night was the same thing, but peaceful. So at WHAT EXPENSE to the rest of society?

OPD's overreaction the previous night IS THE EXPENSE to our society.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Mason, I bet at the conclusion of the lawsuits which will surely result from excessive use of force, the decision will agree w/my perspective.

The "lawful" part you mention is quite arguable. The majority of the protesters weren't throwing anything. Ordering a dispersal isn't necessarily legal. It's great that this was caught on video. Shooting into the group of people helping the injured Olsen was also unconscionable & totally actionable.

It's sad that Oaktown is so broke - I hope those who sue win a bundle. They should tap the other agencies that joined in - including PAPD.

I have friends that were protesting & I have friends that were in the law enforcement ranks. Both factions are deeply disgusted by the behavior of the cops & Quan.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

That's the problem Bill, you suggest that people watch the "end" of the video, when in fact the dynamics and decision making process during an event such as this began long before. The officers are dealing with a non-compliant crowd who had been given ample opportunity to disperse peacefully. Many in the crowd began hurling rocks, bottles, and physically assaulting the officers. The police are dealing with an extremely difficult, violent, and chaotic scene. You cannot expect them to be able to extrapolate every scenario within that chaos.

I am quite sure that there were tactical and organizational issues that the police will learn from this event and try to improve upon in the future. That's human nature no matter what the business, all while being criticized by those with total hindsight. I also believe to solely place the blame on the police, without placing any of the responsibility on the demonstrators is short-sighted and irresponsible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Where is the video of the officers attacked with bottles and rocks or paint and urine bombs? Only one channel showed a police car with broken windows. Give me a break, u play with fire you are going to get burned. There has to be some law and order. They were told to leave several times and apparently they didn't follow orders. Police were there in harms way doing a difficult job. I applaud them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mason
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Good points Hmmm, and indeed, we'll have to await any legal fallout. Every aspect of the law is arguable, including an order to disperse. Although most people in the crowd were not throwing objects or assaulting officers, they were certainly refusing to disperse. Should the dispersal order be validated, those who ignored the order might find themselves in a tough position from a legal standpoint. Even though they weren't actively participating in a violent act, they were participating in ignoring a lawful order. A civil court might not find it inconceivable that the less than lethal force used by the police might impact not just the violent demonstrators, but also those who refuse to comply. Very unreasonable I'd say to expect the police to be that surgically precise with less than lethal force under extremely violent, chaotic circumstances.

I just want to underscore that it appears the demonstrators had an opportunity to exercise their rights and express their opinion. The law provides for that, but it also provides society with a response when people take advantage of that right and act unreasonably. They were given plenty of time to dismantle and disperse long before any police action was taken. They refused. Undoubtedly there were issues on both sides that people will learn from, and I see it highly short-sighted irresponsible to seemingly place the sole blame on those charged with dealing with a highly difficult and volatile situation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm

"I am quite sure that there were tactical and organizational issues that the police will learn from this event "

Are ya kidding?

How many years have they had to practice? How many demonstrations in the past couple decades? Tons of money for toys from gas, grenades, stun guns, rubber bullets, etc..

If the police were correct in their overreaction, why wasn't there another disaster last night?

because they were told not to instigate a riot, probably. Time will tell. Perhaps in court.

"also believe to solely place the blame on the police" Who here has done that? A couple here have absurdly placed sole blame on the protesters, but I don't see anyone saying it's ALL the police's fault.

Pray for the Marine and other injured.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

You love the phrase "less than lethal force " don't you.

When he comes out of a coma, ask the Marine about that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reader
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm

If one of the officers who went up to assist would like to write a feature on what it's like to work in a community where there is active mistrust between the public and law enforcement, I'd be interested to read it. Hardly anyone is pleased to see law enforcement face to face, but it must be hugely different working with people in Oakland versus Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Mason - cops are allegedly quitting in disgust over the orders that they were given the other night.

A lot of what has been happening was the result of lack of adequate leadership at the top. Batts quitting, Quan disappearing & residents wanting a recall - all of that contributed to the awful events the other night. The majority of the cops I know are disgusted by what happened. What I don't know is who shot what wear. But this I know: these aren't Oscar Grant rabble rousing thugs. Thrown rocks aren't okay, but the cops used excessive force - & many of them know it. Otherwise, they would feel better about their actions.

I am very careful in choosing to support protesters actions - not their right to protest, but the manner in which they do so. By & large, this has been a peaceful movement on the part of the protesters.

One of the things I think about is how the media attention on what the protesters are doing distracts us from the crimes of Wall St. There used to be a time when there was a better partnership w/the rich. They provided jobs and security for others. Now, that's no longer the case. If you walk in to B of A to close your account in support of OWS, you get arrested. That is spine-chilling.

I've been reading a book about beekeeping all over the globe. The author, an Australian, has a refreshing pov about our corporate economy & its effects on regular folks - the 99%. That ties into OWS because so many choices we used to have are removed from us now & we're spoon fed moronic choices - what should be my Facebook profile pic? should I buy the new iPhone so I can talk to Siri? & other garbage.

There will be a lot of fallout for what happened Tues night & I look forward to getting solid info.

It's a relief that the cops cancelled the raid in SF last night.

I gotta wonder - instead of complaining about the very real hygiene issues at OWS locations, why not bring in portable bathrooms & sinks??


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Why MacArthur wasn't loved as much as Ike - MacArthur sent tanks in against protesting American veterans:

Web Link

Ask your daddy or grandpap about the bonus army.

Coincidentally occurred at the other time of our greatest wealth inequity in America.

Rather, maybe not coincidental.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by wha?
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I'm confused. A peaceful crowd is not one that throws rocks bottles and other items at the police. A crowd is not lawful when refusing lawful commands to leave and then throwing items at the cops. Sure probably a few bad apples ruined that for the protestors, but they are all "one" in that instance. Mason you cannot win an argument against people who will never want to see your side of the spectrum.

Videos only give audiences a snapshot soundbite version of the events. If you weren't there, you don't have a good frame of reference from them and maybe should withhold villifying opinions, against either side. This is common sense.

Hmmm, what city has these cops who have quit? I find your statements hard to believe but am curious to know more if this is true.

Sad what happened to this man, and surely undeserved. I hope he makes a full recovery. But my feeling is it's more of a horrible accident that any intentional act to injure a protestor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I would like to hear Palo Alto City Council member Yiaway Yeh speak on this topic. He would have a unique perspective as a Palo Altan who also works for City of Oakland as an admin.

Also, I was pleased to see SF public defender and mayoral candidate Jeff Adachi standing with the protesters in SF as a witness. I actually volunteer for Jeff's campaign and think he has total integrity. (He is endorsed by Matt Gonzalez and Quentin Kopp, and many in between).
Although he is a liberal, Adachi is behind a pension reform plan in SF that might also work here. He wants to take money from recently retired civil servants and use it to reinstall summer school and fund small businesss new jobs.

I was sitting at PRC for four hours waiting to speak for three minutes about civil rights at Lytton Plaza, while police acted out in Oakland. I do not think my tax dollars should have been involved up there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm

The People's right to assemble is guaranteed by the Constitution, as is their DUTY, not right, to make their voice heard when they feel their rights are trampled by the powerful and connected. The police was never grunted by the Founders the right to tell the People if, when and how they can assemble. The People have a right and duty to ignore the police shenanigans, these are peaceful protestors who are doing their civic duty. When the teabaggers were assembling all over the country, carrying weapons, displaying racist and threatening signs against the President and their political opponent, no police officer ever ordered them to leave. This is Kent State all over again. Welcome to Fascism.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I am pleased to see that our PD were able to help a neighboring community out in a time of need just as I would like other PDs to help ours out in a similar situation. However, I don't see that this is really newsworthy.

I think it is very petty to have a PD in each city which is paid for by that city alone and is unable to cross city boundaries. It makes much more sense to have PDs managed from the county level and even within geographic regions. If we had a regional PD, obviously individual officers would still remain within the same city jurisdictions, but we would have an overall more sensible manner of financing, budgeting and collecting revenue without duplicating administrators within sometimes less than 10 miles of each other.

It is time to overhall administration, or is that too simple, obvious and sensible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm

"But my feeling is it's more of a horrible accident that any intentional act"

Accident?

They accidentally fired multiple rounds of gas canisters into a crowd as they overreacted?

They accidentally threw at least a half dozen grenades into a crowd as they overreacted?

Odd how some will convict on video evidence of some act, but in other instances will call minutes of video a simple "snapshot soundbite version."

Videos and youtube may be one of the few things that can save democracy. The Arab Spring might add Facebook.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm

News just reported that Mayor Quan is contemplating talking to the Occupy crowd in Oakland. If she does, it will be very interesting.

Mark, I thought Adachi was cool to be there, too. All of my friends who've participated are professionals, educated, thoughtful people. Many of them are a good deal older than I am and are truly worried about the future for the younger generations.

I look forward to the Rolling Stone article re the SEC shredding their own investigation documents on Wells, Madoff and other criminals.


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Posted by Pack-It-In-You-Occupiers
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

The criminal element can run wild in Oakland, and San Francisco, as the riots that occurred after the Oscar Grant incident showed--

Oscar Grant Riots: 86 Arrested, Downtown Oakland Smashed:
Web Link

Too many people in Oakland and SF live on the edge of lawlessness and chaos, so the Oakland Police need to be ready for anything. Given the past occurrences of urban violence in these two cities, it's a bit of a wonder that the National Guard was not called in as back up.

Throwing rocks, bottles, or other dangerous objects at the police, or other civilians, is not a right enshrined in the US Constitution. Nor is the right to occupy public places, create a health hazard, or to deny other people their rights.

CS Gas is non-lethal, at least in open spaces. It's a signal that it's time to move on. People claiming that the police over-reacted because the "protesters" ignored their orders, or that the police have some obligation to be pop-up targets for anything an unruly crowd, or a villainous crowd, might want to do .. definitely need to re-read the Constitution, and be prepared to spend some time in jail.

Sadly, the history of the big city, limp-wristed, DAs has been not to charge, and try, people like those arrested so far by the Oakland police. It's a shame, given how much of the public's money has been spent trying to restore order, and make the downtown area of Oakland safe for everyone.

It just been a couple months ago we watched a goodly area of several English towns burned, and people killed, by youths not too different from this bunch in the "Occupy" zones--people who seem to think that the government owes them a living, or a percentage of what others have earned. How quickly we forget just how fragile our respective democracies actually are.

Bottom line--when the police tell you to "move on", better do it. If the police are acting illegally, document the situation and come back a little later with a lawyer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Funny how the poster above has to cite Oscar Grant as if OWS is similar. Lame, misleading and stupid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Between the Lines
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm

If how the PAPD has managed PR after past incidents is any guide, they've done something very wrong here, and know it, and are leaving out details in order to try and sound reasonable. The big thing I see missing from what is basically a statement to the press is any mention of flash bang grenades, which we know the PAPD is equipped with because they've used them in the past. This makes me wonder whether a PAPD officer was involved in using flash bang grenades to prevent people from offering medical assistance or some other atrocity.


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Posted by Pack-It-In-You-Occupiers
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm

> Funny how the poster above has to cite Oscar Grant
> as if OWS is similar

The riots, and violence, that resulted from the various aspects of the Oscar Grant incident converge on any violence that the OWS "protesters" might cause. Most of the OWS protesters can not demonstrate any of the problems with the current "financial system" that they want to destroy, or reform, or shut down .. or whatever it is that they want to do today.

There was absolutely no reason for the residents of Oakland to become violent during the investigation, and legal proceedings, in the Oscar Grant matter. At no time did the BART police, or other civilian authorities claim that Grant's death would not be investigated. Smashing store fronts, and burning cars, hardly improved the climate that the various law enforcement agencies were laboring under at the time.

And by the way, the Oscar Grant riot is just one of hundreds that anyone who has watched modern American history unfold. There were dozens of riots around the Country that one could point to as mindless, without purpose, and having occurred, were quickly forgotten as having no demonstrable point, or goals, that were achieved.

The same with the OWS crowd--mindless, and without goals.

It would be amazing to see one of the candidates for President promise to resurrect the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), and the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and reinstate the draft in order to compel those camping out in public spaces to actually go to work on public works projects, just like their grandfathers did. Now, that would give these Yahoos something to "revolt" over.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

keep reaching, Pack - it's good to stretch! But if you keep writing about Grant, I'll flag your posts.

Between the Lines, I thought the same thing. Perhaps we'll find out, down the line, when the investigation into Olsen's injury is over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I support the police 100% on this one.

The protesters in Oakland appeared to be the usual mix of anarchists, hippies, people opposed to government/police, "revolutionaries," and riot inciting thugs waiting to break into stores.

"Peaceful protesters" do not violently attack cops with rocks and bottles. "Peaceful protesters" do not tear down barricades. "Peaceful protesters" do not charge the police. "Peaceful protesters" do not show up at protests wearing masks and bandannas, light things on fire, destroy property, and scare customers away from local businesses. To me these sound like people who don't give a crap about the "99%" of people who have families, people who get up and go to work every day. It sounds to me like people who want to have a jolly time breaking things, hurting people, lighting fires, and causing chaos. Well I have a message for you: go home. Nobody cares about your juvenile street destruction party, or what some washed up 60's hippie from Berkeley has to say about the government. Go home, light up your bong, eat some Cheetos, and play your video games. Civilized society is tired of your garbage.


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Posted by haps
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Well, damn, excuse me.

Police have a problem with "public safety, and health"? And, this is how they choose to deal with it? Police of Oak should be forever shamed after the terror, and intimidation they imposed a few years back on dockworkers, union members, and protesters who were resisting(the 1%) sending munitions (prior or/during) Gaza massacre. Authorities (OPD & "Dock Security")decided to move in and shoot free expressive citizens with rubber bullets, stun grenades, tear gas, and tranchons. They have not redeemed themselves. Cant exactly attribute Oscar Grant to that (tis Bart "officers"), but they have not redeemed themselves.

Americans (me included) have short memories. OPD has some problems with control of their officers (for many years), quite similar to LAPD, in so many ways. Do not expect the revolution to be televised, but check Web Link

Sorry for the run on sentences.

Perhaps that's all contextually irrelevant.

My question is: Do our PA boys like to play with their war toys?
Who are they protecting, for what kinda "health and safety"?

Does seem like a 99% expense for the 1%.

I say NO.
s




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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm

"Bottom line--when the police tell you to "move on", better do it. If the police are acting illegally, document the situation and come back a little later with a lawyer."

No.

The bottom line is the police overreacted - they, the mayor and anyone who watched knows it.

Proof?

They backed off, didn't they.

Comparing this to Oscar Grant is like comparing the tea party to the guy who shot at cops on 580 or the guy who dove his plane into the IRS or the beck fan who shot Giffords or the guy who murdered the doctor, etc...

Good news - the Marine has been upgraded to a "fair" status.


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Posted by haps
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

OH!

One more thing. This is lovely, from Mike.

"The protesters in Oakland appeared to be the usual mix of anarchists, hippies, people opposed to government/police, "revolutionaries," and riot inciting thugs waiting to break into stores."

dear mike,
it is not a problem that you see things differently, that you have challenges with empathy, or that your sources of information are jingoistic corporate media (we all have been there), or that your favorite spokes person is a corporatist idealogue. what ails you is your own morality challenges within the belly of the beast. we can be ok, you are a part of the 99, and are invited to join. learn about ad hominim

think/feel/talk/share/join
s


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I understand that we don't know if PAPD was the agency responsible for hurting Iraq veteran Scott Olsen and firing tear gas into a group trying to help him after he went down. However, we deserve to know who made the decision to go forward with PAPD's participation and the reason for the level of resources deployed.

Sending our $400,000 "macho police man cave on wheels", 10 officers and additional support personnel isn't something to be taken lightly, no matter how you feel about the protesters or the police response. Sorry to say, but the lack of a clear answer from PAPD does not bode well for their integrity.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Heheheh, Haps. Mike is also just plain wrong. The protesters are pretty diverse. It depends on the day and time of day, but it's a diverse crowd, overall. Mike just doesn't want to see it.

It'll be interesting to see if PAPD helps in the future & what their role is - that is, if we learn about it.


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Posted by haps
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Hi Ruby,

What do you do when the legal system is unjust. Drug wars that oppress minorities, & the young; banking system that's for 1% i.e. socialization for 1%, and privatization for 99%; constitutional criminality of executive function previous, and present; culpability of both congressional bodies? Who will stand for prosecution of injustice of 1 mil people killed in Iraq - who had nothing to do with 911.

When you are starving on the street, or loosing your house, or just fired, and your pension don't work, when you have no health care and you are sick, you go find a lawyer?

Excuse me, law in this land has been ceded to the powerful 1%.

That is the reason.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Haps - Ruby was quoting another poster, actually.


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Posted by Gunn Mom
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Watch the video so you can see them fire into the group who came back to assist the obviously injured Scott Olsen.

Very disturbing. I hope it wasn't a PAPD officer: Web Link


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Posted by Between the Lines
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Gunn Mom: Yeah, that's why it concerns me that the PAPD isn't talking about their flash-bang grenades at all. We know they have them because they used flash-bang grenades at the bowling alley a few years ago. Web Link


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Posted by read it
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Read the article, the papd stated what they used. Tear gas that does not explode like a flash bang would.


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Posted by Retired Staffer
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I wonder how the victim of the armed robbery on the 300 block of Ramona St. feels about Palo Alto police being deployed in Oakland instead of here.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Joe, thank you for your thoughtful comments.

A few years back, I was privy to some details on a dangerous crime in PA. I was shocked at how mediocre the investigation was. The victim remained fearful for many months - the detective failed to notify her that her armed attacker had been apprehended w/in a week of the assault. That last part was just one of several things that were disturbing about how it was handled.

I think PAPD is attempting to preempt questions and complaints w/this news brief. I understand your concern.


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Posted by z
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 28, 2011 at 12:33 am

looks like a good place to meet chicks


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Posted by Between the Lines
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 28, 2011 at 7:09 am

read it: they don't claim to have given a comprehensive list of equipment used. If history is any kind of guide, this sort of article is a heads-up that the PAPD just did something which exposed the department to an expensive lawsuit.


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Posted by AL
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2011 at 7:25 am

Two officers were injured by protesters before the police struck back. A leader of the group advised protestors, via twitter, to bring bottles and anything else they could throw at police. How is this a peaceful protest? Granted most of the protestors were peaceful but the few that were not forced the chaos that ensued. At some point people have to step up and own there mistakes instead of blaming everyone else.


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Posted by Nothing
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Oct 28, 2011 at 7:41 am

Hey Al, If there was not such a show of force by cops from all over the Bay Area no bottles would be thrown. This kind of mele is not happening in other cities. Maybe just maybe having a ton of cops in riot gear is not the best plan.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 28, 2011 at 7:59 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The 33rd word is "peaceably".
Throwing rocks is potentially lethal.
Protecting rock throwers by interposing yourself between the throwers and the cops is itself criminal.
There is NO RIGHT to assemble other than peaceably, and since the actions of a mob is communal, so is the responsibility of the mob. You don't like it, vamoose.
Incidentally, where was the Tea Party demonstration where Tea Party members threw rocks? I missed that one.


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Posted by AL
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:15 am

Nothing: Really? So let me get this straight...you see a bunch of cops and it means attack? You cannot have a peaceful protest with cops present? Peaceful protest have occurred all over the country with the cops present. We do not hear this happening in other cities with OWS. Sure arrest have occurred but I do not remember reading cops being attacked by projectiles from the protestors. The tea party protestors have not had violent protests. Not saying I agree with either OWS or TP but the fact is police and protestors can coexist.
Next time someone throws a rock or paint can at your head, let me know how it feels!


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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:24 am

All those defending the overreaction by OPD and other heavily armed participants (PAPD included):

They overreacted and they know they did. One can tell by a number of results - they didn't come back in force the last couple days, apologies, investigations, etc...

Great news - the Marine (two Iraq tours, decorated) is breathing on his own now.


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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

Nice link referencing Oakland's other "institutions".

Web Link


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Posted by Jonathan
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

Everyone is caught up arguing the pros and cons of the Occupy protests, and missing the point here.

PAPD's participation in any operation so distant shows that they obviously have too much time and money on their hands. If assistance is to be given to other police agencies it should be closer to home -- how about bringing the East Palo Alto murder rate right down instead of joyriding off to Oakland?

I think I just lost almost all respect for the Palo Alto police department. And if Council doesn't investigate this, what good are they?


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

Oakland called in hundreds of cops because of "public safety" issues. And then the cops proceeded to initiate a high-risk-to-public-safety attack on what was a peaceful occupation. If you think tear gas is just a so-so irritating chemical, experience it sometime .... It's like the greatest danger from smoking marijuana is being arrested and charged for it. Instead, Oakland should've provided portapotties for the occupation and whatever other help was needed. I'm a journalist veteran of covering the similar People's Park event in the 1960s in Berkeley, when one man was killed and another blinded for life. The National Guard was called in then by Gov. Ronald Reagan. All because the young people of Berkeley etc. didn't want a park owned by UC Berkeley to be turned into a dorm area. Returning to Oakland, the mayor there allowed herself to be convinced by police that the occupiers "are not obeying the laws and they will take over the city!" To these people, laws become more important than people and their freedom of expression. Now Oakland has become a dirty word, worldwide.


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Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

I would bet the farm that republican shills were paid to disrupt the protests. It's the oldest trick in the book. And frankly, these "riot police" are trained to prevent demonstrations, and most of the members of these squads are just itching to let loose with everything they've got, ala Kent State.
And Mason, what you showed is an abundance of disrespect for Mr Olson and his military record. It's obvious that you are uncomfortable that you can't just paint everyone with the "Dirty Hippie" brush, but that's your problem, isn't it? And who are you to dictate what is acceptable in terms of protest? As long as they go away before anyone really notices, you're okay with that? Sure, it's fine for the right-wing to interpret freedom as license whenever they want, but if anyone else gives it a whirl, out come the batons.
Funny that everyone gets upset if someone who doesn't fit the hippie profile gets injured in the protests, but beat the crap out of the rest, and who cares?
I will say again, the trained riot police are all just chomping at the bit to start swinging, and the only thing that is going to deter them is the technology to expose them in real time, from many angles. There would be no problems had they not been deployed. One has only to watch the idiot who threw a flash grenade into the midst of a group of people trying to assist an injured Human being to understand what I am saying. And you are satisfied with that, Mason? Than you're a bloody idiot.
Yes, the protests are annoying, but that's the point. They aren't supposed to make anyone feel good, nice and secure in their barcaloungers watching the 6 O'clock news.
So much for all the constitution-worshipping tea party members. Not a peep out of them, when somebody else's constitutional rights are being trampled. Freaking hypocrites.


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Posted by J.Mather
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

Sadly Oakland has long been a deteriorating community with a myriad of problems. It is a microcosm and reflection of the larger issues of the "haves and have nots" that the OWS movement is espousing. While police brutality is never acceptable and totally repugnant, it happens all too often - especially in areas such as Oakland. Having been raised in that city I watched the deterioration and racial and economic disparity deepen over the years.

To me with this city and this issue therefore, it was only a matter of time before the violence would take hold, and I certainly wasn't surprised.

A quote from this morning's SF Chronicle depicts a very different outcome with "Occupy SF".
When word got out of an impending police raid to the camp that had become mostly activists and chronically homeless people; "By Thursday the sun shone on an utterly transformed encampment. Suddenly there were people who looked more like office workers than hippies strolling among 50 tents pitched on concrete and grass. Tourists gave high-fives to the campers."
Police stood across the street but there were no confrontations. There had been a meeting the night before that essentially got across the word that "if you're not here for the real protest, you might want to go somewhere else." Organization and a sophisticated city created a very different outcome from Oakland's. Let's hope it lasts.
Those of us who really believe in this movement and want it to go on, fervently wish that the national media would pick up on solutions like this, rather than the violence in places like Oakland. Could it be this way in Oakland? Sadly, I doubt it.


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Posted by wha?
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

They did provide them with porta potties according to past articles and statements (and most likely also paid for by Oak tax dollars). From what I remember, PAPD often helps other agencies when ASKED, including EPA. Mere police presence, whatever they had with them or were wearing, does not incite a confrontation. The fact that they left, despite what you think Ruby, is not an indication of guilt, nor are the political statements...It is politics, welcome Ruby.

I am part of the 99 percent, but I don't want anyone I have seen on the pictures and video speaking for me.....ever


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Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

"Videos only give audiences a snapshot soundbite version of the events. If you weren't there, you don't have a good frame of reference from them and maybe should withhold villifying opinions, against either side. This is common sense."


Actually it's ignorant bliss. It reminds me of the phrase, "Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?". When you watch the videos, you see the police drop a flash grenade on the people trying to pull Mr. Olsen from harms way. You see a wheel-chaired protester being pushed out of a cloud of teargas. You see smoke and explosions everywhere!

What you don't see is people throwing bottles, rocks and assaulting police officers as Mason has repeated throughout this thread. Did those things happen? It's possible, but I don't see it. What I see is intimidation and chaos on a large scale. Suggesting that we ignore the video because we weren't there is ridiculous. A lot of people weren't there. Does that mean everyone should ignore what happened?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

It's likely that there were a few rock and bottle throwers, and the police "over corrected" w/their unleashed aggression. I just read that 2 news choppers claim to have run out of gas at the same time - as soon as the ruckus started, thus ending their aerial news feeds. How convenient.

It's also interesting how many negaters try to pain the hippie portrait of protesters. Iit's a diverse group in Oaktown & SF. Many of the employed & otherwise committed protesters go after work. A number of the younger campers are employed, a la Scott Olsen, and of course many occupiers that camp are unemployed or are students. This is one of those times when being unemployed isn't always a choice - hence, the protests.


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Posted by Harry
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

To all of those atually believe that the Police singled out Olsen, I ask you to watch the video again. Clearly there is chaos, smoke, screaming, yelling, fighting, etc. going on. How is it possible to single out one person in all of that.

Anyone who protests violently (yes throwing solid objects at people is violent) should expect that it will not be a safe situation. Most people have no inclination to destroy their own city, so they go somewhere else. Olsen was a member of the Occupy SF not Oakland.

Take a step away from the center of all of this. The Police are protecting the citizens of Oakland from the destruction of the "peaceful protestors". Imagine if they came to PA. Would any of us tolerate them urinating or defecating on our city, leaving trash around, tearing everything up? Absolutely not. We would demand that the PD get involved. We would demand that they take a walk on that thin line between protecting a city from civil unrest and allowing free speech demonstrations. When the speakers cross that line and the Police intervene (for our safety), we are happy that our things are still safe and sound. God forbid any of the protestors get hurt because then we would have to blame the Police. It is obvious that they should have used supernatural powers to calm a growing wave of anger, emotion, violence, and swelling negative energy from the mob. They should be able to wave a magic baton and quiet the crowd. Because if they don't do it this way, we will undoubtedly crucify them for what we asked them to do. All from the safety of our living rooms, bedrooms, offices, or recliners.

Take a step back and ask yourself how would your realistically handle this situation. The fact that Olsen was a Marine, is mute. He obviously wasn't the kind of Marine you see on the TV or hear about in the papers. He sure wasn't proud of that accomplishment. He used his veteran status to gain sympathy. Last I checked, we still have a volunteer service. Nobody is being forced to serve, and anybody that entered voluntary service after 9-11-01 should expect to fight for US. Olsen should be ashamed of how he acted, but now he will receive accolades for his bravery against the big bad scary Cops who were defending themselves, the city of Oakland, and the citizens that call her home.


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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm

"To all of those atually believe that the Police singled out Olsen, "

Who here said they initially targeted Olsen? Perhaps after a crowd rushed to help the Marine, that group may have been targeted with gas or grenades, but I haven't read anything about that initial targeting claim of yours.

"Anyone who protests violently " How many were protesting violently? By all accounts, very few.

"The Police are protecting the citizens of Oakland from the destruction" Again what destruction - PRIOR to the overreaction by police?

"Would any of us tolerate them urinating or defecating on our city" haven't been to many parts of today's big city, have you?

"He used his veteran status to gain sympathy"

Amazing. He used his "veteran status" to get his head cracked open by a gas canister?

You are sick.

May God bless Mr. Olsen, our veterans and all our active duty personnel. Especially from opinions like the above.



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Posted by bill g
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I believe more than 95% of the demonstrators were there to protest peacefully. However, there is a lunatic fringe that takes every opportunity to turn any demonstration into a violent confrontation with authority. No one has yet proven that the police initiated the violence.

As Mr. Wallis says the Constitution gives the right to "peaceably" assemble.

I saw a picture of an officer who had had paint thrown at him. Too bad one can't see the marks left by rocks and bottles.

Errors made before in police/citizen incidents, do not justify the attacks this time made by an unhappy, disgruntled few on peaceful citizens or their property. It sets the whole protest back and clouds the issue - witness the statements made above. Many give opinions of what happened from pictures showing only part of the whole scene. Selective justification does not convince thoughtful people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by archie
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

police always use excessive force to assert their supposed dominance.


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Posted by Dorothy black
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Lived in Stanford 40 plus years, now in Oakland 12. Reading all these emails has been interesting. Sounds like a lot of you have considerable interest in my now hometown. We are having struggles here but there are many who work hard toward the better life in spite of not enough money for police services, keeping all our schools open and seniors cared for. Belt tightening is what we are about here. Sorry about those who step outside the line. Many communities must deal with this and we thank the PA police for their help. Let' s move on. nhgXE


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Move on? No way. The police brutality was above & beyond what was necessary. No one should've thrown things at them, but if that did happen, the cops were dressed & armed to the teeth to deal with it - & it's their job. They screwed up, plain & simple - by their overly aggressive tactics that resulted in Olsen's injury AND by then bombing him & those that rushed to assist him when he was down & seriously injured. The city also greatly screwed up by not having any emergency personnel on hand, further endangering Olsen by increasing the amount of time it took for him to get to the hospital. Quan, an amateur mayor, is responsible as well.

Olsen sure isn't using his vet status to gain sympathy. If the Occupiers & his veterans' group do so, that's on them, not him. Who wouldn't use this type of similar situation to further their cause or get the victim help? No organization would ignore this chance & they probably shouldn't.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Spring
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

It worked in Tunisia and Egypt; perhaps we will get rid of Obama this way?


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The organizers of this "demonstration" have an affirmative responsibility to keep it peaceful. By accepting in their ranks people intent on violence they are condoning and protecting that violence. A violent response up to and including deadly force is appropriate. ANYONE who participates in a violent mob is a criminal, and usually a coward, too. If you rebel against authorities be prepared to pay the price of rebellion. Participate in a rebellion only if you have a chance of victory. Be prepared to govern.


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Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 29, 2011 at 4:35 am

It fascinates me that the public are able to capture so much evidence of the tactics and violence used by various police departments, and yet I'm still waiting to see the evidence of protesters throwing rocks and bottles. Where's the evidence of this?

Regardless, we know who threw the first volley, and we have video evidence of Police refusing to aid an injured young man, throwing a grenade directly into the crowd of people helping him, and causing a near-fatal injury.

If a group of heavily armed people are attacking, assaulting and injuring, I'm not surprised the peaceful protesters became less than peaceful. It was self defense against an attacking force!

I agree that peaceful protest is always preferable, because it shows the actions of the authorities and shames them even more. But tell me, when is self defense justified? Are people supposed to wait until snipers are picking people off before they throw a rock against a riot shield? Should there be blood running in the streets before they throw a tear gas canister back? Do we need to see a "Police officer" executing someone in the street before throwing paint is excused?

As said, these were "trained" officers, and yet they respond to a few pathetic projectiles against their heavily armored suits with shooting people with rubber bullets, firing tear gas and trying to directly injure with grenades.

Shame on all of them, violent or not. All of them should be facing charges for sitting by and watching their colleagues acting immorally, violently and illegally.



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Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 29, 2011 at 4:44 am

"Videos only give audiences a snapshot soundbite version of the events. If you weren't there, you don't have a good frame of reference from them and maybe should withhold villifying opinions, against either side. This is common sense."

I saw, on video, people rush to help Olsen while a cop had his gun aimed at them. He stepped back into the crowd of his other despicable colleagues and then threw a grenade directly INTO that crowd.

He intended to maim. There is no other explanation for a man doing that. There is no need to see the prior events to that. He intended to cause physical harm to a group of attending people just like a terrorist leaving a secondary device after an attack to target the responding services.

No sensible person can justify that. If anyone tries to, maybe they should be in a Police uniform? It seems they're willing to hire psychotic men so there's plenty of opportunities for a potential killer to climb up the ranks!


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2011 at 5:28 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Seriously, a thrown rock does not play well on a video screen, but it can still be lethal. The congregation to give first aid could just as well be a congregation to continue the fight. In the middle of a war you can not stop everything just to escort a little old lady across a street. When peace is breached, the first obligation of law is restoration. Only after law is restored can order then prevail. Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. There is NO EXCUSE FOR VIOLENCE in confrontation with the law. There is no excuse for a mob. You must accept the ticket- the courtroom is the only acceptable arena to fight it. The 33rd word.
Incidentally,the mayor of Oakland is a craven coward, unsuitable for her post.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by wha?
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2011 at 8:49 am

Web Link


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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:18 am

"the courtroom is the only acceptable arena to fight it."

One believes there will be significant courtroom action.

What will you say then? "Dang librul judges, they otta hang 'em all"

It was overreaction, which just fueled the movement up another notch worldwide (see Cairo's Occupy movement in support of decorated Marine Scott Olsen, as evidence.)

The mayor admits it, the interim police chief visits him in the hospital, they're all in full spin as they know they were wrong.

Chemical weapons, intentionally throwing grenades to maim into a crowd trying to help an injured veteran who had his skull cracked. Overreaction in the extreme.

In all the Occupy protests, when does violence arise? When the police show up in riot gear.

The danger in all this is mistaking or shifting the message of the movement from it's traditional messages to that of protest against police brutality.

It shouldn't be about that.

As Walter says, leave it for the courts.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

Ruby, my friends in law enforcement, both retired and active, city and federal, agree that it was a gross overreaction. I rarely say this, but I'm looking forward to the outcome from the courts.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:16 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

What if the police had thrown rocks and piss-filled bottles at the protesters?


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Posted by Brian Guth-Pasta
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

Brian Guth-Pasta is a registered user.

Web Link

Help identify!

Get this criminal organization (PAPD) off the streets.


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Posted by Ruby
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

Walter - "What if the police had thrown rocks and piss-filled bottles at the protesters?"

Instead of chemical weapons and grenades?

While in full riot gear with clubs, guns, tasers?

Where are the libertarians and conservatives on this board who are worried about big government and an overreacting heavily armed, militarized police state?

Where are the libertarians and conservatives on this board who require a higher standard from the unions we pay top dollars to and allow to carry guns?

Calling in PAPD to assist an ill-managed police force in a blatantly bad situation exacerbated by testosterone driven management. Where was Quan in all this, she should have made rational decisions.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I like the comments made by David Cameron about the protests in London. Yes, people may protest verbally but it doesn't give them permission to pitch tents on public or private property.


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Posted by Mel
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

Walter,

" If you rebel against authorities be prepared to pay the price of rebellion."

This should be on a placard... For all fascist regimes to use!!!

I wonder why it was not included in our Constitution!

You know who else "rebelled against the authorities"?
That's right: The founding fathers of our nation.

This is a 21st Century Declaration of Independence! Join Us!


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Posted by s
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Yes. Sitting at the golf course, Cameron would say, "Clean up all that rabble so they are neither loud, nor eye sore."

Then he would lazily wonder off and build his mansion in the center of the commons, and throw up a few gates with guards looking for poachers (paid for by the taxes on the poor).


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Posted by Peter Hogness
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

As a graduate of the Palo Alto schools, I'm glad to have received an education that encouraged critical thinking and asking questions. So I am surprised and disappointed that the actions of Palo Alto police in Oakland have not sparked more public controversy. (This comments section is about the only place I've seen much discussion.) Perhaps it just hasn't been well reported, or perhaps there's widespread discontent with these actions among Palo Alto residents, but they have yet to voice it in a clear & effective way. (Of 230 people who've so far responded to a "poll" question on the Palo Alto Patch website, about 80% disapprove of the use of Palo Alto police against Occupy Oakland demonstrators.)

I would like to know:
** Is it Palo Alto city policy to assist in police action against citizens in other cities who are exercising their First Amendment rights?
** Do Palo Alto's elected officials exercise any advance oversight or control of the use of Palo Alto police against political protest in other jurisdictions?
** Why has the Palo Alto Police Department refused to provide basic information about its deployment in Oakland, including the number and type of projectiles fired, the cost of the operation, and exactly who authorized it?

I hope that more Palo Alto residents will demand some answers.
_________________________

Some have asked whether Palo Alto police may have fired the projectile that injured Scott Olsen. The answer isn't clear from press reports to date-- but it appears possible. Here's a summary of relevant press reports:
Web Link


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