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Oakland Mayor Takes Responsibility for Police ViolenceTim King Salem-News.com
Two in one deal from Quan: she apologizes to Marine's family, then says Oakland won't support demonstration's right to 24-hour access.
(OAKLAND, Calif.) - The news yesterday was tough; a two-tour Iraq Marine Corps Veteran named Scott Olsen was shot in the head by police at Occupy Oakland, it still isn't clear what they got him with, but it fractured the veteran's skull and left him crumpled in the street.
When Scott's friends and fellow demonstrators moved forward to recover him, screaming "medic medic" just like something straight out of Iraq, Oakland Police standing behind a safety barrier threw a concussion grenade out, scattering the terrified crowd of protesters trying to render aid to their injured friend.
Eventually they were able to go back in and recover Scott Olsen as the video shows in the last report. (see: Oakland Cops Shoot Two-Tour Marine Iraq Vet in the Head)
There is jut no way to excuse it, and any attempt by police to justify what happened is a total impossibility. The police are schooled to be out of touch with the people they are responsible for caring about; it is as simple as that. The laws and rules must be fixed to settle the restless populace. There is a reason so many people are spending their lives around the clock at these vigils; many have nowhere else to go, and as homeless Americans they are now part of a political movement. Regardless of whether or not people realize it, that is a powerful thing.
Government forces like the Oakland police are showing a type of training that incites rather than calming violence, and while Mayor Jean Quan has an excellent track record as a human rights activist, and is showing a desire to not exclusively represent the wishes of merchants over demonstrators; that is still essentially what she is doing.
Who Ordered the Police Violence?
The person at the helm of the Oakland Police department is the Interim Chief Howard Jordan, a 23-year veteran of the department. Jordan assumed the position created by the sudden resignation of the last chief, Anthony Batts submitted his resignation earlier this month with a letter that began with: "It is with great regret..."
According to the city's Website, Jordan "manages and oversees the planning, development and implementation of all law enforcement and crime prevention programs for the City. He provides leadership, vision and direction to the Department and its command staff and promotes collaboration, communication and coordination with other city agencies and community organizations."
That tells me that he is responsible for this escalation of force that left a U.S. Marine bleeding and wounded and Olsen wasn't the only one, not the only person shot in the head by police in Oakland, not the only person injured, humiliated; not the only person who will probably forever associate police with something dark and dangerous.
In her message to the demonstrators below, published verbatim from the city Website, Jean Quan begins with a seemingly serious apology and acceptance of responsibility for the shooting of Olsen, and states a willingness to work with the group, and then he begins her politician's pitch. It is refreshing to see a public official admit responsibility for something so severe as the shooting of Olsen, and everyone must remember that she stated that.
The apologetic message that begins with humility; enough to truly cause one to think that Quan is able to recognize the city's serious level of responsibility, essentially ends with: 'Oh and by the way, we're not going to let the thousands of organized demonstrators camp at this around the clock protest'.
She might as well have put it in those words, it wasn't a subtle or successful close.
Special thanks to Susan Galleymore created the slideshow below and sent it to our newsroom, visit the original page here for captions and credits: Occupy Oakland, San Francisco, and Alameda California - A Week in the Life of OWS Bay Area
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