August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Oakland: Crowd returns, mayor's key staff resigns as lawsuits are filed

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Oakland Police at Occupy Oakland/Reuters photo
OAKLAND, Calif. -- After a dawn raid by police that cleared Occupy Oakland on Monday, Nov. 14, people once again flooded Oscar Grant Plaza on Monday night. Two of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's staff resigned Monday, the Deputy Mayor and her legal adviser, in the wake of another police assault on Occupy Oakland and the filing of lawsuits against Oakland Police.

The resignations came the same day that the ACLU and National Lawyers' Guild filed a lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department, naming a videographer shot with a bean bag projectile and others. The lawsuit describes the firing of flash bang grenades and tear gas at peaceful protesters on Oct. 25 (the night veteran Scott Olsen was shot) and Nov. 2-3 (the night of the General Strike when a second veteran was beaten by police.) The lawsuit requests a restraining order against the Oakland Police Department.

Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu resigned late Monday, effective immediately. Quan's legal adviser Dan Siegel, a civil rights attorney, said in a 2 a.m. message on Twitter that he had resigned on Monday. Siegel called Monday's police raid "unnecessary" and spoke out in support of Occupy Oakland.

Occupy Denver Monday night
A second lawsuit was filed over Oakland police covering up their name tags with tape. The City of Oakland violated a federal consent decree to reform the Police Department when Officer John Hargraves covered his name tag with black tape, an attorney said. The incident was caught on video. (Click for article.) Watch black tape video.

Meanwhile, in Denver, where occupiers have been repeatedly beaten by Denver police, hot soup waited for occupiers in the cold.

Around the world, people were horrified to see photos of police at Occupy Chapel Hill, N.C., on a rampage with assault rifles.
Police on rampage at Occupy Chapel Hill, NC on Sunday

Denver Police Deny Medics Access to Unconscious Patient

Photo CBS Denver Nov. 12, 2011

Denver Police Dept. Denies Medics Access to Unconscious, Unresponsive Patient

Press Release
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2011

Contact: Colorado Street Medics, 303-570-9362

November 12, 2011: After riot police stormed Civic Center Park and chased protesters to other locations, one demonstrator was observed being struck by officers and falling motionless on the traffic median dividing Colfax at Broadway.

Colorado Street Medics immediately attempted to access this patient to assess and provide first aid. SWAT officers refused to allow the medics access to this patient. The officer commanding the line refused to acknowledge medics when they attempted to explain concerns for the unconscious, unresponsive patient.

Police allowed an untrained bystander access to the patient, but refused to allow medics from Colorado Street Medics to access the patient. Officers threatened Colorado Street Medic volunteers with arrest if they attempted to approach the patient. When asked for their name and badge number, the officers refused to provide this information stating, “We don’t have to. That is not the law.”

Colorado Street Medic volunteers attempted to explain concern for serious bodily injuries as the patient lay on the traffic median unconscious and non-reactive to heavy traffic, bystanders and sirens around them. When SWAT officers pushed the medics away, Denver Paramedics had not yet arrived to treat the patient.

Colorado Street Medics are a volunteer first aid and community health organization that serves social movements. They have worked in the City of Denver and have had successful arrangements with Denver Paramedics, Denver Police Department and other state agencies in past events such as the Democratic National Convention in 2008 that improved patient care, handoffs and outcomes.

Across the board, research indicates that immediate intervention greatly improves patient outcomes and reduces mortality. Street Medics could have provided support for this individual’s airway, breathing and immobilizing his spine among other things while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Colorado Street Medics condemn this blatant disregard for the wellbeing of an individual with potentially life-threatening injuries. Furthermore, Colorado Street Medics demand that officers be held accountable for both their excessive force and disregard to policy requiring them to provide identifying information to the public.

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