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Oakland Police try writing some fiction

Oakland, Calif., became the mediaâÄôs focal point of the Occupy Wall Street movement after the police took brutal actions against the mostly peaceful protestors of Occupy Oakland last week.

The Oakland Police Department has since released several messages to the community barely hinting at an apology for their actions. In fact, their press release last Wednesday denied that they used rubber bullets and flash grenades âÄî âÄúnonlethalâÄù weapons that were indeed used by police the night before as seen in videos circulating through the Internet.

ItâÄôs also been publicized that the use of these weapons may be lethal in the case of one protester, veteran Scott Olsen, who is now hospitalized.

Police Chief Howard Jordan responded to the incident in FridayâÄôs press release, âÄúThe City of Oakland Police Department will continue to place the highest value on policing in a manner that is both constitutional and ethical in its mission to provide a safe place to live, work and play, free of crime and the fear of crime.âÄù

We find that JordanâÄôs flowery language paints a pretty picture in contrast with the reality of his leadership and the OPDâÄôs actions.

The diction of these releases seems phony; the statement doesnâÄôt come off as sincere or meaningful. The tone is inappropriate, to say the least, because there was nothing constitutional or ethical about the violent police response last Tuesday. In fact, it was just the opposite.

The staff of the Campanil newspaper supports the right to free speech, and most of us are disgusted by the behavior of the OPD and their disingenuous press releases.

Regardless of a certain stance on the Occupy movement, this unacceptable act should make everyone feel a stronger sense of solidarity with the protesters than ever before.


This column was originally published in The Campanil at Mills College. Please send comments to [email protected].

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