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Police response to Occupy Oakland was flawed, report says

June 14, 2012 |  9:53 pm

A report criticizes the police response to Occupy Oakland
The Oakland Police Department's response to an Occupy Oakland protest in October was flawed by poor planning, inadequate staffing and outdated policies and protocols, an independent study has found.

The department was plagued by "systemic" and "daunting problems" when hundreds of Oakland and other police officers cleared protesters from a park and plaza near City Hall on the morning of Oct. 25 and clashed later that evening and night with demonstrators who returned downtown, according to the report by the Frazier Group.

Officers fired less-than-lethal projectiles into the crowds, critically injuring Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, who was struck in the head while peacefully protesting. He suffered a skull fracture. About 100 people were arrested during clashes with police and protesters across the city's downtown area.

PHOTOS: Occupy Oakland protest

City officials acknowledged shortcomings outlined in the report, which was released Thursday, and said they had already begun reforms to improve the Police Department and make it more accountable and transparent. Among the reforms underway, officials said, are improved training and revising use-of-force reporting.

“This is not an easy report to release, but we are committed to confronting the truth and implementing meaningful reforms,” Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement.

The report, which was commissioned by the city, listed 68 recommendations. The report said Police Chief Howard Jordan had set “the tone for his organization, making departmental improvement his highest strategic priority."


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Photo: Tear gas in downtown Oakland during clashes between police and protesters. Credit: Associated Press