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Occupy Oakland: Police justified in taking action, chief says

October 25, 2011 | 11:19 pm

Oakland Tear Gas

By 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, the number of Occupy Oakland protesters had thinned. But as tear gas cleared, a committed and angry crowd returned. Police remained vigilant and said they would continue to monitor Frank Ogawa Plaza throughout the night.

In a news conference earlier in the evening, Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said 102 arrests had been made but that number was increasing. Eight-five of those arrests were made early Tuesday, when officers raided the Occupy Oakland encampment on the plaza along with an annex in a park near Lake Merritt.

Jordan justified his department's use of tear gas.

"We were in a position where we had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks," he said.

PHOTOS: Occupy Oakland protest

Protesters had also thrown paint "and other agents" at officers, he said. The crowd reached about 1,000 at its peak, Jordan said, noting that police used bean bag rounds to disperse demonstrators. He said no rubber bullets were used -- a claim disputed by protesters.

Two officers were injured, Jordan said. He did not know how many demonstrators may have been hurt.

In an interview with KTVU-TV Channel 2, Officer David Carman said he had been hammered by paintballs and more.

"The crowd started throwing bottles, paints, beer, eggs at myself and the other officers," he said.


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-- Lee Romney in Oakland

Photo: People flee after tear gas is fired in Oakland. Credit: Associated Press