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Video key in discipline of police officers in Occupy Oakland protest

January 12, 2012 |  9:01 am

An onlooker's video played a key role in the Oakland Police Department's decision to discipline two officers for conduct during the Occupy Oakland protests.

The video shows the nameplate of one of officers covered with dark tape, according to court documents.

After an expedited internal affairs investigation into the actions of Officer John Hargraves and Lt. Clifford Wong, interim Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan "immediately moved to implement what, in my judgment as chief of police, was appropriate personnel action," Jordan said in a recent written declaration.

PHOTOS: Occupy Oakland in November

Jordan did not disclose the punishment "on advice of my legal counsel," he said in the declaration.

The two officers were among a small group of uniformed officers approached by videographer Terrence Jerod Williams outside police headquarters. Williams said in a declaration that he was concerned that one of the officers had hidden his name "to prevent citizens from identifying him in the event he engaged in acts of misconduct."

In a video that Williams posted on YouTube, the officer ignores his questions about the covered-up nameplate. Williams then asks Wong about the nameplate, and Wong then walks over and strips off the tape to reveal the name "J Hargraves."

Attorneys in a more than decade-long legal case against Oakland and its police department took Hargraves and Wong to federal court in connection with their actions during a one-day general strike called by Occupy Oakland in early November.


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-- Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco