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Crosscurrents

Protests impacting Oakland Police work, may impact federal oversight

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Occupy Oakland made a peaceful return to Frank Ogawa Plaza last night following a march by several hundred from the Public Library on 14th and Madison to City Hall. Despite holding a packed General Assembly in the amphitheater, dozens of Oakland Police positioned throughout the plaza and the surrounding streets deterred any attempts to set up tents or permanently retake the plaza.

Dealing with Occupy Oakland over the past month and a half has been a costly affair for OPD. Aside from the $2.4 million in police overtime and mutual aid payments, the hundreds of excessive force complaints following the use of tear gas and less-lethal projectiles against demonstrators on October 25th and a lawsuit alleging violations of crowd control policy, the protests are draining manpower from street patrols. And Oakland’s violent year shows no sign of letting up.

There have been 95 killings in Oakland to date this year, according to police statistics. Add to that the seven fatal officer-involved shootings that the Oakland Tribune (and now the Oakland Police Officers’ Association) includes in their homicide count, and you have 102 violent deaths for 2011 so far.

 

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Erica Mu is a reporter and producer for the "Hear Here: A Pop-Up Radio Project" in conjunction with KALW and the Association of Independents in Radio. Mu has reported on the serious side of health and the quirky side of arts, and she's also helped KALW pioneer the digital frontier as the news team’s web strategist and editor. Mu has also organized and directed KALW’s live storytelling events.