by Tynan Krakoff
A Berkeley-Oakland march protesting police violence following the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner ended abruptly late Wednesday night, Dec. 10, after an undercover police officer pulled a gun on protesters and arrested and assaulted the Black man who blew their cover.
The two undercover agents, seen in the photo, were hidden within the crowd of a couple hundred protests who marched from near UC Berkeley to downtown Oakland Wednesday night, including Berkeley High School students who had participated in a mass walk-out that afternoon, in the third week of nightly protests against police violence against people of color and the non-indictment of the white officers who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner.
The man seen being arrested in the photo had “outed” the undercover cops and, once their covers were blown, a fight broke out and dozens of police officers swarmed in, running so quickly, their helmets, night sticks and other gear were falling to the ground.
Both Oakland and Berkeley police reportedly denied they employed the agents. Lt. Chris Bolton, @OPDChris, confirmed on Twitter at 11:17 a.m. Dec. 11, “Yes, it was a CHP (California Highway Patrol) arrest conducted by CHP officers.”
The encounter occurred on 24th Street near Harrison in Oakland Lake Merritt and the Whole Foods store, which the police seemed determined to protect after the Whole Foods store in Berkeley had been the target of protesters.
Tynan Krakoff is an Oakland-based organizer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an eyewitness account.
From Noah Berger, the Reuters photographer – includes more of his photos: