Last week I noted that there had been a rash of police shootings all over the Bay Area and some of y’all thought I was literally seeing or making up things. Well over the Memorial Day weekend we had three people shot by Bay Area police in two days. Three police shootings in two days is a lot. Ten police shootings in six months by two police departments is a lot. One doesn’t have to look to places like Texas, St. Louis or Louisiana or other Trump-loving states to see questionable police shootings. A lot is happening right here in the Bay Area.
On Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, the first Oakland police officer in our “crisis of corruption” went to court. Brian J. Bunton, who allegedly abused his power as an officer of the law was arraigned on several charges, including felony obstruction of justice and misdemeanor engaging in an act of prostitution. As we finally move forward in the continuing saga of abuse of power by police officials, the question looms, does obstruction of justice really matter? Is obstruction of justice a “victimless crime?”
Relations between the OPD and the community are and have been tense for a long time. The fact that the OPD is still, after 13 years, being monitored by the federal government, with the sad reality of the current sex scandal and the slaughter of the police in Dallas and Baton Rouge – this translates into a climate of low morale, paranoia and dysfunction. All this is made clear by the overreaction of the OPD in its unjustified arrest of Omar Shakir Sunday morning.
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. From the Frantz Fanon quote on several banners to the faces in the protest crowd, the march Wednesday night was largely Black and other people of color and was Black-led.
The Blueford family and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford coalition (JAB) held a vigil for Alan on the one-year anniversary of his murder by Oakland police officer Miguel Masso. JAB has based itself deep within the Afrikan community that birthed it and has brought together many organizations and individuals to fight for justice for Alan and to stop continued police violence.
Oakland had three acting police chiefs in five days last week, and on Thursday, the police department’s controversial consultant, William Bratton, released his six-page report which criticized OPD’s top brass. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan then announced that Oakland would spend $30,000 on a headhunter’s nationwide search for a permanent chief.
Police Chief Greg Suhr and the SF Police Commission finally scheduled and held the required community forums, where Suhr and Comdrs. Richard Corriea and Mikail Ali described the Electronic Control Weapon (ECW) proposal and invited community input. This updated story includes a report on the Tenderloin community forum, organized by residents. All testimony was anti-taser.
Oakland may seem like a local anomaly with its big increase in homicides in 2011-12 and the anti-crime hysteria which now engulfs it. But Oakland is just a prime example of the intertwining of crime and criminalization under capitalism, in which the ruling class divides working people one from another and targets particular groups for victimization.
Oakland’s mayor, chief of police, and city manager announced their intentions to contract with William Bratton as a consultant to the Oakland Police Department. Oakland has become the epicenter of anti-brutality campaigns, so those who want the brutality to continue are bringing in their big guns. Join the Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition and allies on Tuesday, Jan. 15, to tell the Oakland City Council that we reject Bill Bratton and his racist, fascist policies. Meet up at 5:00 for a rally with the meeting at 5:30.
The new “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification, and Management Strategy” will instigate new and more aggressive attacks against prisoners and their families, friends, associates and communities, who are already being victimized by our institutionalized racist system and the prison industrial complex. It is just one of their many policies to persecute prisoners incarcerated in solitary confinement units.
I was swept up and arrested Friday night in Oakland at the end of the Justice for Oscar Grant march. As usual, most Bay Area TV stations gave a factually awful – very pro-police – spin to what happened.
It's Memorial Day, and I was just harassed and detained with unnecessary force right in front of my house on Pine Street by a Sgt. D. Ming, serial number 8493, for about an hour. He called four additional squad cars to back him up.
Oakland has always been filled wit' a gang of lyrical MC's that "gas" ever since Hip Hop really got started in the Bay. Shady Nate is somebody that I could easily see being the King of Bay Area rap in a couple of years.
While the world was watching downtown Oakland burn up in the aftermath of the police murder of Oscar Grant III, rappers Beeda Weeda and J-Stalin put their social commentary into 16 rhyming bars and came out with the Town masterpiece "We Ain't Listening," the remix. Listen at www.blockreportradio.com.