10.26.2011

mayor jean quan faces harsh criticism for occupy oakland police brutality



When I wrote about the effort to recall Mayor Jean Quan earlier in the week, I had no idea all hell was simultaneously busting loose in the streets of Oakland, where police brutally cracked down on Occupy Oakland protestors. Now she's being criticized from all sides for the violent police action: Occupy Oakland: Jean Quan 'I don't know everything.'
Seventeen law enforcement agencies and hundreds of officers cleared out a squatter city at City Hall's main plaza in the predawn hours. Santana said campers' unwillingness to address reports of violence, sexual assault, defecation and open flames prompted the sweep.

Even though the morning raid involved no reported injuries, the evening was different. Protesters gathered to retake the plaza but were blocked by police. Protesters hurled paint, bottles, rocks and chemicals at officers, who responded with tear gas.

On Wednesday, protesters showed wounds that seemed to indicate police use of nonlethal projectiles, like rubber bullets and bean bags.

Santana said she and Jordan decided on the 3 a.m. Tuesday morning time because that's when they anticipated the fewest campers.

"We wanted the minimum impact," Santana said in an interview.

Quan, however, said she did not know that Santana and Jordan had planned the raid for Tuesday morning and, in fact, "I didn't think it was going to be last night."
It seems to me that these are important things a mayor should know about what's going down in their city. Quan claims she played a deferential role in the sweep and wasn't fully aware of what was happening, but critics view her as the main person responsible for the night's bloodshed: Tell Oakland Mayor Jean Quan: Condemn and investigate police brutality!

Keith Olbermann says Quan should fire the city's acting police chief or resign: Olbermann: Oakland mayor must fire police chief or resign.

And now, in an odd reversal, Quan suddenly sounds downright supportive of the Occupy Wall Street movement. How does that work again? Oakland mayor now claims to 'support' the occupation.