The Oakland Police Association released a scathing statement aimed at both Occupy Oakland and Mayor Jean Quan. And they do not like Quan. "As your police officers, we are confused," they say. Representing the 645 police officers "who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland," the association explains that Mayor Quan specifically told them to "clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza." Much to their confusion, she had the protesters return one day later.
But wait, it gets better.
With regard to Wednesday's general strike, wherein locals are asked to take the day off to protest the powers that be, OPOA wonders why Quan gave the green light for her staff to take the day off as well.
In part of their statement released today, Oakland Police Association notes:
To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the 'Stop Work' strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.
That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against “the establishment.” But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest? Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?"
It is all very confusing to us.
Meanwhile, a message has been sent to all police officers: Everyone, including those who have the day off, must show up for work on Wednesday. This is also being paid for by Oakland taxpayers. Last week’s events alone cost Oakland taxpayers over $1 million.
OPOA goes on to say that they're just doing their jobs, protecting citizens. And you know what? They're right. The police are not the big problem here, contrary to what many a filthy first-year UC Berkeley demonstrator might suggest. Directing any ire at blue collar workers has, regrettably, missed the entire point.
That said, OPOA has never, never liked Quan. Perhaps this is their way of putting a nail in her coffin?
Closing out the (let's face it) indictment of Quan, OPOA has a final request for the people of Oakland. "We respectfully ask the citizens of Oakland to join us in demanding that our City officials, including Mayor Quan, make sound decisions and take responsibility for these decisions. Oakland is struggling - we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead - not send mixed messages. Thank you for listening."
Read the statement in its entirety here.
Meanwhile, the ACLU has come down hard on the Oakland Police Department, saying that the internal investigation around use of force against Occupy Oakland demonstrators last week isn't enough. "The public deserves an investigation that is independent, thorough, and transparent. In the past, OPD has recognized that an independent review by an outside Board of Inquiry is necessary when there is a need to understand what happened during significant incidents. That's exactly what the situation calls for here," said Linda Lye, Staff Attorney for the ACLU.