We're not sure what's worse: Spending millions of dollars to protect a concrete and grass plaza from a few dozen earnest hippies and ultimately brutalizing several protesters and launching a nationally vilified tear-gas attack on them, all the while complaining about how much it all cost; or spending weeks trying to decide if they should apologize or stay the course, and then deciding to drop six figures on a report by an independent investigator into the use of force by police and whether it was justified. This would be Oakland we're talking about, and City Administrator Deanna Santana has just announced they will be paying $100,000 for a report from a retired Baltimore cop and a few other consultants which may or may not result in some slaps on the wrists of police officers.

That $100,000 is just for an initial report, mind you, into the incidents that followed the first police eviction of the Occupy encampment on October 25. The city plans to drop more cash on another report to look into police response to the general strike on November 2. Acting police chief Howard Jordan promises "swift and fair corrective actions" if any wrongdoing is found in the investigation.

Critics like reporter Scott Campbell, who was himself an alleged victim of police brutality and who's the subject of a lawsuit from the ACLU, say that the people who are heading this investigation, who are mostly retired cops, aren't going to be impartial.

In any event, we don't want to hear Oakland complaining about their budget when they're dropping this kind of cash on a consultant's report, just so they can have a document to hold up in their defense when the ACLU case gets rolling.