Update here: CHP Officer Who Drew Gun After Unmasking As False Protester Thought He Was Going To Die
Last night's demonstrations in Oakland were reportedly smaller than those of the past few days, with around two hundred protestors present at its peak. Nonetheless, they were not without incident.
NBC News is reporting that when a man embedded with demonstrators was recognized as an undercover cop, he drew his gun and aimed it at protestors, before making an arrest (for reasons that are, as yet, unclear) as his partner held off angry members of the rally.
Only a few dozen protestors were still present at the time, says KTVU, which reports that two agents of an as yet unnamed law enforcement agency were recognized, as demonstrators yelled, "Hey, they're undercover, they're cops!"
The two policemen started to walk away, but the protesters persisted, screaming at the two undercover cops. One of the officers pushed a protester aside. The man responded by pushing back and then the officer tackled him to the ground, handcuffing him.
The crowd, incensed, began to gather around them. The second officer pulled out his gun and pointed it at the crowd. More officers quickly arrived and dispersed the crowd.
The shocking pictures of the incident that have been circulating since Wednesday night were captured by by photographer Noah Berger for Reuters.
Undercover police ARE violent protesters. In Oakland, cop pulls gun (not badge) on crowd after being exposed. pic.twitter.com/nBYc8MurZq— The Dreamkiller (@Eyeslam) December 11, 2014
Via Twitter, many expressed outraged over the photos and pointed a social media finger at the Oakland Police Department. But also tweeting was OPD Lt. Chris Bolton, who said that the undercover agent was not OPD but from an outside agency.
The #OaklandProtest pictured man isn't an OPD officer & not an OPD arrest. OPD 1st responded to scene on report from other agency. 1/1— Lt. Chris Bolton (@OPDChris) December 11, 2014
2/2 That outside agency has been notified to provide details and address concerns re #OaklandProtest concerns.— Lt. Chris Bolton (@OPDChris) December 11, 2014
[Updates] Per SF Weekly, Bolton has confirmed that the two agents were California Highway Patrol officers. The Chronicle has also spoken with freelance photographer Michael Short who was on the scene. “Just as we turned up 27th Street, the crowd started yelling at these two guys, saying they were undercover cops,” he told the paper, “Somebody snatched a hat off the shorter guy’s head and he was fumbling around for it. A guy ran up behind him, knocked him down on the ground. That guy jumped backed up and chased after him and tackled him and the crowd began surging on them. The other taller guy had a small baton out,” Short said. “But as the crowd started surging on them, he pulled out a gun.”