The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Lawyers’ Guild filed a federal civil rights suit against the Oakland Police Department today alleging repeated violations of OPD’s own crowd control policies and asking for an emergency temporary restraining order against Oakland Police.
District Court Judge Richard Seeborg has issued an order requiring the city of Oakland to respond to the lawsuit by 5 PM tomorrow.
The suit was filed on behalf of five plaintiffs, including Scott Campbell, a videographer who was shot with a less-lethal projectile while filming a police line during civil disturbances following the November 2nd general strike.
“I was filming police activity at Occupy Oakland because police should be accountable,” said Campbell. “Now I’m worried about my safety from police violence and about retaliation because I’ve been outspoken.”
The lawsuit, which can be viewed after the jump, alleges that OPD and agencies under their control during mutual aid callouts used indiscriminate and excessive force by targeting demonstrators with flash bang grenades, tear gas and less lethal projectiles on the nights of October 25th and November 2nd. It also charges OPD with intentionally targeting videographers like Campbell with less-lethal projectiles.
OPD’s crowd control policy, which is the result of yet another lawsuit alleging excessive use of force on anti-war demonstrators during an April 2003 protest against the invasion of Iraq, prohibits the indiscriminate use of less-lethal munitions and other projectiles against crowds and peaceful protesters.