Oakland Police Department
Derrick Parks, 18, is accused of the rape of a 56-year-old woman in Oakland on Feb. 8, 2011
An 18-year-old Oakland man has been charged with the assault and rape of a 56-year old woman that took place last winter. On February 8th, the woman was walking home from work in the area of 8th and Jackson Streets when she was grabbed from behind, forced into her basement, beaten and sexually assaulted.
Although no witnesses were present, surveillance video OPD later released to the public showed a man walking away from the area. While releasing the video did not yield any leads, a trace on evidence taken from the sexual assault examination of the victim yielded a match on October 27th from a national DNA database for convicted offenders.
Derrick Parks, an 18-year-old man who was already in custody for a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, was identified by the DNA profile as the 56-year-old woman’s attacker.
On November 17, Parks was charged with multiple accounts of rape, forcible sodomy and charging enhancements by the Alameda County District Attorney. He is facing anywhere from 15 years to four life sentences in prison.
Tear gas obscures the intersection of 14th & Broadway in Oakland on October 25, 2011.
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg denied a request by the ACLU of Northern California and the National Lawyers’ Guild for a temporary restraining order preventing excessive use of force by the Oakland Police Department during crowd control situations.
The request for a restraining order stems from the joint ACLU-NLG lawsuit filed earlier this week alleging violations of OPD’s crowd control policies on October 25th and the evening of November 2-3 during clashes between police and Occupy Oakland protesters.
In denying the requested restraining order, Judge Seeborg says the Oakland Police Department’s peaceful clearing of the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza demonstrated no urgent need for restrictions on OPD’s crowd control response. Continue reading
A protester reminds Oakland Police of the department's federal oversight on November 14, 2011
Occupy Oakland made a a peaceful return to Frank Ogawa Plaza last night following a march by several hundred from the Public Library on 14th and Madison to City Hall. Despite holding a packed General Assembly in the amphitheater, dozens of Oakland Police positioned throughout the plaza and the surrounding streets deterred any attempts to set up tents or permanently retake the plaza.
Dealing with Occupy Oakland over the past month and a half has been a costly affair for OPD. Aside from the $2.4 million in police overtime and mutual aid payments, the hundreds of excessive force complaints following the use of tear gas and less-lethal projectiles against demonstrators on October 25th and a lawsuit alleging violations of crowd control policy, the protests are draining manpower from street patrols. And Oakland’s violent year shows no sign of letting up. Continue reading
Unidentified law enforcement officers at 13th and Broadway on the morning of November 14, 2011
Section 830.10 of the California penal code requires all uniformed law enforcement personnel in the state to display the officer’s name or identification number on their uniform. In spite of state law, several police officers deployed on mutual aid assistance to Oakland over the past week – and at least one Oakland Police officer – have covered identifying insignia up with tape or body armor.
During the eviction of Occupy Oakland’s Frank Ogawa encampment yesterday, at least four officers in a group of police from San Mateo law enforcement agencies had their shoulder patches, name tags and any other identifying markings covered with riot gear. The officers would not identify their home agency when asked by this reporter and people in the crowd.
Other officers with body armor over their agency insignia and name tags with no identifying markings on their helmet were observed on the night of November 2-3 as police attempted to disperse a crowd of people following Oakland’s General Strike. Photos after the jump.
A tear gas canister in the middle of 14th and Broadway
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. Continue reading
Oakland Police face off with the Occupy Oakland camp on October 25, 2011
[UPDATE 11/13/11 10:42 PM: The Bay Citizen has confirmed tomorrow morning's raid on Occupy Oakland. Read the full article here]
The following excerpt is from an email send to parents of a school near the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Text from the message was reposted on the Facebook page of Old Oakland, a historic district in downtown Oakland. Rumors have been flying all weekend about imminent police raids on the encampment in front of City Hall. However, three days of cease & desist notices from Oakland authorities, the early opening of the city’s winter homeless shelter and a planned mass demonstration at the University of California-Berkeley on Tuesday are strong indicators that OPD and other law enforcement will take action sooner rather than later.
We are waiting for a response from Oakland Police on the source of this notification and will update as soon as possible.
“A highly coordinated law enforcement raid to clear out OO is planned to take place Monday morning early. Significant public safety mutual aid is being called in from neighboring jurisdictions. The goal is to permanently clear out the OO encampment of illegal activities. Expect to see overwhelming use of force by police directed to occupiers who refuse to comply.
Peaceful protesters are advised by police to stand down until the situation stabilizes. The general public is advised to stay away from the area during the action to avoid potential personal injury from incidental contact with conflicts.”
An unidentified man meditates in front of police tape cordoning off a murder scene in Frank Ogawa Plaza on Nov. 10, 2011.
Use of force by police undeniably an issue in Oakland, as demonstrated by the injuries sustained by Scott Olsen, Kayvan Sabeghi and several other protesters, apparently at the hands of police over the past few weeks during clashes with Occupy Oakland supporters. Street violence is also a familiar story in Oakland – last night’s murder was a tragically familiar narrative. Reportedly, the shooting stemmed from a physical altercation between two groups of young African-American men earlier that day over a marijuana deal. Yesterday afternoon, one of the people involved returned with a posse, chased the young man through the camp, and beat him before shooting him multiple times in the head.
As expected, Oakland politicians such as East Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid and Mayor Jean Quan took the shooting as conclusive evidence that Occupy Oakland must pack up and go. The Oakland Police Officers’ Association also weighed in with their own open letter to Occupy Oakland this morning. Oakland politics treat murder as an immutable fact that needs to be spun to particular political means. Continue reading
OPOA President Dom Arotzarena sent this letter to members of the media this morning, adding to the chorus of voices calling for Occupy Oakland to leave their encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Worth noting is the figure OPOA uses for this year’s homicide count in Oakland. Official OPD statistics indicate there were 91 murders in the city as of November 6th. Counting yesterday’s murder and two other shootings that took place over the weekend, 94 people have been killed in Oakland this year in civilian-on-civilian violence, with 7 people fatally wounded during encounters with police.
An Open Letter to Occupy Oakland from the Oakland Police Officers’ Association
On behalf of the 645 Oakland police officers we represent, this letter comes to you out of duty to protect the Oakland community and its citizens.
Oakland police officers are the 99% and we understand and sympathize with your message. We respect your right to peaceful protest.
We are also sworn to protect the citizens ofOakland. Right now, Oakland is in a state of emergency. Continue reading