I noticed that at appropx 5:40 into my video, when people are saying “OPD arrested her for a broken headlight”, you can hear one of the OPD motorcycle cops saying “Get it right, get it right!”
It wasn’t OPD who pulled the car over and made the arrest, it was the California Highway Patrol. And as Lexi pointed out to me this morning, I think CHP fucked up and suspect some people in OPD share that opinion.
The night’s march(es) had gone totally smoothly. No vandalism, nothing burned but an American Flag (that presumably the protester himself bought), minimal police presence the whole night. Just a few cycle cops running traffic blocks on all four sides of the march (it’s Saturday night in Oakland, there’s only so much traffic one CAN block).
No riot lines deployed, everybody was going home after a non-aggro evening.
Then CHP has to be the asshole, HAS to get some kind of arrest in. On what really seems like bullshit.
At which point the Occupiers get all bent out of shape, start mobbin, and OPD has to come in a stand in to do crowd control. After a perfectly peaceful night that was winding down, suddenly the hornet’s nest is kicked. More occupiers are getting arrested, more people getting pissed off.
Now, CHP are the ones who swooped in and arrested the driver, but it’s OPD that has to deal with the Occupiers on a day-to-day basis, in particular now that they got riled up. Trust me NOTHING riles up Occupy Oakland more than arresting their people. Tear gas and bean-bags are one thing, but you start dragging their friends of to Santa Rita jail and IT’S ON.
I really think that OPD cycle cop saying “Get it right” was trying to drive home the point: it was CHP that chose to be assholes after it had all gone mellowly. But it’s OPD that will get blamed, and it’s OPD that has to pick up the mess.
OPD is fucked-up and bullshit. But they had been hands-off all night, gave the FTP marchers room to do their thing on relatively deserted streets, through some pretty supportive neighborhoods, and it was time for a beer and a bowl.
I blame this one on CHP, I really do. OPD don’t need help to be fucked up. But this hornet’s nest had Ponch and Jon written all over the boot that kicked it.