#OccupyOakland Protesters Struck Intentionally by Car, Cops Let Driver Go Free
November 2, 2011 – 11:30 pm Pacific
Two #occupiers were hit by a car tonight in downtown Oakland – one was dragged 30 feet and sustained an “obviously” broken leg, photos of the other victim are below.
Eyewitnesses say that after hitting the pedestrians, the car accelerated, but was unable to break through a wall of other #occupiers, who were at critical mass. The angry crowd slowed the car to a stop, encircled it, coffee was thrown on the roof, and the driver of the white Mercedes (a white male, 18-24) switched seats with the passenger (white female, 18-24) in an apparent effort to disguise who was driving.
Once the police arrived, the crowd told the police of the drivers’ deception, and the pair sheepishly switched back to their original seats. After a moment, the driver took off. The crowd was surprised and immediately livid, shouting at the police officer, who left without addressing the crowd. Every single person at the scene was stunned that the driver could get away without being arrested. Why wasn’t the driver arrested? Perhaps this is an answer…
The driver had been waiting for for pedestrian traffic to clear, and in his growing impatience and recklessness, he struck the pedestrians. But with Broadway at complete critical mass – literally a wall of functionally unmovable humanity – common sense defies trying to brave the street in a car. But it didn’t stop this driver, and now people are in the hospital.
Both the victims were African American, the driver and passenger were both white and affluent. In the video below of the aftermath of the driver’s departure, other #occupiers shout that if the races had been reversed, the driver would have been arrested.
Police are willing to teargas, abuse, and disrespect peaceful protesters, including fire beanbag rounds at close range (which injured Scott Olsen, who was doing nothing more than standing in a street), while two blocks away, they’re willing to let a driver go home when he hit multiple pedestrians, tried to drive away, and even tried to blame it on his girlfriend. The only respectable human beings here are the protesters, and they’re being run over by cars.
The mayor, Jean Quan, and Oakland Police originally supported the #occupyOakland movement. Later, in the days leading up to October 25, the mayor switched her stance, and ordered police to clear the camp for unclear reasons – sanitation was the only official reason, but multiple accounts confirm that the encampment was adequately sanitary.
On the 25th, #occupiers were tear gassed, injured seriously, and arrested. Mayor Quan was conveniently out of town during the raid that she herself ordered, on the calendar day she picked. After the violence, Mayor Quan apologized. OPD issued their statement of confusion, because they can’t keep up with the Mayor’s changing stance.
On November 2, #occupyOakland led a general strike, which ultimately shut down most of the city of Oakland, including downtown, the port, and various shops, and businesses. The mayor gave city workers the day off in honor of the strike. At times, it felt like she was actually leading the strike.
The General Strike was almost totally peaceful, with the exception of window damage at various banks around town (see below). Firefighters from a neighboring city were serving hamburgers to the #occupiers, and hours later, police dealt out tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper balls as the city of Oakland, once again, reversed its stance on violence toward peaceful people.
Why can’t cops shoot beanbag rounds at hit and run drivers?
Last week, a veteran of the Iraq war was shot in the head by police and remains in serious condition. Tonight, police let a hit and run driver go home – a block away. Do the police fight crime in Oakland? Or just protesters? I’m confused too, now.