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Oakland Police Officer’s Association to Occupy Camp: Oakland In State Of Emergency

| November 11, 2011
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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 of Oakland.  Right now, Oakland is in a state of emergency.

Our police officers are the 99% struggling in Oakland neighborhoods every day to contain the 1% who rob, steal, rape and murder our law-abiding citizens.  The Occupy Oakland protest, now 30 days old, is taking our police officers out of Oakland neighborhoods and away from protecting the citizens of Oakland.

In an average city in California, this might not be of emergency proportions for its citizens.  Oakland is not an “average” city – we have the highest violent crime rate in California.  We are the 5th most violent city in the United States – with more shootings and homicides than any city west of the Mississippi.

Last night’s murder, right in the epicenter of Occupy Oakland, is unacceptable.  So is the violence being promoted by “renegade” protesters who are lighting firebombs, destroying property and attacking police.

What is even more tragic is that homicides are a frequent occurrence in Oakland.  This is the real emergency:  Yesterday’s murder was Oakland’s 101st homicide of 2011.  It is time for us to stop directing all of our efforts at policing the small enclave of “Occupy Oakland” and get back to our job of protecting the citizens of Oakland in the neighborhoods where our residents live.

The events of recent weeks have shown that many occupiers at Frank Ogawa Plaza are citizens of other communities with limited interest in preserving the greater good and safety of our City.

Please, we ask you: Leave Frank Ogawa Plaza peacefully and immediately so Oakland Police can get back to work fighting the devastating crime that’s occurring in our neighborhoods.

You have sent the world a strong message; now it is time to go home.  Your leaving today, peacefully, of your own free will, on the 30th day, will send a message to Oakland that you care about our citizens and respect our city.

With last night’s homicide, in broad daylight, in the middle of rush hour, Frank Ogawa Plaza is no longer safe.  Please leave peacefully, with your heads held high, so we can get police officers back to work fighting crime in Oakland neighborhoods.

Thank you.

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  • Rob Miller

    The OPD POLICE ADMINISTRATION is the only entity that’s “taking our police officers out of Oakland neighborhoods and away from protecting the citizens of Oakland.” Occupy Oakland isn’t doing any such thing.

    Over-policing a protest that is never violent until provoked by police action is a mistake in police allocation.

    So yes, OPD, go — scatter away throughout the entire city of Oakland to go catch bad guys.

    Just stop deluding yourself about who the actual bad guys are.

    And OPOA, perhaps a better use of your influence and this “open letter” tactic would be to encourage the lawmakers in Oakland to acknowledge and take action toward ending some of the corrupt practices that have brought California, the US, and the world to a state where protest is the only option that gets any attention.

    Occupy exists and will remain until lawmakers summon the political will to attack the real problems, instead of over-policing citizens who speak out in refusal to tolerate the corrupt status quo.

  • Adrian Dyer

    Hopefully we all can agree that Frank Ogawa Plaza has become an unsafe place. These last 30 days have seen a sharp upsurge in men with guns. They come dressed for the occasion in armored vehicles and unmarked sedans.

    Meanwhile, the desperate author of this open letter seems to want it both ways. “With last night’s homicide, in broad daylight,” the author writes. Which was it? Last night, or broad daylight? Since s/he is using this ‘detail’ to justify an irrelevant action, facts count.

    If we read between the lines, though, it differs only slightly from a tacit invitation to martial law. Are the keywords “Oakland In State Of Emergency” a warning of FEMA troops taking lethal action against unarmed peaceful protesters? Could tonight mark the start of a new epoch in our history?

    We’ll find out soon enough.