Photo: REUTERS/Tim Wimborne
On January 30th, Mayor Quan, as you may remember, made the statement that Occupy Oakland protestors were using Oakland as their “playground”. Not quite how I see it, Your Majesty. I’m in my forties, live in Oakland, work here (I’m a teacher), pay my taxes here, and wouldn’t want to call anywhere else my home. I love Oakland and am proud to say, am an active Occupier. I just want to pass on some personal observations as to the “Occupy problem”.
I grew up in the suburbs around the bay. Pacifica, Fairfield/Suisun, Vallejo, Port Costa, etc. I grew up living right next door to the officers who make up the many police departments around the bay. Including OPD Officers. I knew their kids, went to school with them, attended their weddings and a couple of their funerals. Hell, I even used to target practice with an SF Sheriff’s Deputy. One thing I’ll tell you is that the officers I knew quite vocally let their opinions of the population of Oakland known.
Though it’s been years and the obsolete specifics I can’t recall, what I can recall is the message. The hatred and total disregard for the population of Oakland is what stands out. Particularly that of the African American population (surprise surprise). I can also tell you that the majority of these guys can’t wait to use their new toys on people (flash-bangs, less-than-lethals, etc.) Temper these with a “boys club” mentality and a “blue line” code of silence and what you have is very much what we have in Iraq and Afghanistan: A very large, professionally trained and well-armed group of racist, suburban frat-boys, who’ve demonized the population they are pretending to protect and serve.
In other words, Your Lordship Mayor, It is your Police Department that is using Oakland as it’s playground. Like the bullies they are, they don’t dare do it in their own yards. They prefer to jump the fence and kick someone else’s ball on the roof…