Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is under fire for her leadership, or lack thereof, in the Occupy Oakland protest unrest last Wednesday. It is being reported that the Oakland Police Department came out in riot gear and fired tear gas on 7,000 peaceful protesters. The incident happened minutes after Mayor Quan had tweeted protesters, asking them to call her office.
Jorge Rivas reports, "It's unclear whether the police department contacted the mayor before firing tear gas, but what's clear is that there is tension and disagreement within both the mayor's office and the OPD."
On Monday the Oakland Police Officer's Association, which represents the city's 645 police officers, wrote a scathing open letter to Oakland residents accusing the California city's first Asian-American mayor of not making "sound decisions" and leaving everyone, including the cops, confused.
In a "scathing" letter to Oakland residents, the OPD admonished Mayor Quan for going back and forth between police officers and protesters instead of making decisions and sticking with them.
"On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza," the open letter reads. "We performed the job that the Mayor's Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.
"Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in — to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before."
Wow. The Oakland Police Department is calling out the mayor in a letter, which speaks to their checkered history with police brutality. Perhaps it is the fact that Mayor Quan is the first Asian-American and female mayor of Oakland that causes them to have a problem with her authority.
They claim that they were following orders, but if they were, then why was the mayor tweeting protesters with different instructions at almost the same time (three-minute difference) that they fired on the protesters with tear gas? If they don't have respect for the mayor — their boss — then why would they respect the citizens?
Scott Olsen, the Iraq War Vet critically injured by the Oakland Police, and Oscar Grant III, who was killed by a BART officer on New Year's Day in 2009, speak to the level of violence happening in the city among those in positions of authority like the OPD.
Read more at ColorLines.
In other news: GOP Blocks Obama's Infrastructure Plan.