Friday, August 12, 2011

OPD wishes somebody would

A recent study by Robert Washaw has found that Oakland police officers drew their guns and pointed them at individuals who did not present a threat 28 percent of the time.
Warshaw is the federal monitor assigned to oversee the Oakland Police Department in the wake of the Riders federal corruption case. He looked at reports of 80 incidents in which 215 officers had drawn their guns between Jan. 1 and March this year.
Officers are escalating their use of force with no information that supports their belief a person is armed, using a tactic that could quickly prove deadly while bypassing less dangerous methods, such as drawing a stun gun or using a hands-on technique.

"In a few instances," Warshaw wrote, "it seemed that the only offense that a subject 'committed' was running from the police. While it is reasonable to assume that someone may be running because (he or she) is wanted or guilty of an offense, running is not, in and of itself, against the law; and it does not serve as justification for pointing a firearm."
-Inside Bay Area

And right on cue, Oakland Police shot an unarmed homeless man last night in el Fruitvale.