A new report by the federal monitor overseeing the Oakland Police Department officers pointed their weapons at a sleeping baby while executing a search warrant.
“Two officers pointed their firearms at a sleeping 19-month-old child who, of course, posed no immediate threat to the officers or others,” said the Jan. 30 report by Robert Warsaw. “The crime being investigated, according to the reports, involved a misdemeanor offense.”
Warshaw’s findings also revealed a lack of thoroughness by the department in addressing complaints made by Occupy Oakland protesters involving excessive force.
“In these situations, if citizens had not made complaints, the misconduct would not have been reported or investigated; and officers would not have been disciplined for their misconduct,” Warshaw said in his report.
In 11 out of 84 internal affairs cases, Warshaw said in his review, officers refused to provide information that could have led to supervisors being disciplined.
“OPD officers consistently avoided commenting about the misbehavior — and sometimes, felonious actions — of their fellow officers,” his review said. “They apparently remembered seeing participants in the demonstrations and riots clearly, but often could not say which officers were next to them even when they viewed videos of the incidents. Particularly troubling were the failures of supervisors to lead their subordinates or to comment on their actions. We found instances where supervisors, even when viewing videos of clearly improper behavior, were evasive and reluctant to comment.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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