Do Not Resist the Police! Oakland Police Conduct Mass Arrest During Oscar Grant Protests

Police might as well prepared Marshall Law in Oakland, because they arrested everyone in sight near 6th and east 17th. They declared the entire block a ‘crime scene’ and said everyone within it were arrested as agitators. Police claimed that a rock was thrown at them. Over 150 people were arrested including folks who weren’t even part of the march.

Here’s the link to our special Hard Knock RadioFlashpoints broadcast on the Johannes Mehserle sentencing with myself and Sabrina Jacobs…Our guest included Oscar Grant’s uncle Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby,Jack Bryson who’s sons were on the Fruitvale BART platform w/ Oscar when he was killed….We also spoke with Grant family lawyer John Burris, LA correspondent Thiandiswe ChimurengaM1 of dead prezMinister Keith Muhammad of the Nation of Islam Jesse Strauss Dennis Bernstein and Miguel Molina of Flashpoints and Alan Gomez of Puente Arizona.

Here’s a link to the show


Tonight Oakland Police showed us what Marshall Law was all about as they conducted mass arrests in East Oakland around 6th and East 17th. All in all over 150 people were arrested and likely to be taken to North County or Santa Rita for the weekend.

This all began when about 500 marchers left downtown where city hall is located and attempted to march to the Fruitvale BART station where Oscar Grant was murdered. OPD had devised a boxed in strategy which was described as a scrimmage line. With the use of helicopters, dozens of patrol cars  and undercover cops spread throughout the crowd, police in a series of manuevers tried to corral marchers into a block and immobilize them.

The marchers were a multi-ethnic crowd featuring people of all ages and classes. many were disappointed with the outcome and felt that justice was not served. The overwhelming majority of the marchers were peaceful, in fact this was affirmed early on KGO News who had a reporter in the crowd. As the night went on the narrative changed when it was reported that some car windows were broken. Even though this wasn’t done my  99% of the marchers it was the excuse the police needed. One of the marchers described the police as increasingly aggressive when they found it it difficult to contain 500 people.

When folks arrived at 6th and East 17th the police in riot gear had all sides blocked and declared the area a crime scene. Many of the folks had no idea what that meant and why they were not allowed to leave. Police then announced that everyone except the press would be subjected to arrest. Some marchers were getting conflicting information where they were told they could leave, but when they attempted they were told they could not.

Police were on bull horns telling the crowd ‘This is a crime scene Do Not Resist the Police.” Again no one had any idea why it was a crime scene and what that meant.

Observers from Lawyers Guild were told that a rock was thrown at the police and everyone in the march were going to be arrested as ‘agitators’. This was the story given when I was out there. Imagine our surprise when we got home and saw the evening news running stories saying that someone had snatched a gun from the holster of an officer, and someone else had hit an officer with a car. That wasn’t the 500 people in the march, those were two individuals, both who have been arrested.

We later heard that everyone was arrested for unlawfully assembly. None of this information was made known to the veteran reporters who called into our L’Onda radio show on KPFA including a veteran cop watch leader who was with the marchers as an observer and not allowed to leave with the accredited press.

The police also claim that folks had broken other windows. The question raised is why blame everyone in the march? Police had undercover officers amongst the marchers, they weren’t aware of who specifically violated the law? Why not give folks an opportunity to disperse versus arresting everyone wholesale?

Do Not Resist the Police seemed to be the new mantra from an oppressive force that has now gotten away with murder.

Folks observing the mass arrests were talking about the outlandish remarks attributed to sentencing Judge Robert J Perry. This included him telling the Grant family that with President Obama in the White House folks should not see this incident as racial. He parroted all the talking points of the defense and pretty much blamed Oscar Grant for his own death. Please listen to the radio interview we posted up that features report backs from several people who sat in the courtroom including Grant’s Uncle and news reporter Thandi Chimurenga Here’s the link:

Many are trying to figure out ways to remove him from the bench.. here’s a link to that process

Police systematically booked people. from what we observed they seemed to be separating organizers from 'ordinary folk's

Jack Bryson's two sons were on the platform and witnessed Oscar get killed. He was still in shock over some of the outrageous things Judge Robert Perry said before sentencing Johannes Mehersle. He wants see him recalled

There was hundreds of police out in the streets..They out-numbered protestors

To see more photos click link below

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14 comments on “Do Not Resist the Police! Oakland Police Conduct Mass Arrest During Oscar Grant Protests

  1. great post, great reporting davey. was following you on the radio and on twitter for all of the updates…

    listen to the arrests unfold LIVE ON AIR on Full Circle, which was on KPFA from 7 to 8pm on Friday, Nov 5th.

    we have systematic problems, from the police to the courts to the media. who can we trust? we must rely on the humans that we know and build strength from the ground up, from our communities to the top. thanks to everyone on the ground for standing together and exposing the truth of this despicable situation.

  2. Davey, why doesn’t KPFA’s live stream work anymore? It hasn’t worked in ages. For a while, the fresno affiliate was working, but now that doesn’t work either. I can only listen to archives now.

  3. this kind of reportage is a good reason why we need shows like Flashpoints and HKR–both of which have been designated for budget cuts by KPFA management.

  4. Thanks Dave for being on the scene and doing some real reporting. Meanwhile the Chronicle and NY Times repeat whatever crap the police feeds them.

  5. Pingback: Do Not Resist the Police! Oakland Police Conduct Mass Arrest During Oscar Grant Protests (via Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner-(The Blog)) « combatcontrol

  6. And hey, we have an Oscar Grant protestor wearing a shirt with Lovelle Mixon, the guy who raped a 12 year old girl and later killed 4 cops.

    Way to keep it classy, Oakland.

    Oakland even had a march for this piece of human garbage

    Typical Oakland. You people are so consumed in your misogyny and racism that all you see is race. All that matter to you as that it was a black guy. So what if he raped a 12 year old girl and killed 4 cops? He’s black so he’s one of us.

    And where was the parade or the support for the rape victim? Oh yeah, this is Oakland where black males are one of the most racist and misogynistic creatures out there. They could really care less about a 12 year old girl being raped by one of their own. They’re to busy bitching about colonialism, slave master, welfare handouts, blah, blah, blah.

  7. RobThomas –

    When I go to KPFA’s home page, there’s an headphone icon off to the right; it works fine for me. Here’s some help with it, though.

    One of the things that just blew me away was when ‘Uncle Bobby’ was talking about the reading of the letters and the judge pointing out the contrast between black letter writers and white letter writers.

    The most practical route, of course, is to find out whether judge is elected and start the process to have him removed from the bench.

  8. Great article – I was one of the 150 arrested and I spent the night in jail simply for being part of a 99% peaceful (including myself) group that was guilty of nothing more than marching, carrying signs, and chanting. The fact that the police were able to get away with throwing us in jail proves that we can’t stop the fight against police brutality and abuse of authority.

  9. wordsmith, thank you. the streaming link worked a couple of hours ago, doesn’t work again. Do you use firefox?

    Anyway, about the judge….if he really did that, he needs to be removed. They need to rehear the sentencing phase. Talk about a bias. An obvious racist on the bench.

  10. This is some b.s. for real! Great job reporting, as always. Y’all keep on fighting, organizing and resisting!

  11. Rob – Yes, I use Firefox. Sometimes when things don’t work I resort to Internet Explorer but not often, don’t like it. If you can download iTunes, I get it on there, too. And – as a matter of fact, at work, I use MSN’s player or WinAmp because we’re not allowed to use iTunes.

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