Prominent Lawyers Group Charge Oakland Police w/ using Excessive Force-Walter Riley, Lawyer & Father of Boots of the Coup Arrested

For those who don’t know, Oakland Police used what they called a containment strategy. This is where they had large numbers of police on all 4 sides of a street which prevented folks who came to speak out from leaving. So what this meant was the heavily publicized speak out which was sanctioned and supported by the city of Oakland had lots of folks come to 14th and Broadway and City Hall. At 8’clock the police shut it down as planned.

The police then announced it was an unlawful assembly and people would be subject to arrest if they did not leave. This included everyone from elected officials to lawyers to press who didn’t have the special green cards that the police had issued to corporate outlets embedded with them..

When people went to leave they walked down Broadway toward the city center where they were met by a line of police who pushed the crowd and started marching in the opposite direction..

As the crowd moved hastily back past 14th street to 16th they were met by another line of riot police who told them they could not go past… This meant the crowd of two hundred or so folks turned to go up 14th only to find another wall of police who were advancing forward. This left one way to go which was toward City hall which had its backstage area and other exit points blocked off or into the BART station.

Police closed the BART. So folks were contained in this human box set up by the police who were advancing forward in full riot gear. People got angry and that’s when the Footlocker on broadway got ransacked.  What was not shown on the news was the police in full riot gear were standing right there. Seems to me they could’ve easily moved in, but opted not to, while at the same time preventing peaceful protestors from leaving.  Some of the aggressive behavior is captured in the footage below..

-Davey D-

OPD, Law Enforcement Used Excessive Force At Oscar Grant Protests: NLG Decries Police Tactics, Assaults on Peaceful Protesters

Yesterday at 8:31pm


Press Conference Wednesday, July 14, 12 Noon, 14th and Broadway in Oakland

Oakland—Despite claims by Oakland Police (OPD) and city officials that law enforcement used restraint during last Thursday’s protests following the Johannes Mehserle verdict, details emerging paint a very different picture. Police used excessive force against a largely peaceful protest, violently attacking a number of people. Police arrested many demonstrators who had done nothing wrong, and then held them in jail through the night and in some cases through the weekend and beyond.

Among those arrested were NLGSF member, and prominent Oakland attorney, Walter Riley. “Thursday’s law enforcement conduct must be investigated. The police were provocative and seemed determined to instigate violence, which of course, served their police contract negotiations with Oakland at a time when they are facing layoffs of 80 officers,” said Riley. “In the organized rally where protesters, including me, were helping to ensure peaceful protest, the police helped to perpetuate a narrative of violence by allowing a small number of people to vandalize businesses when they could have stopped it.”

Also arrested were Oakland School Board member Jumoke Hinton Hodge, 69-year-old former school principal Susan Harman, journalists and legal observers. Many of the arrestees were seriously injured by the police, including a handful who were taken to the hospital from the scene and at least one individual who was denied medication, causing a potentially life threatening situation to an elderly member of the community.

“Last Thursday a court in Los Angeles sent a disgraceful message about police violence, and that message was reinforced by the conduct of Oakland Police and other law enforcement Thursday evening,” said Carlos Villarreal, NLGSF Executive Director. “OPD and outside agencies brought in as reinforcement used overwhelming force on a largely nonviolent assembly, sweeping up lawyers, legal observers, journalists and community members, and seriously injuring a number of individuals.”

Walter Riley Father of Boots Riley of the Coup was Arrested in front of his Law Office

Several years ago the National Lawyers Guild and ACLU obtained a $2 million settlement in a lawsuit over OPD brutality toward demonstrators, and at that time OPD adopted new crowd control policies designed to safeguard freedom of speech in just this sort of volatile situation.

“If OPD had followed its own crowd control policies, the injuries would have been avoided,” explained NLGSF attorney Rachel Lederman. “The aggressive use of police formations, baton beatings and indiscriminate arrests were unnecessary and violated people’s constitutional right to protest. To make things even worse, OPD violated state law by jailing people for long periods of time who had been arrested for very minor offenses.”

The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns the police abuse by OPD and other law enforcement on the scene and is investigating possible legal action. The NLGSF is a human rights bar association founded in 1937 with hundreds of members throughout the Bay Area. Find out more at

Carlos Villarreal

Executive Director

National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area Chapter


Special Haiti Relief Fundraiser & Benefit Tonite at Oakland’s Black Dot Cafe

Haiti media-medical team fundraiser Sunday

While an estimated 20,000 people in Port au Prince are dying needlessly of medical neglect every day, according to Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health, LA Times photo captions calling people “looters” and Anderson Cooper’s “looting” stories on CNN are catching a lot of criticism. One LA Times photo showing a “looter” wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt made me wonder whether our president, as much as he loves his wife and little girls, would watch them die without doing all he could to save them.

The mission of the media-medical team being organized by Minister of Information JR will flip the script by meeting the medical needs Haitians identify and broadcasting the stories Haitians most want the world to hear. You know they’ll go where the needs are greatest and the stories most compelling because they’re being guided by Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee, one of the most highly esteemed and trusted Haitians in the U.S.

To help send them to Haiti NOW when the need is greatest, please either

  • Come and bring your family and friends to the Haiti Relief Benefit tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., at the Black Dot Café, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland, featuring Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee and attorney Walter Riley of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund or
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to HRIN (Hurricane Relief Information Network), the Bay View’s nonprofit project founded after Katrina for survivors of that and subsequent disasters. Donate online at Support SF BayView (scroll down to MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION) or by mailing your check, made out to HRIN, to SF Bay View, 4917 Third St., San Francisco CA 94124-2309. Call us at (415) 671-0789 if you need more information.

For the past week, I’ve been concentrating so hard on coverage of Haiti that I’ve fallen way behind on reading my email, so please forgive me if your messages are unanswered. I’m trying hard to catch up. Call (415) 671-0789 if your message can’t wait.

Willie was out all day today with a small army of volunteers gathering signatures for the recall of San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. Read Sophie Maxwell: Why recall? Why now? to find out why. Tomorrow, Sunday, and part of Monday are the last days to sign the petition to put the recall on the June ballot. Call (415) 671-0789 right away if you live in District 10 and want to sign.

Here are the latest stories (there’d be more, but our internet connection has been down much of today):

From Cynthia McKinney: An unwelcome Katrina redux (with details on the benefit)

Former KPFA broadcaster Nadra Foster facing trial Feb. 5 (with videos) Pack the courtroom Friday, Feb. 5, 9 a.m., 7th & Washington, 4th floor, Dept. 111

Earthquake in Haiti: Under Aristide, Haitians were prepared for disaster, interview with Pierre Labossiere (with audio and photos of the Candlelight Vigil by Kamau Amen-Ra)

Pam Africa on the Supreme Court ruling against Mumia

Venezuela steps up aid effort to Haiti, questions U.S. military deployment

Lennar’s trickle up ‘profits’

Haiti: NGOs and relief groups call for immediate and widespread distribution of water and other aid

‘Cannabis: Legalize It or Not’

Traffic to is way up with folks looking to us for honest coverage of Haiti. Whenever you visit, remember to check our Calendar of Events for great ways to make a difference and Pen Pals for a friend who’s reaching out to Bay View readers like you.

Mary Ratcliff, editor

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Breakdown FM Podcast: The Wars Waged Against Haiti-Interview w/ Pierre LaBossiere of the Haiti Action Committee

Click HERE to Listen to Interview on Breakdown FM

Pierre LaBossiere is a community elder and long time Haitian born activist who has been letting many of us know about the challenges, triumphs and tribulations that have beset the Island nation.

He’s been doing this long before the devastating earthquake. He’s been doing this long before many of us knew about rap star Wyclef Jean who today has put this country on the map for a generation of people.

LaBossiere and his organization have been on the ground fighting the hindering and oppressive policies put forth by the Clinton and later Bush administrations. He’s been one of those people who has long reminded us about the shady stuff our government had a hand in which resulted in former Haitian President Aristide being removed (kidnapped) from office..

When we saw that President Obama had tapped former President’s Bill Clinton and George Bush to head up fund-raising efforts , the first person we reached out to was Pierre. As I noted he had long let us know that these figure heads were enemies to Haiti and one of the reasons why the island is in such turmoil.

In our interview LaBossiere goes into rich detail about the politics that have shaped this country and left it destitute. he talks about how Haiti after beating their French slave masters were made to pay reparations to France. They are still paying for that victory..

We talked about the immigration policies of Haiti.. Pierre reminded us that while our Brown brothers and sisters were dying in the deserts of the Southwest United States, Haitian refugees were dying in shark invested waters. He connects the dots and show how US policies have simultaneous crippled both countries..

During our interview we got crucial updates including the plight of Boots Riley (lead rapper for the Coup) father Walter Riley who was on the island when the earthquake hit and missing for a few days..

This is a must listen interview that will enlighten you and let you know that Haiti and her people are not some animalistic people who can’t do for self.. They are a people who have been engaged in a war since the days that President Thomas Jefferson considered them a threat to America.. We as a country have never let up..

Included in this interview are several incredible songs from Haitian rapper and historian Mecca aka Grimo… Enjoy and please pass around..

Here’s the URL

The Wars Waged Against Haiti from Thomas Jefferson to Now-Interview w/ Pierre LaBossier

Press the Logo to Listen to podcast

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