Plainclothes cop points gun at California protesters
December 12, 2014
An undercover policeman pulled a gun on protestors highlighted the clashes between demonstrators and officers in Oakland on Wednesday night. [Huffington Post]
Protesters have demonstrated all week in Oakland and Berkeley, rallying against recent grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in cases in which black civilians died. The protests have led to fighting, looting, Molotov cocktail throwing and numerous arrests.
On Wednesday, some protesters identified two officers in civilian attire marching in a crowd alongside demonstrators. A scuffle ensued in which one of the officers pulled out his handgun and pointed it at protesters.
Members of the crowd photographed the officer doing so. Officials later identified him as a California Highway Patrol officer.
The officer did not fire any shots, and most of those gathered around him quickly dispersed.
On Thursday, Avery Browne, chief of Golden Gate division of the CHP, defended the actions of the undercover officer. The officer was protecting himself and his partner from a mob that encircled them, Browne said.
“We are extremely cognizant and sensitive to the display of a gun,” Browne said. “It can be very upsetting.”
But, Browne said a crowd of about 50 was closing in on the two officers. When the officers attempted to leave, one of the protesters struck one of the policemen in the back of the head.
A woman then bolted from the crowd and kicked the same officer in the head, Browne said. The officer who had not been attacked then pulled the gun.
However, a report from KTVU News, however, stated that the scuffle began when of one the officers pushed a protester aside. The demonstrator responded by pushing back, upon which the officer tackled him to the ground and handcuffed him.
Browne said the officer was treated for concussion-like symptoms and soft tissue injuries.
The man who allegedly attacked him was charged with felony battery and assault. Police did not catch the woman accused of kicking the officer.