Federal Receivership: Good or Bad for Occupy Oakland?
There has been a lot of talk about federal receivership for the Oakland Police Department in the past few weeks, and considering much of the readily available content online via YouTube, various blogs, and live streams, many would say that is a well deserved fate for many recorded incidents.
Thinking about all the defensive statements from Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan, one would be inclined to think that the Occupy Oakland protesters are really crazy and/or violent and should be jailed, or forcibly put in mental institutions for their behavior. It’s unfortunate that these same individuals have the power to send out highly publicized press releases that broadcast their damaging statements against people demanding social change and governmental responsibility at the very least.
However, there are some interesting facts that I have yet to see covered on CNN, or other means of Corporate Media (not all mainstream is biased corporate media in my opinion, say what you will), like the fact that officers with violently abusive backgrounds are/were assigned to the front lines of Occupy Oakland protests. The East Bay Express, a local newspaper, has one of the articles talking about How OPD Used Violent Cops Against Occupy.
One thing I keep thinking about, is the fact that the Police Department is a law enforcement system. Systems have protocols and procedures that are supposed to be followed in every situation. When these are violated there should be a reliable and swift response by way of discipline for unjust actions committed by those working on behalf of the law while being paid to do so by the citizens. This being said, I expect certain behavior from the police department that I cannot expect from a diverse crowd of citizens exercising their rights to free speech by way of creative protest, (supposedly) protected by the Constitution.
What I don’t understand is why this “justice” system, that is being funded by the citizens, is so successful at reprimanding the citizens, most times excessively, but cannot manage to do the same when they themselves violate the law. Also, why is it that once anyone has evidence it is still incredibly difficult to actually hold anyone (and by anyone I mean police officer, or District Attorney) responsible for their misdeeds?
I’m curious if the District Attorney’s office primary function is to criminalize citizens, and not society as a whole. I have this thought because society includes those who uphold the law and assist in the judicial process. Since hardly any officers have been held accountable for following orders that are against the oath taken to uphold the Constitution, I’m confused, and wondering when this system was set up, was it really set up to help? This leads me into federal receivership.
Now while I understand that we can complain to the Bar Associations about concerns regarding bias on behalf of the District Attorney, I’m not totally convinced at this point that there is a guaranteed quality replacement that makes me sleep any easier at night, considering the abuses many District Attorneys subject several courtrooms to. This is not to say don’t document your concerns, I’m just thinking how comforted can I really be? Same applies to federal receivership of the Oakland Police Department.
In 2000, the Riders that the Huffington Post speaks of in this article, indicate that the image of a clean police department was accepted among the community. Obviously this wasn’t the case as many violations against the departments own policies are being ignored and continued, although some have lightened in the face of near receivership. Should Oakland residents and Occupiers rest assured that their Constitutional rights will no longer be violated? Does the federal receivership of the department include a close look at the District Attorneys office and it’s motivations to prosecute those in protest? Also, does it look into the judgements made to give stay away orders to those who are not violent or a risk to public safety away from their own City Hall? Especially when some live very close by with the nearest major transportation hub being right across the street from the plaza which they must stay 300 yards away from?
In my honest opinion the fight goes on. Federal receivership is a scary thing. Nationally, Occupy has grown and gained momentum in the fight against governmental corruptions and corporate greed. Does federal receivership mean federal attention on Occupy? If so will that be a good thing or a bad thing? I guess only time will tell.