OPD Draws Guns on Innocent Men & Bystanders in Oakland
While sitting down with a few friends (@CourtneyOccupy, @BellaEiko, @Justizin, @OaklandElle & @AdaminOakland) in a downtown Oakland cafe on Tuesday, we witnessed OPD officer P. O’Donnell badge #392 draw his gun on two men as they walked down Broadway street. During the detainment, the officer briefly aimed his gun at me more than once, prompting me to drop to me knees under the cover of some locked up bikes.
Jessica Hollie, who watched the event unfold while she waiting outside with her dog, Brownie, said she watched an OPD cruiser staring at the men before they hooked a u turn to apprehend their suspects.
“As they were staring at them, I said don’t worry they’re just black and walking. They’re not doing anything. Then they (suspects) looked at me and were like, ‘right’?” Hollie told me. ” Then the police busted a u turn and I pulled out my camera and they jumped out of the car with their guns trained, and told them to step into the street and to get on the ground.”
The men were released about 20 minutes later. They “fit the description of burglary suspects,” Officer O’Donnell said.
Robel Yohannes, 18, was one of the men detained at gun point while walking to grab some lunch with his cousin.
“The police saw me walking down the street with my little cousin going to get something to eat, and they told us to go to the ground with our hands up, for no reason. They think we match the description of a robbery.” Yohannes said. “This is robbery of character right here. So the only thing we have to say after this is fuck the police.”
This incident happened moments after a rally to promote justice for Alan Blueford, an 18 year old high school student who was gunned down by OPD on May 6, 2012. Protesters taped an over sized pink slip on the doors of city hall letting the police and city council members know that their services are no longer needed.
Oakland PD Contact Info: (Officers involved in this incident)
Officer D. Fowler #449
Officer Campos #439
Officer P. O’Donnel #392, car 1708
Officer M. Troupe #384, car 1813
Officer R. Saleh #829
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OPD Public Response:
The Oakland Police Department has fielded several questions regarding the detention of two citizens on July 31, 2012.
The Oakland Police Department has fielded several questions regarding the detention of two citizens on July 31st near the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway. Understanding the concern, and that concerned citizens do not possess all information relating to incidents and the cause for detentions, this Nixle alert is being sent to the proximate community to address the incident.
On July 31, 2012, at 7:22 PM, an Oakland officer was on patrol and received information from a concerned citizen who reported that they had witnessed two individuals exhibiting a gun in the area of 14th Street and Broadway. The concerned citizen provided description of two African American men, with one of the men described as having dread locks and the other wearing a blue polo shirt. The officer advised OPD dispatch communications center of the information received from the citizen, and alerted officers of the potential danger of the two men described and who were reportedly armed with a gun in the area of 14th Street and Broadway. The area of 14th Street and Broadway is a targeted, intelligence led enforcement spot due to the occurrence of approximately 10 crimes involving firearms in the last 30 days.
At 7:29 pm, officers observed two individuals matching the provided description in the 1400 block of Broadway. Based on the information provided by the citizen, and the potential danger of one of the men being armed with a gun, officers drew their weapons, and safely detained the men for further investigation. At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, it was determined the two men were not in possession of a gun or involved in a crime as reported by the citizen. The two men and were subsequently released.
Although onlookers accused the officers of conducting the detention in an arbitrary manner, the Oakland Police Department is committed to ensuring public safety and took the required course of action to safely conduct the detention and ascertain the citizen’s claim of criminal activity; we will continue to recognize and respect the rights of our citizens as we strive to gain community trust in a professional and ethical manner.