Oakland's Quan disputes interview quotes (in NYT magazine feature about Occupy Oakland)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Once again, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is on the defensive.
This time, it's for comments made to the New York Times Magazine that imply that the city's controversial Oct. 25 crackdown on the Occupy Oakland camp may have been orchestrated by Oakland police officers to make her look bad.
The magazine piece, which is online and will be released in print Sunday, examined, in part, Quan's relationship with Occupy Oakland. The first raid to sweep the City Hall encampment happened Oct. 25, while she was out of town.
"The theory among some of my left friends and among some members of my family was that I was set up," she told the magazine. "You know, I was out of town, they closed down the camp a day early and then overreacted. Certain people in the police had tried to set me up before. I mean, my car got booted right after the election."
I don't live in Oakland, I live nearby. My ladyfriend is born and raised in the "O" (still lives there) and the following is roughly what she said to me.
Before Quan was elected in a controversial race (rank choice voting) Oakland had hired Anthony Batts to be its police Chief (2009). Batts was considered something of a superstar, he was welcomed as a choice by much of the community. He was seen as a reformer who wanted to change the culture of the department. Obviously the Oakland PD has a checkered past.
Shortly before Occupy started, Batts resigned. The perception among many is that he was pushed out by Quan, who wanted to install her own choice, Howard Jordan. It's clear that Batts' timing was calculated to annoy her, it came right before some fancy law enforcement summit that she had organized. He said that he was being denied the authority and the resources to do his job properly.
I remember watching the press conference for his resignation. Quan was staring daggers at him while he stood at the podium. She was NOT pleased.
I know that many people were upset by that. Obviously I can't speak for officers and the way they felt about Mr. Batts, but I can say that lots of regular people were pissed about it. It could be that rank and file officers were also upset and made efforts to undermine Quan.