by Scott Johnson (@OccupiedOakTrib)
Last week, with Police Chief Howard Jordan at her side, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced the creation of an “independent investigation” into the actions taken by police against Occupy Oakland.
“We take use of force very seriously,” Jordan said at the press conference. “All instances of force are being thoroughly investigated.”
At a cost of $100,000—which no doubt will be another expenditure blamed on Occupiers—the four-person team of investigators appears to be hardly independent and unlikely to root out systemic police brutality in the department. With the brutal hospitalization of two veterans–Scott Olsen and Kayvan Sabeghi–and the completely unprovoked shooting with a non-lethal device of videographer Scott Campbell, to name only the most high profile cases, there is a desperate need to investigate the violent elements in the OPD. But there are serious questions about this specific investigation.
Campbell told me va email that this whole episode appears to be a “whitewash,” and as of the Christmas weekend–nearly two months after the incident–the OPD has still not yet contacted him about the incident. “The ‘independent’ investigation proposed by the city is is just another version of the police investigating the police,” Campbel said. “This is especially true given the questionable past conduct of the ‘investigators’ and the links that Frazier has to conservative and pro-police think tanks, as well as the Department of Homeland Security.”