Police Know Their Job is a Joke. But We Don’t Think it’s Funny

NotAJoke

The Police Know Their Job is a Joke. But We Don’t Think it’s Very Funny
After a few years on the job most cops realize that the institution they work for is clearly as much of a problem as the people they claim to be protecting the public from. After all, locking people up for victimless crimes, and extorting poor people through citations and judicial processes inevitably creates the conditions that give cops job security.

In short, the police are proactively helping keep people in poverty which ensures they will always have a job. The reality is people who do time, and have paperwork are left with less options to succeed in this racist, capitalist power structure and even worse, when the police lock people up, they know they are separating people from their families that need them. Every petty citation for expired registration or biking without a light takes money from people who need it far more than the more affluent people that they are NOT stopping for the same “violations.”

ThisCopKnowThis Cop Knows He is Part of the Problem 

But this is how policing works and they all know it. Police get paid, the city gets paid, the courts get paid, the state gets paid, and the corporations that facilitate this slave trade gets paid, all off the back of the people.
That’s why Copwatch is so important. Every time caring people stand together and watch the police, they are less likely to abuse people, and steal their money.

These days even cops are finally admitting that in the moment, Copwatch keeps them in line. To those cops we say this.

Your job shouldn’t be to stop, harass, cite, and lock people up. You are part of the problem. Many people make great cases that you are the problem.

If you are Police and you think Copwatch is so valuable maybe you should. . .
1. Stop stopping people. Stop citing people. Stop arresting people.

2. Record and document your fellow officer’s corruption and abuse and send it to your local police accountability group.

3. When police abuse people, put your hands on them like you would any member of the public and put them in handcuffs.

4. Stop acting as if you have any special authority over people. After all if you really wanted to help people, you wouldn’t be a cop.

West Oakland Park Under Surveillance

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As gentrification places a firm grip on West Oakland, the city has been clearing public spaces of black faces by shutting down and fencing up parks once enjoyed by many. This has been achieved through heavy handed policing resulting in increased displacement of West Oakland residents, ensuring space for new outsiders.

The Filbert St. park on San Pablo and 32nd is one of the last open spaces in West Oakland that remains opened and used. These parks are often cleared and replaced with “Community Gardens” which are traditionally organized and run by gentrifiers, or they are fenced up in the name of “beatification” only to be re-opened when the surrounding neighborhood has become inhabited by a community of a higher economic bracket.

The Filbert St. park was fenced up back in late 2014, only to be torn down a day later.

But today the park has a new friend. An Oakland Police Mobile Command Center sits across the street from the park surveilling everyone and anyone in the immediate area.


Big Brother Video

Big Questions
Where are these videos being stored?
Will images of people be used to further surveil and criminalize the poor and homeless population who have nowhere else to go?
Will images of people be disseminated to patrol officers, many new to the force, eager to rise through the ranks and willing to stop many to catch just a few?

An Officer on site explained that the purpose of the surveillance vehicle was to serve as a deterrent to crime, and to function as an fully operational intelligence gathering center. He also mentioned that the command center was put in place in response to a recent murder of a young man who resided just down the block.

Failed Solutions.
WeCopwatch knew this young man, he was a sweet person, and his death came too soon.
But this kind of intelligence gathering/deterrent is disconnected, expensive, and is a poor solution.

It’s ironic that just two months prior, Oakland Police raided this young man’s residence likely with the intention of imprisoning him for a long time.
Their raid yielded nothing to speak of. Their armored vehicles and men with assault rifles and flash bangs was outrageous, unnecessary, expensive, and a poor solution.

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Imagine if the thousands spent in that raid, and these intelligence operations had been applied toward building people up, not breaking them down.
we might be living in a different world. . .

One thing is clear, the overt surveillance being conducted is awkward, it is being conducted on longtime local residents, and is a sign that more police activity around the Filbert St. park is to follow.

This Oakland Police Killing was NOT a Standoff

Contrary to Main Stream Media headlines plastered across the internet, there was NO standoff between an unconscious man now known to be Demouria Hogg of Hayward, CA and Oakland police.

We don’t know much about the Oakland Police killing on June 6, 2015, but what we do know from a dispatch recording obtained by WeCopwatch affirms that on the morning of June 6, 2015, Oakland Police responded to reports of a man unconscious in a vehicle with “alleged” gun in the front passenger seat.

We know that Oakland Police made announcements over the span of at least an hour and fired no less than four beanbag shotgun rounds into the car where Demouria Hogg lay. None of this woke Hogg up.


Photos by WeCopwatch

We know that whatever happened that led to his death, happened very quickly.

Due to the length of time and amount of noise devices used to try to wake Hogg up, it is logical that the only way Hogg could have been woken up prior to him being shot would be by some level of force initiated by the Oakland police that were coming to take him into custody.

[The audio excerpts below obtained by We Copwatch are from Oakland Police Dispatch recording from the morning of the shooting. The recording are “edited” down to three minutes and focused only on the attempts to wake the unconscious person up, and the force used against him.]

It is important to note that there is a lot of communication relating to this incident that is not included; such as where to put responding officers and where to set up perimeters amongst other things.

The entire records can be downloaded here.

June 6 Oakland Police Shooting Dispatch Recordings


Big questions:

How did Hogg sleep through an hour of announcements and multiple beanbag rounds fired at his car only to be killed by Officers taking him into custody?

Did OPD wake Hogg up by tasering him and then shot him when he began moving abruptly from the shock?

Why didn’t OPD simply approach the car to retrieve the gun if the man was clearly non responsive to the barrage of bean bag rounds and announcements?

Why has OPD not released the body camera videos to the public? If they have nothing to hide, wouldn’t the video show why they felt justified in using lethal force over other less deadly means?

 

If you witnessed the OPD shooting death of Demouria Hogg or have information about this case please contact the Anti-Police Terror Project or We Copwatch.

Curfews, Undercovers, and Chest Cams, Oh my

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On June 5, 2015, Mayor Libby Schaaf’s ” protest curfew” on night time demonstrations was tested again as 100 people marched through First Friday celebrations yelling “Fuck The Curfew”.

Oakland Police cut the march off on the north and south side of the First Friday corridor, but police remained fairly hands off. The general sentiment around town is that OPD took a hands off approach because the protesters and the First Friday revelers were indistinguishable from each other and any crackdown would have made for bad press and a possible backlash from Oakland’s new coveted affluent class: the gentry.

The treatment of “Say Her Name” protesters a couple weeks back was very different. Police responded to a predominately black, woman led march by blasting “LRAD” (Long Range Acoustic Device) and throwing flash bang grenades at marchers, eventually detaining and arresting many from the demonstration.


Video Produced by WeCopwatch

Both events had heavy police presence with a zero tolerance approach to people being in the streets, but there is no question that there was a discrepancy of treatment to the different groups– largely because of who they were comprised of, and who was there to witness.

Repeat Offenders

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 3.30.21 PM Overt plain clothes cops were also spotted Friday night. Oakland police officer Omega Crum along with at least one more undercover/plain clothed cop were spotted mingling amongst protestors and spectators and when approached by Bay Area Intifada, hurriedly made his way through an OPD riot line.

[For those who don’t know, Officer Crum was also documented by different Copwatchers on Mayday in 2013 where he was spotted following and photographing a Muslim contingent within the march. Video of this encounter can be seen here: Pigs Are Haram ]


Video Produced by WeCopwatch and Bay Area Intifada

Many officers from different ranks were spotted without their body cameras (PDRd’s)– which is against protocol.

One officer in particular, Officer Ocampo, was spotted for the second time without a PDRD within the last two months.

Ocampo can been seen in the video below assisting US Marshals in an arrest in West Oakland without his body camera.


Video Produced by WeCopwatch

At this stage in the battle to “Break the Curfew” it is unclear to say where things are headed, but without a doubt protests against police violence will continue and Copwatch will be out there documenting police actions. If you want to know more about you rights check in with us at:WeCopwatch@gmail.com

WeCopwatch cuts ties with Copblock.org

Snitch.

For years we have tried to work with elements of Cop Block that have longed to be part of something bigger. Bigger then disgruntled white men, bigger than finger pointing, bigger than the ideals that Libertarianism has to offer.

While over time, we have been excited to see many people grow both individually and collectively, we have also watched years of good work undone in a matter of months by the recent return of informant, and founding member of Cop Block, Adam Mueller, aka Ademo Freeman.

We have no interest in making this a Copwatch vs Cop Block ordeal, however WeCopwatch is disconnecting from Cop Block pending an accountability process for Adam, and a stated commitment to fighting oppression internally.

We applaud those who have begun to wake up, but be humble, you’ve arrived late to the struggle. We need you to focus more on yourself, so that you can begin to work better with the larger movement.

We know that in order to make a movement that is powerful enough to take on state violence and oppression with any meaningful impact, we have no space in our personal lives, or in our own groups for racism, misogyny, anti gayness, transphobia, xenophobia, or any form of blind hatred.

While Cop Block has been claimed to be an idea, the idea that “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, this idea has been perverted by people who are unwilling to reflect on how their behavior perpetuates everything that is wrong with the state. From FB pages run by misguided individuals, to the recent actions of Cop Block’s founding member, Cop Block is destined to fail as a group, an idea, or a movement if it is void of checks and balances.

We wish the best for folks, and we hope this is the moment that people begin to make this world a better place by looking within at things that need change. Imagine what could accomplish if we all held hands in this struggle?

Until then, bigots beware, times up!

And for the rest of you willing to fight the real fight, see you in the streets.

Jacob Crawford and David Whitt of WeCopwatch


Statements from Anti-Media and Peaceful Streets Project.

Camera Fundraiser for Oakland Copwatchers

http://www.gofundme.com/WeCopwatchOakland

In August 2014 during the days following the murder of Mike Brown, a member of WeCopwatch flew out to Ferguson from Oakland, California. Amidst teargas and live fire, WeCopwatch and residents of Ferguson would fundraise over $1000 to get cameras into the hands of the community.

And the Copwatch movement in St. Louis took off from there.

As Spring descends upon us, Copwatch efforts in Ferguson continue to thrive, to the point that Ferguson is now helping support efforts back in Oakland. In recent months, several autonomous Copwatch projects have sprouted, and we think it’s a perfect time to get another camera drive in motion.

Our folks need cameras. They’ve been going out on regular patrols, conducting Know Your Rights / Copwatch trainings and taking a stand against one of America’s most brutal police forces: the Oakland Police Department.

Click Here to Donate to Our Camera Drive!

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http://www.gofundme.com/WeCopwatchOakland

Consider dropping some coin for our crew in Oakland. We’re hoping to purchase 10-15 cameras to help facilitate better documentation during our shifts.

Thanks for believing in us. See you in the streets.

Defend Afrika Town

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While the city of Oakland flaunts its newly developed downtown area, this “revitalization project” has come at the cost of the residents of Oakland. Gentrification, along with a brutal police force, has displaced black and brown residents as a means to “clean up” the neighborhood. AfrikaTown is a community effort to provide a different alternative, one that supports and lifts the existing community rather than displace it. AfrikaTown is already an important and necessary aspect of West Oakland, where people come to gather, celebrate, and eat.

Within AfrikaTown is Qilombo, a community center that offers workshops and events to the residents. It has a bookstore, a free store, and a food distribution program. Adjacent to Qilombo is a garden that has been transformed over the last year to provide fresh vegetables for the community, with a beautiful mural that depicts struggle across the black diaspora. Hundreds of people have helped to bring AfrikaTown to life, and we need more support than ever to see it continue.

Come out and support so we can see AfrikaTown become an established community in our city.

WeCopwatch supports Africa Town.
See You in the Streets

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WeCopwatch Investigates Dec 6. Police Actions in Berkeley

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On December 6, 2014, the Berkeley Police, assisted by other agencies, attacked scores of demonstrators protesting the Grand Jury decisions on the Eric Garner and Mike Brown killings.

WeCopwatch, Berkeley Copwatch and the National Lawyers Guild are collaborating on a People’s Investigation into the Berkeley Police response on Dec. 6, 2014, and NLG lawyers are considering legal action and conducting confidential interviews.

If you experienced or witnessed specific acts of police violence please contact us

December 6 Berkeley Protest Intake Form

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