The Streets is Watchin

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This video is the first Copwatch video I (Jacob Crawford) ever produced. In the winter of 2002, I ventured to Cincinnati Ohio to visit a newly formed Copwatch. The group was comprised of incredible people, in a community under attack by some of the most scariest and racist police I had ever come across to date. Cincinnati Copwatch was been born out the Timothy Thomas Riots of 2001, when the community of Over The Rhine exploded after Cincinnati Police shot and killed an unarmed youth by the name of Timothy Thomas. Cincinnati would change my life forever. I would never be able to look at police again without seeing their clear connection to slave catchers of the previous century. As you watch this video, take some time to really see how the police interacted with people, with children. How anyone in Cincinnati could view the police as anything but racist thugs is beyond me. Welcome to Cincinnati Ohio. .

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Why Did Oakland Police Kill a Man in Distress?

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A 53 year old man was killed by Oakland Police early this morning (July 8th, 2013) as they attempted to bring him into custody for a psychological evaluation. At this point the only version of this killing is coming from the Oakland Police and was distributed by Johnna Watson who was not present during the killing and is paid essentially to do damage control in the hours following a police killing or action.

You can see Johnna Watson doing damage control in this WeCopwatch video in which a house was gassed and raided.

Oakland SWAT Team deploys Gas during Raid in West Oakland 10/15/12

You can read Oakland Police’s press release here

WeCopwatch is strongly against Police making contact with people in distress. Oakland needs to find solutions to helping people who are upset, or in mental anguish without involving armed people who know they can kill with impunity. One thing is for sure, Oakland Police are mandated to activate their PDRD’s (mounted chest cameras) when interacting with people, so this killing is on video.

Breaking Down (Police Hurt Mental Health)

Read more WECOPWATCH’s coverage of Mental Health issues

Oakland Tribune’s title “Man Collapses, Dies During Arrest in East Oakland Neighborhood”insinuates that Police may not have been a factor in this man’s death. What do you think?

Videos of OPD Violence Reveal Serious Problems that Led to $1 Million Occupy Oakland Settlement

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by Jacob Crawford and Dave Id
Image by Elijah Nouvelage

Twelve people injured by the Oakland police department during Occupy Oakland demonstrations have settled a federal civil rights lawsuit with the city of Oakland for a total of $1.17 million. The injuries came as a result of OPD’s violent response to Occupy Oakland on October 25 and November 2, 2011. The settlement in the Campbell vs. City of Oakland case comes on the heals of another $1 million settlement still pending final approval,
Spalding vs.City of Oakland.

Photo by Dave Id

As a result of both cases, OPD has agreed to allow the federal court to enforce OPD’s compliance with its own crowd control policy and to negotiate with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and ACLU before making any changes to the policy, which prohibits police from shooting “less lethal” impact munitions or tossing explosive teargas grenades into crowds, and prohibits mass arrests without warning or opportunity to disperse.

The videos below document the cases of four of the Occupy Oakland plaintiffs in two separate incidents. The videos reveal police violence through the video of plaintiffs, witnesses, and never­before­seen Oakland police chest cameras.

While there were many incidents investigated in the Occupy Oakland Campbell lawsuit, the following two incidents of police violence have similarities that underscore serious problems within the Oakland Police Department.

The first video below is of Scott Campbell being shot by a lead­shot filled beanbag round following Oakland’s General Strike on the night of November 2, 2011.

In the case of Scott Campbell, the command to shoot anyone crossing an invisible line is illegitimate. How could people know they were in harm’s way? Less than lethal weapons are supposedly intended for situations where violence is taking place and the officer needs to defend themselves and other officers. This is simply not the case with Scott Campbell. As you can see in the video Scott is not approaching the line, but rather walking parallel to it. As you can see Oakland police officer Victor Garcia waits until Campbell is almost out of view to fire at him. Not because Campbell suddenly takes a turn towards the police line, or poses a threat, but Garcia fires at him because he can see that Campbell was just an inch over the invisible line marked by a roll of toilet paper. Garcia didn’t shoot to defend or protect, he shot because he knew he could get away with it by deliberately misinterpreting his commander’s order to fire at anyone who crossed the invisible line.

The second video below is of the violent arrests of Brooke Anderson, Max Alper, and Kevin Christensen following the raid of Occupy Oakland on the morning of October 25, 2011.

Those people attacked and arrested had done nothing wrong. You can see Oakland police officer Cesar Garcia goes into the crowd with his baton ready, and ends up striking Max Alper several times. Then later he is caught on video visibly upset that he has to document his use of force in a report because he “jabbed one of the fat things friendly.”

After you have watched both videos, consider:

1. Both Garcias have been in multiple officer involved shootings. Victor Garcia has shot two people as well as an arthritic dog that posed no threat. Cesar Garcia has also been in multiple officer involved shootings. (see Jones vs Oakland reference at

2. Both officers were under the command of officers who have been involved in shootings. Oakland police Captain Ersie Joyner has been in involved in five shootings, one with Cesar Garcia in fact, and Oakland police lieutenant Fred Mestas has been involved in at least two shootings.

3. Both Garcias showed premeditation in their acts of violence. Victor Garcia knowing the order was to shoot anyone who crossed the invisible line, trained his gun on Scott Campbell as he walked parallel to the line and waited until he saw that Campbell was just an inch past the line before shooting. Cesar Garcia was the only cop who had his baton out ready to swing when Lt Mestas ordered the arrests.

4. In both incidents, both officers used excessive violence not merely because they are violent officers but, more importantly, because they knew they could get away with it. Joyner and Mestas were both responsible for the incidents and the actions of
their subordinates.

While the both Garcia’s need to be held accountable for their actions, both Joyner and Mestas should be held to even higher standards as commanding officers. But in Oakland as you can see, you’re more likely to be promoted if you shoot people. . .

National Lawyers Guild Press release

And check out the National Lawyers Guild’s settlement with OPD for wrongfully arresting Oscar Grant Protesters in 2010
Right Here

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Drones, and Pigs, and Feds Oh My! WeCopwatch Season 1


WeCopwatch Season 1: We survived our first four months! Covering Drones, Feds, Officer Involved Shootings, Mental Health Incidents, A Police Murder, Raids, Police Harassment and the Mayor of Oakland! Check out some of or all of the videos WeCopwatch has produced below.

Drone spotted above West Oakland

February 8th, 2013

If Pigs Could Fly: Police Drones Across Oakland

February 13th, 2013

Oakland Police Didn’t Shoot Someone?

February 22, 2013

Answers! Not Undercovers! Berkeley Police and the Kayla Moore coverup

March 15th, 2013

Breaking Down (Police Hurt Mental Health)

March 28th, 2013

Oakland Police Shoot Innocent Teen in the Face

April 3, 2013

Oakland Police Keep Officer Involved Shooting Off the Radio

April 5th, 2013

Officer Frankel Claims That “NOBODY” Killed Kayla Moore

April 17th

The Feds Are In Town (Multiple Raids Occur Across Oakland)

April 24th, 2013

“Pigs are Haram!” Undercover Police Confronted on May Day

May 1, 2013

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Drags Off Aggressive Husband

May 3rd, 2013

Witness Testimony regarding incident with Mayor Jean Quan and Husband

May 9th, 2013

Oakland Police Shine Light into WeCopwatch Camera

June 7, 2013

Oakland Police Commands Are InAudible

June 8th, 2013

Interview with Larken Rose: Author of When You Should Shoot a Cop

June 20th, 2013

NLG Victory for Oscar Grant Protesters

June 24th, 2013

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Enemy Of The State

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Video produced by Jacob Crawford of and Pete Eyre of

Author, videographer, and included at Wikipedia on the list of “tax protestors”, Larken Rose is perhaps best known to police accountability advocates for his essay and and subsequent video: When You Should Shoot A Cop. As one commenter stated:

Incredible article! I hope people take the time to actually read the full article after their brains shut down after seeing the “shock” title.

On June 20th Jacob Crawford of and Pete Eyre of caught up with Rose at the Porcupine Freedom Fest, hosted by the Free State Project in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, who shared some of his insight.

Connect with Larken Rose
via his website:
via his YouTube channel:
via his Facebook profile:

While those active with WeCopwatch and CopBlock are strong advocates of non-aggression, this article helps to clarify the world we live by deconstructing paradigms put-forth by those who claim authority and demand your obedience, specifically, by underscoring the fact that each individual - no matter their occupation or any other arbitrary characteristic - has the right to employ self-defense against an aggressor.

If one cannot even have this conversation then it shows just how wide is the gulf between the “protectors” and those they claim to “serve.” Only when it’s realized and incorporated that badges DON’T grant extra rights, will the institutionalized violence cease.

Over the last couple years, When Should You Shoot a Cop? has made the round across the country and world, as well as into several Anti Terror Fusion Centers.

Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center 602-644-5805
[related post: Ademo Contacts Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center]

After learning of the memo Copblocker Ademo Freeman called and asked some questions:



Arizona-based KGUN 9 also covered the article and fusion center memo:

Central Florida Intelligence Center (407) 858-3950
[related post: Central Florida Intelligence Exchange Promote]

The reactionary pushback to the ideas proffered was visible when the mere act of “Liking” the article got two individuals rebuffed by their “party” colleagues, as detailed on the July 27th, 2012 write-up, Politicos Attacked for ‘Liking’ Post:

South Carolina’s Republican Party is distancing itself from two local party officials who appeared to endorse violence against police officers on Facebook — a position that seemed to take anti-government conservatism too far for South Carolina’s Tea Party-heavy GOP. The party’s top brass called for their resignation from local party committees Monday night.

On October 6th, 2011, Larken Rose wrote the following in his post Federal Agents Visit Larken Rose – Mention Blog Post:

A fascist came up to each front window and knocked. I rolled down my window just a bit, and a gray-haired, veteran fascist informed me that I was not being arrested. That’s nice. . . Out of the blue, the veteran fascist commented about the fact that I’ve posted things on my web site talking about killing cops.

On November 13th, 2011, Rose expanded on his essay:

In 2012, the legislation in Indiana mentioned by Larken around the 6-min mark in the video changed course. Instead of “law” existing that claimed that an individual had the right to use defensive force against anyone except those with badges, legislation “approved” self-defense against any aggressor, no matter their place of employment.

On March 3rd, 2012 post, When Should You Shoot A Cop – Round 2, Ademo Freeman penned:

Maybe with this law, cops will think twice about raiding a home for drugs? Maybe cops will stop working for the government and make their own agreements with their customers?

IMO, law didn’t need to be written for one to know when they can or cannot defend their life or property. It’s unfortunate people are taught to submit to police without question, yet to stick up to bullies, abusive husbands and any other non government connected persons.

On March 24th, 2012 post, Right to Resist now law in Indiana, cops show how evil they think we are, Edmond Dantes noted that:

Police really think people are that evil, that they will now just play real life Grand Theft Auto and start killing at will. Which begs the question, if people are really that inherently evil, why give so many of them the power of the badge over everyone else? It always appears to me that the worst of the worst are in gangs, whether it be Blood, Crips, or Thin Blue Line.

But will people really just start killing at will? I can give you one fact, the law and/or a guy in a funny costume with a badge doesn’t stop me from killing someone. I don’t kill or use violence because I believe it is wrong morally. Even if murder were legal I wouldn’t kill anyone and most people wouldn’t either.

On a June 12, 2012 post, Indiana legalizes shooting cops, about the reversal of the “legality” of self-defense for Indianans, I asked:

Does this piece of man-made legislation really change anything for people living within the arbitrary political boundaries of Indiana? Or for that matter – do people living outside those arbitrary political boundaries of Indiana have any less of a right to defend themselves?

We all want to be safe and secure. The question is, how is that best accomplished? Question those who demand your authority. Think for yourself.

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NLG Victory for Oscar Grant Protesters


This is fresh out of Oakland where the National Lawyers Guild has just settled with the city of Oakland for a mass arrest of Oscar Grant Protesters back in 2010. Video produced by Jacob Crawford of

CONTACT: Rachel Lederman, 415-350-6496, Carlos Villarreal, 415-377-6961

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U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson has granted preliminary approval to a $1.025 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by the National Lawyers Guild on behalf of 150 people who were arrested by Oakland Police during a Nov. 5, 2010, demonstration. The civil rights lawsuit, Spalding et al. v. City of Oakland, CAND No. C11-2867 TEH, challenged OPD’s unlawful kettling and mass arrest of the 150, and their detention by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, following a march protesting the light sentence given Johannes Mehserle for killing Oscar Grant.

Dan Spalding was an NLG Legal Observer at the march. “We were never given a warning or a chance to leave,” said Spalding. “I tried to tell the officers that I was a Legal Observer, but they handcuffed me and put me on a Sheriff’s bus. We were handcuffed and left sitting on the street and then in buses for a total of about eight hours without access to a bathroom. People urinated in their pants as we sat in the hot crowded bus. It was 3am before I was taken inside the jail and put in a cell with 27 other people. There was no place to sleep. I did not get out until 6:30pm that next evening.”

“We were exercising our First Amendment right to protest police brutality by marching to the site of the shooting,” added Katie Loncke, a named plaintiff, “but the OPD blocked us all in and arrested us for nothing.” Loncke described that, “At the jail, all the women were made to go into a stall without a door on it and urinate into a cup for a pregnancy test. I was held in a very cold and crowded cell with fifteen other women. No food was provided for more than twelve hours after our initial detention. There was no room to lie down. I sat up against a wall for the entire night.”

In addition to the $1.025 million monetary payment to the arrestees and their attorneys, the settlement agreement reaffirms, and provides for court enforcement of OPD’s Crowd Control Policy for a period of up to 7 years. The Policy was the result earlier litigation over abuses against protesters. “We brought the lawsuit in order to protect the constitutional right to dissent in Oakland, and enforce the OPD Crowd Control Policy,” explained lead attorney Rachel Lederman. “It is a model policy that gives the police many tools to respond to demonstrations without immediately resorting to mass arrests, weapons or force. Yet, OPD chose to scrap this policy in dealing with the Oscar Grant demonstrations. The policy, and the law, are clear that before police can stop First Amendment activity and make mass arrests, they must have a basis to believe that the individuals being arrested have broken the law. In most situations that means they must give demonstrators notice and opportunity to disperse, and there must be a constitutionally valid reason to do so. None of that occurred in this case. The 150 arrests were illegal, and the City has acknowledged that.”

“This settlement is an important victory for democracy,” said NLG attorney Bobbie Stein. ”People are reluctant to express their political opinion if they can be arrested and thrown in jail for it. Oakland and Alameda County made a smart decision to settle this case and to agree to uphold the First Amendment in policing future demonstrations, rather than continuing to abuse people and subject the taxpayers to this type of liability. We are hopeful that, with this settlement and the new Compliance Director and new leadership in the Police Department, we may finally see some real change.”

As part of the settlement, OPD and the Alameda Sheriff have agreed to implement expedited procedures for processing and releasing people arrested at demonstrations. Another attorney who litigated the case, NLG Chapter President Michael Flynn, explained that, “California law requires that most misdemeanor arrestees be released with a citation. But until now, in Oakland, even very minor charges often resulted in extended periods of time in jail under inhumane conditions.” The demonstrators will receive orders of exoneration after the court gives final approval to the settlement following a hearing in September.

A video on the case, with footage of the events and interviews with arrestees, is available here:

The NLG has supported social justice activists for decades, training legal observers and providing pro bono attorneys for activists arrested at demonstrations. Founded in 1937, the non-profit legal and political organization of lawyers, legal workers, law students and jailhouse lawyers uses the law to protect human rights above property interests and to attain social justice.

More information on the case, including case documents and claim forms:
More info on the NLG:

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graphic by Josh Wolf

Oakland Police Commands Inaudible

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On the evening of June 8th, 2013 Oakland Police were engaged in a vehicular pursuit in West Oakland. At some point, the car bailed, and two occupants fled on foot.

One person was immediately detained, while another allegedly fled into someone’s backyard. A perimeter was established, a helicopter, and a K-9 were brought in to assist heavily armed search teams. As one search team prepared to enter a property, they made announcements as required by departmental policy. On this particular night the loudspeaker malfunctioned and the commands were inaudible. They eventually replaced the speaker with another and conducted a much briefer announcement session before entering the property. While no one was harmed, the possibilities were great. As you can hear the first announcement is completely inaudible, and the second announcement only lasts for 10 seconds. 30 Seconds after the second announcement, the police enter the property guns drawn, accompanied by a K-9.

Announcements are crucial in these situations because they are intended to communicate to the suspect, but more importantly to the residents of the police presence, as well as the possible threat. A residents knowledge of a police operation can mean the difference between life and death. . This operation appeared hasty.

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