Protesters to be awarded $1 million settlement in mass arrest lawsuit

|
(123)
A scene from the Nov. 5, 2010 protest where OPD mass arrested 150 protesters in a residential neighborhood
PHOTO BY RAMSEY EL-QARE

A federal judge has granted preliminary approval for a settlement of more than $1 million to a group of 150 activists who were mass arrested in Oakland three years ago. The National Lawyers Guild filed the federal class action civil-rights suit on behalf of the protesters, who in some cases were held for more than 24 hours despite never facing formal charges.

The mass arrest took place on Nov. 5, 2010, when activists marched in opposition to the light sentence handed down to Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer who was tried for murder after he shot and killed unarmed BART passenger Oscar Grant.

After winding through the streets in downtown Oakland, protesters took a turn toward Fruitvale Station, where Grant was fatally shot. But instead, police in riot gear forced them into a residential neighborhood where they were kettled in and mass-arrested for unlawful assembly.

There’s a process for making mass arrests that is clearly laid out in OPD’s crowd control policy, “to comply with California law and the U.S. constitution. That would involve giving a warning, and then allowing people to disperse,” Rachel Lederman of the NLG points out. “This was a perfectly legal demonstration,” and with the exception of one or two individuals who vandalized bus windows during the march, the vast majority of protesters did not engage in illegal activity.

Instead of being cited and released, or simply allowed to disperse once police declared the march to be "unlawful," the 150 demonstrators who were penned in by police were sent through a long and uncomfortable booking process, Lederman said. They were left sitting on the street, then loaded onto buses and vans where they were made to wait, still handcuffed, for up to 6 hours in some cases. (Note: This reporter was kettled in along with protesters initially but then allowed to leave when police created an exit for members of the media. From there, all reporters were sent to an area cordoned off by police tape, where it was difficult to observe the arrests. So reporters were essentially given the choice between being sent to jail, which would have made it difficult to file a timely story, or being roped off in an area far from where police activity could be observed. But that's a different story.)

The Alameda County Sheriff's Department then sent demonstrators through a lengthy jail booking process, even though in similar circumstances, arrestees have typically been cited and released. They were placed in overcrowded, temporary holding cells with no beds and no chairs. “People needed medical attention that they didn’t get,” Lederman said. “No food was provided for more than twelve hours after our initial detention,” noted plaintiff Katie Loncke. “There was no room to lie down. I sat up against a wall for the entire night."

Lederman said she expects protesters who were part of the class action suit to receive somewhere around $4,500 each in settlement payments. In addition to the monetary payment, the settlement agreement reaffirms and reincorporates OPD's crowd control policy for up to seven years.

That policy dates back to 2004, when the NLG and the American Civil Liberties Union jointly drafted the regulations in the wake of an anti-war demonstration where police fired rubber bullets into the crowd, resulting in serious injuries and intense scrutiny on the police department's practices.

While OPD complied with the crowd control policy in the first years after it was implemented, Lederman said, there were relatively few mass mobilizations in the streets of Oakland until those mounted in response to the Oscar Grant shooting. Those street demonstrations were followed by 2011 mass marches organized in conjunction with the Occupy movement.

“Our primary goal, and our clients’ primary goal, was to stop” unlawful police practices that violated OPD's crowd control policy, Lederman said, “so that people can be freer to organize on the streets.”

Comments

referred to "risky criminal behavior", the cornerstone of capitalism.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 10:21 am

So it went over my head.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 10:27 am

The “New Century Foundation” studies Federal crime reports, and found significant differences in crime ratio between races, verified by the FBI’s NCVS, National Crime Victimization Survey, and The Department of Justice’s UCR, Uniform Crime Reports, FBI Communication’s Division, 304-625-4995.

They state emphatically that the Judicial System is not biased against minorities.

Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.

Blacks are three times more likely to use a hand gun, and twice more likely to use a knife.

Hispanics commit three times more violent crimes than whites, but the statistics are nebulous because sometimes they are classified as white, so it could be far higher.

The best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percent of the population that is black and Hispanic.

Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites then vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.

Forty-five percent of black crime is against whites, 43 against other blacks, and 10 percent against Hispanic.

Blacks are seven times more likely to go to prison, Hispanics three times, and the reason is clear, because from 1980 to 2003 the US incarceration rate has tripled, and so proves that Justice is not only hard won, but well served.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 6:36 am

states emphatically that there is no bias in the justice system then it must be true hahaha. Your argument boils down to the false assertion that people of color are more disposed to crime simply because of the color of their skin -- totally discounting any societal factors at play -- which is a load of racist bullshit, please get the fuck off our site.

Posted by admin on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 8:15 am

Obviously people don't commit crimes because of their skin color. If you think that is what all correlations with race are about, then you are deluded.

And there are far more poor whites than poor blacks, and yet blacks still commit more crime.

There's nothing racist about posting stats and inviting explanations.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 9:31 am

impulse, or deliberately shroud it in double-speak, belies your intent.

Posted by admin on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 10:21 am

word like "contextualization".

If you do not have a criticism of the statistics, nor an explanation of what they mean, nor (seemingly) anything material to add to this topic, then may I remind you that not posting is a valid option?

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 10:29 am

In fact, it's perfectly clear what you are. The very fact that you passionately argue false equivalencies reveals it.

Posted by admin on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:03 am

I'm damn certain that I won the debate.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:12 am

And "being certain" you won the debate is not the same thing as winning the debate.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:30 am

Crime Rates

Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.
Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.
The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic.

Interracial Crime

Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.
Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.
Gangs
Only 10 percent of youth gang members are white.
Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs. Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.

Incarceration

Between 1980 and 2003 the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139 to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39 million.
Blacks are seven times more likely to be in prison than whites. Hispanics are three times more likely.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:39 am

Did you make them up (?), because they're false.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 2:02 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 2:12 pm
Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:40 am

between whites and blacks in this country, both economically and in terms of broader access to the state mechanisms that can alleviate frustration and mediate grievance.

Posted by admin on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 8:12 am

not as simplistic and convenient as you claim.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 9:28 am

Of course, I would never look at the distribution of income between whites and blacks, because that would show that the gulp in income equality between these two groups is massive. And this is something I don't care to acknowledge. So maybe I can throw them off by talking about a few rich blacks out there, even though this is clearly the exception.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

rich criminals and no poor honest people. Whatever the real cause of crime, it lies elsewhere.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

Final tally- $675,000 for the plaintifss, $375,000 for the lawyers. Nice work if you can get it. Any wonder why taxpayers don't like John Burris?

Posted by Richmondman on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 8:10 am
Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 9:29 am

Again 150 people who were found to be injured received about 60%. The 2 or 3 lawyers (representing the 1%) get 40%. But this wasn't about the money...except to the lawyers.

Posted by Richmondman on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

It's just what cops do man. They'll try to make you feel like you're being arrested, it's a psychological technique they use, in order to try to scare you and make you back down from whatever it is you're doin', including protesting (legal or not), etc. It's merely a scare tactic. Whether this guy truly deserves the arrest or not, he'll get a personal injury lawyer in Seattle or something and play all injured or something. Just watch. URL: http://www.medilaw.com/Seattle-office.htm

Posted by BeckonsAttore on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 7:24 am

Wholesale Galaxy Leggings,Cheap Galaxy Printed Leggings,Fast Shipping Worldwide.You Can Buy Various High Quality Wholesale Galaxy Leggings Products from China.
galaxy leggings
Wholesale galaxy leggings
cheap galaxy leggings

Posted by cheap galaxy leggings on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.