OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Oakland police officers were on their own during Wednesday night’s protest.
A federal order played a key role in why law neighboring police agencies did not back up OPD on this one.
There was no mutual aid by Bay Area law enforcement agencies in Oakland when the vandalism started during the Jacob Blake shooting protest.
“And that’s the second time in a number of weeks that we have not responded to those vandalism related anarchist protests,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
Oakland police released a statement that reads in part:
“The intentions of the protesters were not peaceful but deliberate; through their words and actions they demonstrated their focused and targeted intentions to destroy and damage our already vulnerable business community.”
It is typically a situation that calls for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office to coordinate a mutual aid response but Deputy Sgt. Ray Kelly explains why a federal court injunction is now getting in the way.
“As a result of responding to mutual aid in Oakland, we fall under the guideline of that federal court order and we are not able to use the tools that we are trained to use and it greatly restricts us in our ability to do crowd management and to stop vandalism,” Kelly said.
According to this preliminary injunction, OPD officers are prohibited from using stinger grenades, wooden bullets, rubber or rubber coated bullets, pepper balls or similar munitions.
“Good! I am glad that they are not coming to Oakland,” Cat Brooks said.
However, Cat Brooks of the Anti Police-Terror Project says the court order does not prohibit mutual aid.
“I want to be very clear that the injunction that is based on an ATPT lawsuit does not say that they are not allowed to come. It says they’re not allowed to come and bring their toys and use Oakland as a playground for violence,” Brooks said.
But Sgt. Kelly says removing less lethal tactical options is a safety issue for police and protestors.
“When they have to put officers in harm’s way. I don’t think we’re going to put anyone in harm’s way over property. That includes protests too, but we’ve assured Oakland. That should there be any need to protect life within that city we will absolutely respond,” Kelly said.