How California Law Shields Oakland Police Violence
The use of deadly force has been at the heart of tensions between police and Oakland’s communities of color for decades. In 1968, OPD officers famously shot and killed 17-year-old Black Panther Bobby Hutton as he was surrendering following a shootout. Things have been hostile ever since. OPD has been under the oversight of U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson since 2003, after a rookie officer exposed the “Riders,” a self-styled posse of rogue cops in West Oakland who beat, robbed and framed suspects.
.....while court monitoring is responsible for sweeping policy changes, the department has been criticized by the presiding federal judge. The court’s most recent report on OPD’s reforms criticized the frequency with which officers aim guns at suspects: approximately 80 times in just three months. Furthermore, Internal Affairs rarely sustains citizen complaints: in 2010, it sustained 116 complaints against OPD officers out of 1,748 filed, or just under 7 percent.
Oakland PD = "thugs with guns".