Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said today that he’s “concerned” about injuries to both protesters and police during an “Occupy Oakland” demonstration Tuesday night that turned violent.
In a statement that he called “Message to the Community,” Jordan said, “The decision to use any level of force is never taken lightly and certainly was not in this situation.”
Jordan said, “As a community, we must preserve our position that any act of assault against officers or each other in our community is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.”
He added, “Under the circumstances of this event our officers used what they believed to be the least amount of force possible to protect themselves and gain control of the situation. During incidents of this magnitude, police training, tactics and policy is scrutinized, and as the chief of police I take full responsibility for the actions of my officers.
Jordan said all allegations of misconduct and excessive uses of force are being thoroughly investigated by internal and external investigative sources.
He said, “I am confident in our abilities to conduct thorough and fair investigations into the actions of police personnel during the ‘Occupy’ events.”
At least several protesters were injured Tuesday night, including Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Daly City man, whom his friends said was critically injured when he was hit in the head with a projectile fired by police.
Olsen is being treated at Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was listed in fair condition as of Thursday.
Oakland police officials said several officers suffered minor injuries when protesters assaulted them with bottles, rocks and hazardous materials.
Jordan said he has received both positive and negative comments from around the country and world following the protest Tuesday night.
He said he is issuing a general message to the community because “the volume of these correspondences far exceeds our ability to respond to each one individually.”
Jordan said the Oakland Police Department “will continue to place the highest value on policing in a manner that is both constitutional and ethical in its mission to provide a safe place to live, work, and play, free of crime and the fear of crime.”
Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News