An independent report (PDF) commissioned by the city of Oakland concluded that the crowd-control tactics that the Oakland Police Department used to subdue Occupy protesters last year were “outdated, dangerous, and ineffective.” This report comes on the heels of last month’s report from a different outside monitor that reached the same conclusions.
In its 180-page report, The Frazier Group consulting firm outlined the internal issues plaguing Oakland’s police department, ranging from too much command turnover to limited funds to a lack of compliance with the national standards for police conduct. The consultants concluded that the October 25 clashes between Occupiers and police forces — when police attempted to subdue protesters with rubber bullets, flash grenades, and smoke bombs, injuring an Iraq War veteran in the process — were due to a combination of these factors:
Aircraft accident investigations frequently reveal that airplane crashes are caused by a series of cascading events, not a singular problem. We at Frazier Group feel that this analogy appropriately describes our observations within the Oakland Police Department. Years of diminishing resources, increasing workload and failure to keep pace with national current standards and preferred practices led to the cascading elements resulting in the flawed responses noted during the events of October 25, 2011.
There have also been investigations into the use of excessive force against Occupy protesters in cities other than Oakland. After the infamous pepper spray incident at an Occupy protest at the University of California-Davis, two outside reports also concluded that the police’s use of force was “unreasonable.”