Oakland Cops Demoted, Suspended For Covering Name Tags During Occupy Oakland

Fuck Yeah:

An Oakland police lieutenant has been demoted and an officer is facing a one-month suspension because the officer was videotaped at a recent Occupy Oakland protest with the name on his uniform covered by black tape, sources said Wednesday.

Officer John Hargraves, who has been with the Police Department for five years, covered his first initial and last name while providing security at police headquarters during the Nov. 2 general strike, a video shot by Terrence Jerod Williams showed.

In the video, Williams told Hargraves, "It's kind of weird that you actually are not showing your name. Why is that? Simple question."

Hargraves did not respond. Williams then approached Lt. Clifford Wong, who was standing with other officers outside the building on Seventh Street downtown. After an inaudible conversation between Hargraves and Wong, Wong removed the tape.

After an internal investigation, Hargraves was ordered suspended for 30 days, and Wong was demoted to sergeant for failing to report the incident to internal affairs.

Previously.

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19 Responses:

  1. Pavel says:

    > In court papers, Hargraves wrote that he had covered his name moments before the video operator came up to him. Hargraves said a watch commander had reported a day or two earlier that the name, home address and identities of family members of an officer from another agency had been posted on the Internet after Occupy protesters videotaped the officer.
    > "The video involving that other officer also called for violence against the officer, including burning down his home," Hargraves wrote. "This caused me great concern for the safety of my family."

    Hey, I'm worried, too. There's a lot of road rage on the streets these days. That's why I covered up my car's license plate with black tape, officer!

  2. NelC says:

    Have to say, that's kind of harsh on the Lt, compared with the officer. On the other hand, it does send a message.

  3. Andreas says:

    Nice, now they only need to do that for all the other cops (not only OPD) that did that and were documented on, e.g. the OakFoSho stream. Then maybe we're getting somewhere!

  4. racecarchic21 says:

    To be honest if I were in Hargraves shoes, I would not want my last name out there either. It is way too easy to get all kinds of information on someone just with basic infomation. Sounds like the guy taking the video was looking for ways to stir up drama because he had nothing better to do. Would the video of the officer's face not have been enough to identify him if he engaged in any type of misconduct? Everyone would have whipped their cell phones out to videotape it in seconds. People need to get over it. If you were in their shoes, you wouldn't want your last name out there either.

    • jwz says:

      If you think cops shouldn't have to have their names on their uniforms, then lobby to get the law changed, because right now that's the law. A world in which cops are not expected to follow the law is broken.

      They knew this before taking the job. If the privacy exposure associated with being a cop is too much for them, perhaps they should think about another line of work.

      • Racecarchic21 says:

        I completely agree with you- that is the correct order of things because that is the current law. My biggest problem is that everyone makes this huge ordeal over someone wanting to protect their name and family and it really just seems to me like Terrence was looking to stir things up at the protest to get attention- he knew that officer wasn't being threatening in any way. I get the law, and you're right, I should lobby to get it changed. However, to compare it to someone robbing a grocery store because they're doing it for their family? That's stupid. It's like that in no way. People are just critical of everything OPD does these days when they deserve a little more credit for all the BS they put up with.

        • jwz says:

          People are critical of cops breaking the law. Cops who break the law should no longer be cops, period. The gun means they should be held to an even higher standard than everyone else.

          • Racecarchic21 says:

            That's like saying a person who gets a speeding ticket for going 5 miles over should not be allowed to drive anymore.

            • jwz says:

              No, it's not even remotely like that at all, you moron.

            • nooj says:

              Are you trying to say that because a car is considered a deadly weapon, someone who breaks driving laws ought to have their driver's license suspended?

              JWZ said "gun" as a representation of the power imbalance police enjoy over ordinary citizens. That power imbalance does not exist for your example.

        • joe says:

          geez i see all the retards weren't left behind on livejournal.

          the phrase you are looking for is "above the law". i put it in quotes for you to make it easier to google.

          using it, you can easily transform your final sentence into what you actually mean:
          "People are just critical of everything OPD does these days when they deserve to be above the law."

  5. white guy says:

    Rejoice all you want but having these cops demoted is the start of a series of events that leads to baaaaaaad turnouts. These are the cops that should be getting promoted to detective positions or the cops that should be sent to infiltrate gang cartels. --- instead of demoting them to positions where they will have more interactions with civilians. Some people are hostile or people-hating by nature, but that doesn't mean they're bad for society (ie maybe a person with a necrophiliac personality should work in a morgue or conduct autopsies, because he has a natural comfort with this type of things [as long as he doesn't sexually molest the corpses or something]). Demote all your Paton's and Clint-Eastwood type cops to low positions and you have a police force full of pussies.

    In the smurfs, everyone has a job and that means 10 jobs get done for you in return, and no one is perfect or able to do all jobs. Real life is like the smurfs, you have violent people that just love kicking people in the head, and then you have soft-spoken people which should probably be babysitters or singers -- but that doesn't make them evil.