A speak-out about police brutality and misconduct in Oakland was held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on November 5. The speak-out was organized by the local activist group PUEBLO (People United for a Better Oakland.) Several dozen Oakland residents from many ethnic backgrounds took the microphone one after another for an hour, giving personal accounts of how they had been mistreated by the police who are out of control and apparently consider themselves above the law. In the end a bleak picture was painted of Oakland’s finest as! speaker after speaker described a force that seems to do what they want, when they want, and to whomever they want. Accountability to the community and respect for human rights are obviously not serious contenders when it comes to priorities for the department.
Mayor-elect Jerry Brown fulfilled an election promise and attended, although his address to the crowd left something to be’ desired. Ron Hampton, Director oi the National Black Officers’ Association also spoke at the end. There were approximately 200 people present.
For more information about PUEBLO, call 510) 452-2010.