CHP Investigation Finds Officer Aiming Weapon at Protest Within Policy

10421221_420983118055256_5094149148933487196_nRevolution News – by Jennifer Baker

The California Highway Patrol has concluded a plainclothes officer acted within department policy when he drew his gun without identifying himself and aimed it at protesters during a scuffle when he and his partner were unmasked during an anti-police brutality protest in December.

The unnamed officer was found to be justified for drawing his gun and aiming it at everyone present after his partner wrestled with a protester who struck him on Dec. 10. The investigation concluded about three weeks ago.  

Despite the obvious error of having CHP Officers armed and undercover, walking amongst an anti-police brutality protest while instigating violence and vandalism along the way being the flawed behavior. Avery Browne, chief of the CHP’s Golden Gate Division says: “Was it unnerving? Yes. Shocking? Yes,”. “We take that seriously when there’s a display of a firearm, but had he not done that, today we might be having a different discussion. “He saved his partner’s life and other citizens that were there, too.”

Had these two officers not been dispatched to covertly surveil and instigate the march eventually leading to protester suspicion and the officers unmasking, this violent chain of events would have never occurred.

The officer and his partner were dressed in plainclothes and followed the protest part of the way in their car, then went on foot from downtown Oakland toward Lake Merritt. Around 27th Street, some protesters became suspicious that the two men were police, not protesters, and at least one person attempted to pull off the handkerchiefs the officers were using to hide their faces & identities. The officer told his superiors he drew his weapon out of fear when his partner wrestled with a protester and a crowd began to close in around them.

The two-minute scuffle became one of the most dramatic scenes locally during dozens of Bay Area protests in November and December over police killings in New York and Ferguson, Missouri. The previous night, CHP officers had fired beanbags from a freeway overpass at protesters on the street below after the marchers had briefly occupied lanes of Highway 24.Multiple protesters, including Oakland resident Etta Johnson, said the officers did not identify themselves as police officers when asked, and the officer who drew his gun did not show his badge as CHP officials have said he did.Johnson is the mother of 30-year-old Christopher A. Lander, who was shot dead by an unknown assailant in June 2013. Another of her sons was wounded in the shooting.”All I could do is look down the barrel of the gun and think about my kids who were shot,” said Johnson, who filed a citizen’s complaint with the CHP in December. “I didn’t know he was a police (officer). Never once did he say he was or show a badge. All he said was, ‘get back,’ with his gun out.”
In a response to Johnson’s complaint, a CHP captain wrote to Johnson: “The California Highway Patrol maintains the highest level of expectations from our employees. I hope that if you should have any future contact with a member of this department it will be under more favorable circumstances.”Browne said the investigation included statements from witnesses and review of surveillance footage. Browne, who defended the officers’ actions from the beginning, said their actions were appropriate since they felt threatened and were outnumbered by protesters. The officers remained on active duty after the incident.

6 thoughts on “CHP Investigation Finds Officer Aiming Weapon at Protest Within Policy

  1. If the public allowed to read the policy of any law enforcement Corporation?
    One answer is no.
    The other answer is that blank pages are filled in with new policies as needed.

  2. So

    than I guess the Citizens policy should be the same

    whats good for the law makers is good for the law followers

    rule of law applies to everyone.. you cops break a law dont go all wimpy when its back in your face

  3. Why does the Highway Patrol have undercover detectives infiltrating anything but cars on the HIGHWAY?
    Bankster mercenaries, all of them!

  4. Never point a firearm at anyone you do not want to shoot/kill.
    Basic firearms handling 101.
    Therefore, he wanted to kill those people…and he is in violation of basic firearm handling rules. Incompetent or poorly trained?
    Either way, he should be terminated and never allowed to wield a weapon from a position of authority…Never.
    As an aside, I don’t see them as authority figures. But many unawake people do.

  5. “He saved his partner’s life and other citizens that were there, too.”


    He and his partner CAUSED the freakin’ problem in the first place, @sswipe.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.