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Mr. Corbett Baker — In researching my book "Occupy Oakland: The Little Revolution That Couldn't" (2012), I read everything I could find about Scott Olsen. Yet nowhere did I see it reported that, as you assert, Olsen was on inactive reserve—aka Individual Ready Reserve. Since IRR personnel retain their status as uniformed military personnel, this would seem to preclude membership by Olsen, who was administratively separated by the Marine Corps in November 2009. In other words, he was booted out with an other-than-honorable discharge for reasons never made public. Please, can you tell us how you determined that Olsen remained part of the IRR? Thank you.
Oh, and by the way, on October 25, 2011, Scott Olsen was not "acting a fool." You needn't explain your assertion to that effect, since it's rubbish.
The irony here is delicious. On the one hand, EBX gives us a splendidly researched and well written article about the fears of political protesters that Oakland's proposed DAC will penetrate their urban shield of anonymity. On the other hand, the editor has removed 3 of the first 9 comments for violating EBX's policy forbidding anonymous comments. In other words, anonymity must be as scrupulously guarded in public spaces as a maiden's chastity but is unacceptable for commenters at East Bay Express. I can only pray that Robert Gammon will not remove my own comment for violating EBX policy against discussing editorial double standards.
In any case, commenters Eric Tremont and Strobe Fischbyne (sic) are right that Occupy Oakland made the DAC inevitable. It's no coincidence that the most outspoken opponents of centralized surveillance are sore losers from Occupy Oakland, including Mary Madden, Dan Siegel, Joshua Garrett Smith and JP Massar. These and other Occupiers brought the DAC on themselves—and, more importantly, on everyone else as well.
Thanks for this insightful and informative opinion piece, Mr. Gammon—although I think Detroit's police reforms are like the proverbial lipstick on a pig (no pun intended). Today in The Detroit News, columnist Daniel Howes says Michigan's governor is preparing to guide the state's largest city through filing under Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code. "The working concept," writes Howes, assumes that "Mayor Dave Bing and City Council would be unable to push through overdue restructuring, and that the process would culminate in appointment of an emergency financial manager under Public Act 72."
Police chief Ralph Godbee Jr. may have, as you put it, "completely changed the culture of Detroit PD." But that city is far from an enviable model of enlightened and capable urban governance.
I do, however, agree with your take on attorneys Burris & Chanin's insistence that the proposed Oakland compliance director is a receiver under another name. Clearly, the compliance director won't be running OPD; he'll merely be offering recommendations—to the City, to OPD, and to Judge Henderson. It's a position with only a veneer of bureaucratic authority and, worse, no direct responsibility to the people of Oakland.
"… the sergeant was nowhere present when Uu was beaten." Surely you mean when Sabeghi was beaten. Anyhow, kudos to you and East Bay Express for at long last spelling Mr. Sabeghi's surname correctly.
Readers interested in Oakland's contemporary history and/or East Bay radical politics might consider my newest volume, published earlier this month: the first book about Occupy's most militant franchise. "Occupy Oakland: The Little Revolution That Couldn't" is available at Amazon.
Just an update, if I may, to Cynthia Morse's September 26 comment. The 110 pages of crime scene reports, published on the City of Oakland's website this week, help us understand how Alan Blueford could've been taken to Highland Hospital by a Paramedics Plus ambulance, yet the hospital would have no record of him being there. The fact is, OPD did not determine the suspect's identify until hours later. When he was transported to the hospital it was as John Doe, and his body would've subsequently been released to the coroner under said alias. Thus Highland would have no record under the name Alan Blueford.
"It's pretty damned obvious," Mitchell Colbert writes, "that if priority calls were stacked that priority call would be one of them, does it not?"
No, it's not obvious. You're asking us to accept an absurd premise, namely that when OPD received the first report of a gunman shooting people at will on the campus of a university in Oakland—shootings that left 7 dead and 3 wounded—the dispatcher would simply stack that call behind others. If you have evidence of such an outrage, please share it. Otherwise your inferences are as useless and self-indulgent as your pot smoking.
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