Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Experts Shocked at Shooting of Unarmed Protester; Occupy Oakland Plans to Occupy Buildings

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 6:45 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Experts in police use of force are shocked by a new video that shows a cop shooting a less-than-lethal weapon at an unarmed protester who was filming police during a chaotic demonstration last week in downtown Oakland, the Tribune reports. The experts say that the video provides strong evidence that police, at minimum, violated the First Amendment rights of the victim, Scott Campbell of Oakland, a software engineer, and appeared to retaliate against him for filming them. Campbell was shot in the leg.

2. Occupy Oakland protesters, meanwhile, are forging plans to begin occupying abandoned or foreclosed buildings in the city as they seek to step up their demonstration, the Chron reports. City officials, however, oppose the idea; City Administrator Deanna Santana said it would not be tolerated. Last week’s general strike and day of protest turned violent after black-clad protesters took over a foreclosed building in the city’s uptown district.

3. A judge has ordered a former Oakland police officer to pay $40,000 of his own money to two men whom he illegally stripped searched in public, the Chron reports. In 2005, then officer Ingo Mayer pulled over two men apparently for no reason in West Oakland and then forced them to pull down their pants on the street. Ex-Police Chief Anthony Batts has said that public strip searches were common in the department when he arrived in 2009, but that he eliminated them.

4. Faculty at Cal State East Bay in Hayward plan to hold a one day strike next week in protest over promised salary increases that the university now refuses to grant, the LA Times reports. Instructors at Cal State Dominguez Hills also plan to strike for one day on November 17.

5. More people than ever before are living in poverty nationwide, according to the US Census, which released a new formula for measuring poverty that takes into account the costs of living in different areas of the country, the CoCo Times reports. There are now 49.1 million Americans living below the poverty line.

6. Medical cannabis activists have filed a second legal challenge against the federal government over its recent crackdown in California, the LA Times reports. The latest set of lawsuits allege that the Obama Justice Department is violating a legal settlement that it made with a Santa Cruz pot dispensary, promising not to use governmental resources to go after medical cannabis patients who comply with state law.

7. And a fourth woman came forward yesterday to accuse GOP presidential frontrunner Herman Cain of sexual harassment. Sharon Bialek, a Republican, said that in the late 1990s, when Cain headed a restaurant lobbying group, he forced his hand up her skirt, pushed her head toward his crotch, and then said, “You want a job, right?”

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