Oakland Police Investigating Captain Who Approved Projectile Use Against Occupy Protesters

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The police captain who approved using beanbag projectiles against Occupy Oakland protesters and the SWAT officer who fired a beanbag round at a demonstrator have been reassigned during an investigation into the tactics.

Oakland police Capt. Ersie Joyner III tells the Contra Costa Times that he could be fired or demoted because of the Nov. 3 beanbag incident.

Joyner has been transferred to the Office of the Inspector General while the investigation continues.

Officer Victor Garcia, who fired the projectile, has been removed from the SWAT team during the investigation.

Garcia fired the beanbag projectile at videographer Scott Campbell, striking him in the thigh. Campbell has video of the incident, which you can see here:

From the Contra Costa Times:

Campbell’s video, posted on YouTube, shows him backing away from the skirmish line and asking loudly if he is far enough away from officers to continue filming. The video shows a flash and a bang is heard, and then Campbell collapses.

No police warning is audible before the shot is heard. This is an apparent violation of the department’s use-of-force and crowd-control policies, which require officers to issue a warning before firing beanbags on protesters. Campbell has sued the department in federal court seeking unspecified damages.

Campbell’s video “doesn’t look too good” for the department, said Joyner, a 20-year veteran of the force. Still, the captain said the charges he could face — gross dereliction of duty and giving an unlawful order — will not be sustained. Full article

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