We know damn well that if the media had ignored the fact that four cops had just been killed, police would have raised all kinds of hell about it. And rightfully so.
But here we have a gang of Oakland cops assaulting a news videographer as he was filming the chaotic scene outside the hospital where one of the slain officers was being transported.
Police tried to justify this behavior by saying the officers were emotionally distraught over the four slain officers.
But that’s no excuse.
First of all, we see type of behavior on a regular basis when it doesn’t involve slain officers.
And second of all, police officers should remain professional and composed, even during the most traumatic times. This is why they get trusted with guns and badges.
As a result, news videographer Douglas Laughlin has filed a federal lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The audio on the video is not very clear in the beginning, but the Chronicle provides the following breakdown on what was said:
The video shows off-duty Officer Fred Shavies running toward Laughlin and yelling, “Hey! Get the f– out of here!” Shavies then knocked Laughlin against a parked car, breaking the camera’s viewfinder, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
A group of officers then forced Laughlin away from the hospital and onto East 31st Street.
“You guys can’t do this to me,” Laughlin protests on the video.
Sgt. Rich Vierra, who at the time was chief of staff to then-acting Chief Howard Jordan, tells Laughlin, “Sir, look at what we’re doing here, man. Sir, that’s one of our police officers that got shot. You need to leave.”
Uniformed Officer Luke Sincerny repeatedly tells Laughlin, “Please go,” as off-duty officers herd Laughlin along.
Laughlin tells the officers that they can’t force him away because it’s a public street. Sincerny responds, “It’s not important right now,” as Vierra tells the cameraman, “It’s not. You are interfering with a crime scene. I will place you under arrest.”
The camera kept rolling as the officers pushed Laughlin across the street and onto the sidewalk, the suit said. Officer William Pappas tried to tear the battery pack off the camera, and an unidentified sergeant put up yellow police tape to block Laughlin’s access, the complaint says.