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Oakland Police Say They Did Not Know About Undercover CHP Officers At Demonstrations

OAKLAND (KCBS) — Oakland police said they were not told that plainclothes officers from the California Highway Patrol were in the crowd last Wednesday night when one of them drew his gun on a group of surging protesters.

Oakland Police Say They Did Not Know About Undercover CHP Officers At Demonstrations

The CHP, however, continues to defend their officer's actions and claim they have used plainclothes officers to track protest movements and strategies since the unrest began—all with the approval of both Oakland and Berkeley police departments.

But Oakland police now claim they didn't know specifically that undercover CHP officers were in the crowd on the night of Dec. 10, when protesters identified two of them as law enforcement, attacking one and forcing the other to pull his gun.

RELATED: Undercover CHP Officer Points Gun Toward Protesters, News Photographer During Arrest At Oakland Demonstration

Division Commander Avery Brown told reporters the local police should be aware there are officers in the crowd providing intelligence.

"We have a representative from the Highway Patrol in their emergency operations center so that we're able to provide information that we are seeing—things that we're seeing—and they can communicate with us things that they're hearing and they're seeing also. We work collaboratively with the agencies," he said.

Since the incident, Oakland police said they have had high level command staff meetings to insure everyone is on the same page, especially when it comes to undercover operations.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier said he spoke with an Oakland official who said they were happy with what the CHP was doing because it's harder for them to make arrests because they have to issue an order to demonstrators to disperse and when the crowd moves, they have to do the same thing over again.


Phil Matier: Oakland Police Say They Had

However, if demonstrators go onto a freeway, which is against the law, the CHP has the authority to arrest them all.

While violent demonstrators have vandalized and destroyed property, Berkeley and Oakland police have been told by local elected officials to back off, Matier said.

"So what they (police) sometimes do—when they have these mutual aid situations—is they defer to the other mutual aides that are being brought in," he said.

That's why, Matier said, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office has played a big role.

"So there is this sort of winking and nodding going on until something hits the fan, then the fingers star to point and everybody goes deaf," he said.


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