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Oakland Officials Defend Handling of Civil Unrest

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said the department’s management of Thursday night’s violent protests was a success, as its main goal was to contain the chaos.

78 people, three-quarters of them non-Oakland residents were taken into custody following the protests, 12 for felonies.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums agreed with Batts and said the right amount of force was used to allow people to express themselves after the verdict in the trial of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle.

Dellums said church and youth groups played a key role in not letting things get worse.

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“I would rather err on the side of guaranteeing the constitutional prerogatives of people rather than to have been oppressive and militaristic as it were,” said Dellums. “That wasn’t what this was about. Step back and give people the legitimate right. Now, some people exploited that moment.”

Read The Sovern Nation Blog:  That’s Not Oakland

City Administrator Dan Lindheim said that about 30 businesses were damaged. There’s no immediate cost estimate for the damage, which involved mostly graffiti and broken windows.

More than a dozen outside agencies participated in mutual aid.

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