Oakland Police Name-Covering Episode Prompts Suspension, Demotion

OAKLAND (KCBS)— An Oakland police officer has been suspended and his supervisor demoted after the officer covered up his name badge with black tape during a November 2nd Occupy Oakland protest.

Officer John Hargraves was hit with a 30-day suspension. His supervisor, Lt. Clifford Wong, was demoted for failing to properly report the incident that was caught on a video that was posted online.

In the video, a man can be heard posing a question to one of the officers, asking whether or not it’s against policy for officers to hide their name badges.

Attorney Jim Channon has asked a federal judge to slap additional sanctions on the officers, saying obscuring the name badge not only violates state law, but various reforms agreed to after the notorious “Riders” case.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“It does indicate that the OPD is serious about dealing with this particular misconduct. However, I wonder whether it would have been the same discipline if it wasn’t on a YouTube video that was shown around the world.

He worries this behavior shows a continued attitude of lawlessness among certain members of the force.

The city argues that Hargraves hid his name to protect himself and his family from future harassment by protesters.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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