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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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More from Holly Quan
  • taxpayer

    I’m trying to understand this…a public servent is suspended and another demoted, over a name tag? Attorney wants more charges? How about the occupiers wearing name tags too. Since occupiers have rights, to cover their faces while thrashing downtown Oakland.

  • Beverly Hills

    If you’re a public servant your name tag should be visible at all times. If you’re afraid for you or your family’s safety, this is not the job for you. For the superior to condone such action is just as bad. People want to come to Oakland with a thug mentality, do their dirt and then go back to the “burbs” and be nice without anyone ever knowing your participation. I agree with the punishment and the clear message it sends…..

  • Doremus

    So let me get this straight: a police officer decides to break the law, and people are defending him?

  • light

    They would do well to eliminate and protest agaonst rogue punk employees at the casino. Real perverts.

  • Websurfer

    I have a friend who works in OPD. Lt. Wong was not officer Hargraves’ direct supervisor. He just happened to be there that day. Lt. Wong removed the tap , reported the incident to officer Hargraver’s Sergant and wrote a report about this incident and put into OPD iPass internal system. Not like news or the lawyers said that he tried to cover. It’s all poltical game and he got demoted. It’s so sad that the public does not knowing the truth.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/31/judge-rules-against-oakland-cops-in-nameplate-flap-during-occupy-protest/ Judge Rules Against Oakland Cops In Nameplate Flap During Occupy Protest « CBS San Francisco

    […] (CBS/AP) — A federal judge in California has ruled that an Oakland police officer who covered his nameplate during a November Occupy protest seriously violated court-approved conduct standards for the city’s police […]

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