OAKLAND (KCBS)— Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is pleased that there wasn’t as much vandalism or as many arrests during Tuesday’s May Day demonstrations as there were during previous Occupy Oakland protests.
According to Quan, officials now think they have a template to keep the protests from getting out of hand.
Quan said from now on, police will use force on a selective basis, in a more surgical way. The change in tactics also means targeting specific troublemakers instead of inciting the whole crowd by setting off tear gas or firing beanbags indiscriminately when one or two people turn violent.
Nonetheless, police moved in quickly on 14th and Broadway during Tuesday’s protests after giving several dispersal orders to the crowds. Police Chief Howard Jordan said a small amount of gas was used to disperse the crowd during the noon-hour clash between police and protesters.
“It’s sad that we’ve gotten so much practice, but it’s clear we’re sending the message that Oakland’s not your playground. Please don’t vandalize our city,” Quan said.
She added that police have learned how to follow people who have been violent and arrest them when it’s less dramatic and less people are involved.
Some protest leaders still blame the police for instigating violence and say they’re using excessive force, but Quan said the results speak for themselves and hopes the pattern will repeat at future demonstration.
Twenty-five people were reported arrested in relation to the May Day protests.
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