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Phil Matier: Oakland Police Won’t Identify Suspects Arrested In Gang Sweep

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An Oakland Police patrol car sits in front of the Oakland Police headquarters. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

An patrol car is parked in front of the Oakland Police Department headquarters. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – Authorities have refused to identify eight men they recently arrested as part of one of Oakland’s primary crime-fighting strategies.

Earlier this month, Oakland police held a news conference to draw attention to the strategy known as Operation Ceasefire, which aims to reduce violence by offering social services and support to gang members.

At that news conference, they simply announced the arrests. But, police did not identify–and haven’t since–the names of people arrested. They also haven’t released specifics about the nature of the crimes they are accused of committing. Authorities maintain that identifying the suspects could damage their investigation and put the suspects at risk of retaliation from rival gangs.

A second news conference was held this week to announce additional arrests, as part of Operation Ceasefire. But, again, the police department did not release any identifications of suspects.

Police have promised to release the names at a later date.

Law enforcement experts quoted in published reports about the issue suggest that refusing to disclosed the identities of arrested suspects for more than a week is not a common practice. Additionally, some civil rights attorneys have questioned the police department’s reasoning; question whether the suspects’ civil rights are being violated.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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