Oakland Mayor Doesn't Want SWAT Convention Back Next Year
Oakland, CA Mayor Jean Quan posted on her Facebook page this weekend that she doesn't want her city to host next year's edition of Urban Shield, a five-day trade show featuring the finest in militarized police gear, whose 2014 edition took place this past week in Oakland. Urban Shield also consists of rigorous training excercises featuring law enforcement from all over the U.S., as well as such far-flung locales as Israel, Bahrain, France, Singapore, and South Korea.
Quan did not offer any specific objections to the event, but noted that "In the wake of the events in Ferguson, MO, we've gotten questions recently about the Oakland Police Department and military hardware." She also noted the Oakland PD's increased emphasis on community policing, the hiring of a new director of a Citizens' Police Review Board, and the fact the Oakland PD has not had an officer-involved shooting in more than a year.
A spokesman from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, which runs the annual event, did not appreciate Quan's rejection of the confab, saying, "we find it amazing that the mayor of Oakland does not want better training for the cities' first responders nor the hotel tax revenue, sales tax revenue, and low crime rate in the downtown area that Urban Shield and its 5,000-plus attendees has provided in the last few years to the City of Oakland."
Mother Jones' Shane Bauer posted a short video depicting some of the highlights of the event, including drones, MRAPs, automatic weapons, and motivational t-shirts. The video culminates in Bauer's expulsion from Urban Shield, after reporting for several days, for some rather unspecific reasons. Watch below: