Oakland Protester Unmasked As Undercover Cop, Aimed Gun at Photographer


Jason Keisling / Reason

An undercover law enforcement officer attempted to infiltrate an anti-police brutality protest in Oakland, California, last night. But once his cover was blown, he drew his gun. A photographer snapped pictures of him pointing it directly at the camera.

The San Francisco Chronicle has more on this bizarre incident:

The undercover work — captured by a freelance photographer working for The Chronicle — raised questions about tactics employed by police and protesters as authorities seek to get a handle on rallies that have flooded the streets of Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco, at times shutting down freeways and devolving into vandalism and looting.

About 50 people were marching near Lake Merritt just after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when some of the demonstrators began calling out two men who were walking with the group, said the freelance photographer, Michael Short.

"Just as we turned up 27th Street, the crowd started yelling at these two guys, saying they were undercover cops," Short said Thursday. "Somebody snatched a hat off the shorter guy's head and he was fumbling around for it. A guy ran up behind him, knocked him down on the ground. That guy jumped backed up and chased after him and tackled him and the crowd began surging on them.

"The other taller guy had a small baton out," Short said. "But as the crowd started surging on them, he pulled out a gun."

Read the rest of the article—and check out the pictures of the officer—here.

NEXT: Philly Area Cops Freak Out Over Editorial Cartoon Depicting Children Asking Santa to Protect Them From Cops

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  1. If I were sent to infiltrate a potentially-violent demo, I’d bring my cop gun, too.

    1. So you admit you are a NARC!

    2. Just about any demonstration is potentially violent if you deliberately provoke the violence. If I were sent to infiltrate a group of protestors exercising their right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances maybe I’d just refuse to go.

      Or possibly join the group – are there no cops willing to speak out against police brutality or are they all pro-brutality?

      1. are there no cops willing to speak out against police brutality or are they all pro-brutality?

        The five mythical animals of old Earth: the chimera, the griffin, the unicorn, the moderate Muslim, and the cop willing to speak out against police brutality.

        –Datalinks, Alpha Centauri Colonial Protectorate

        1. I read this in the voice of Colonel Coraz?n Santiago.

          1. It works in Nwabudike Morgan’s as well, I find.

            1. He was my favorite.

            2. Morgan? Pshaw. Only when he’s explaining the use of Punishment Spheres to the bases that will now support his military units. Otherwise, not so much.

        2. you forgot the bonnacon. they always forget the poor bonnacon.

      2. Happening to be someone the protesters don’t like is “provoking violence”?

        If an anti-cop person marched in a pro-cop rally just to see what was going on, and got beaten up when they found out he was insincere, would you call that a peaceable assembly?

        1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

      3. These demonstrations have been going on nightly for over two weeks, with considerable looting and vandalism daily.

    3. I think if you are undercover, you need to be undercover and not revert to standard pig behavior at the slightest bit of danger.

      But the best thing is probably not to infiltrate every protest group as if they are criminal gangs or terrorists unless you have good reason to believe that they actually are. Police departments are not supposed to be domestic spy agencies.

  2. They train you to point your weapon at whoever you’re talking to, right?

    1. By the way his holding it, the only training they must receive is watching Boyz in the Hood.

      1. He should be fired for that alone.

      2. Guy looks more like 22 Jump Street.

        1. More like “chump” street.

    2. with his finger on the trigger. no doubt the pig was ready to pop off at the slightest of furtive movements.

  3. OT =

    If anyone is good with Photoshop? I think we need to highlight examples of other Greenpeace marketing efforts….

    … like their slapping their logo on the Parthenon, the Pyramids, Stonehenge, the heads on Easter Island, Dome of the Rock, etc.

    Because, like, no one would ever get upset if Coca Cola decided to Banner Drop THEIR logo on the moon*, or something. When Greenpeace does it, its totally for our own good and shit… not, like, to market themselves and get donations.

    I’ve been trying to jimmy up some examples, but they look terrible.

    Just a thought.

    1. Not necessary considering they willing to gather by the thousands to do this:


    2. Because, like, no one would ever get upset if Coca Cola decided to Banner Drop THEIR logo on the moon*

      We can do it with Massive laser projectors! Logo the Moon! So what if it takes more electricity than the rest of the grid put together!

  4. Take away one badge (not on display) and you have ADW.

    Must be nice.

  5. “To continue reading this story, you will need to be a digital subscriber to SFChronicle.com”. Blah.

  6. OK, so bad on the cops for being infiltrators and possible agents provocateur.

    On the other hand, if a mob of people begins “surging on [you],” I certainly think you have a justification to use force to protect yourself. I am no cop apologist, but in a situation rapidly degrading, even one.of their own creation, it is hard to fault a defensive use of force. Pointing the gun at the camera is probably a bad move.

    But imagine if these folks were not cop infiltrators. The paranoia of these kinds of groups could lead to the mob beating up an innocent person if he couldn’t “prove” he wasn’t a cop.

    1. “But imagine if these folks were not cop infiltrators. The paranoia of these kinds of groups could lead to the mob beating up an innocent person if he couldn’t “prove” he wasn’t a cop.”

      It’s possible, but it looks like the protesters are batting a thousand.
      So your hypothetical isn’t really applicable.

      1. Well, I guess it could never happen then.

        1. I guess he could have been hit by a meteorite also, right?
          I mean since we’re going for hypotheticals, let’s use ’em all!

        2. We guess you’re trying to change the subject.

      2. Michael Brown was a violent criminal, so I guess that justifies cops shooting first and asking questions later too.

        1. You’re so brave, Tulpa. I mean swooping into a thread hours later is just as brave as the cops you like to have balls deep in your willing and eager mouth.

      3. In Ferguson a group beat up a white college student who was at their meeting before a march, 4 were charged yesterday. Three days ago a liberal activist was beaten in the head with a hammer for trying to stop looting during a march in Oakland. There is precedent that the crowd will turn on someone. Perhaps the hammer incident sparked sending in undercover police?

  7. This pig was brandishing a weapon. I didn’t see a badge. So if someone, reasonably thought this pig was gonna kill someone and put a bullet in his head, would he………. awwww fuck it, I know the answer.

    1. I find it hilarious he was holding the gun sideways.

      The New Professionalism, ladies and germs.

      1. Sheesh, man, you know he was just doing that so he didn’t blow his cover!

    2. The most beautiful irony would be if another undercover cop saw that one and took action.

    3. he is lucky he didn’t do that shit in a carry state. somebody probably would have.

  8. Are we aware that natives can grow weed now? Doesn’t that make it legal?


    1. [The Department of Justice] outlined new policies allowing American Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana on reservation lands.

      “The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations,” [said the] chairman of the Attorney General’s Subcommittee on Native American Issues.

      [The] Department of Justice said U.S. … prosecutors retain the right to enforce federal law.

      White Man speak with forked tongue.

    2. Related: Does the FDA know about this lawless behavior?


      1. That has to be fake. The next thing, “scientists” will be claiming that animals masturbate and have gay sex.

      2. Somebody instructed the EPA to station officers at the roads leading into/out of the reservations, and stop all cars and search them for marijuana.

        1. Er, DEA, not EPA. They’re all a bunch of lawless fuckwits.

          1. I like EPA. It’s as if CO2 emissions is reason enough for outlawing pot smoking.

  9. Wow. From all of the cop comments I hear and their behavior they are taking the ‘beatings will continue until moral improves’ strategy. Incredible.

    Thats right idiots in blue, keep throwing gas on the fire. See how it turns out for you.

    1. They don’t know how else to respond. It’s all they know. They can’t at all fathom being conciliatory. It just doesn’t occur to them.

  10. I wrote a comment criticizing a torture apologist, His response:

    Hmmm…comparing the Revolutionary War with today’s war on terror is naive cowardice at best. So…if the King of Choom and his Queen Wookie would stop being so mean to terrorist’s, then they would like us?? Let’s see……..how many be-headings have taken place so far? I’ve lost count. I suppose the be-headings were caused from the mean CIA pulling out the fingernails of mass murderer’s, putting their heads in a vice, smashing their toes with a hammer, being drawn and quartered, having electrodes attached to certain body parts, etc., etc……but I didn’t see any of that in the report. Or it could be the mass number of innocent civilians killed in the drone strikes from the King. I’ve got a brilliant idea. You set up a meeting with Ahmad Abousamra and promise to polish his sandals, feed the camels, give him a sponge bath and maybe- – – just maybe he can get his buddies to not hate us anymore. I’m sure he will. But take a lot of toilet paper with you.


    1. Orientalism. Same propaganda for 2500 years.

    2. Let’s see……..how many be-headings have taken place so far?

      Like 8 and they’ve all been journalists who were captured in the region.

      I like that these people behave like ISIS is rolling down Madison Avenue and decapitating people in the lobby of Madison Square Garden.

      1. Can’t a guy dream?

      2. I mean, shit, the French did more than eight a week only two hundred years ago. Efficient beheading isn’t one of ISIS’s strong suits.

      3. Those are just the ones that the West cares about. They’ve also beheaded, crucified, and mutilated hundreds to thousands of brown people whose bodies aren’t worth a million bucks.

      4. We only count beheadings of westerners?


        Do the 4 children from yesterday’s news count? http://nypost.com/2014/12/12/c…..-children/

    3. So…if the King of Choom and his Queen Wookie would stop being so mean to terrorist’s,

      Apostrophe abuse is an act of terrorism!

  11. Got a free copy or Root’s SCOTUS book today from Reason. Neato.

  12. In other nut punch news, I saw this in my local paper.

    Ex-cop killed people in a car accident and the judge a urine sample from the night of is inadmissible.

    1. Ah, *that* explains all the rioting protesting in Wichita Falls lately.

    2. Correction: he is currently an ex-cop. He was a cop when he crashed his cruiser into the other car.

      1. Retired with a pension equal to 110% of his salary for life and full medical benefits, I presume?

    3. You’re playing games again. The urinalysis in question didn’t reveal any alcohol or illegal drugs, just Xanax and diet pills whose effect on driving is very questionable, so suppressing it isn’t obviously unjustified.

      Here’s an article that’s not behind a paywall like yours is.

      1. Seems like Xanax could have impaired his driving, especially since he already rear-ended another car the same day. From the article, “…The police department’s accident/incident review board had found at least one of those medications could have potentially affected Whitefield’s driving ability. Whitefield also was cited for not telling his supervisor he was taking those medications and not providing a medical release to use them while on duty ? both violations of department policy.”

        “…Xanax may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert…”

        Of course, he was doing 80 in a 45 mph zone, and may have been talking on a call phone, so my guess is he will not be getting his job back.

        1. He’s also facing a trial on criminal charges. If the usual Reason narrative were true there wouldn’t even be an opportunity to exclude evidence from a trial cause “cops never go on trial”.

          1. Tulpa is fine when anyone dies, as long as a cop is doing the killing.

            His ultimate sexual fantasy is to be batoned to death anally.

  13. By the looks of it, they sent the whitest man in Oakland to work as an undercover cop at a predominantly black anti-police brutality rally.

    How’d they know he was a cop? It is a mystery.

    1. I bet he’s kicking himself for not wearing his hat on backwards or letting his pants sag.

      1. Lookin like a fool witcho pants on yo hips.

  14. Vivian Ho bylined the story, but I’m sure it was called-in by one of the protesters.
    The SF Chron has all of about 3 reporters remaining and most operate off the police blotter or political press releases. Other than that as regards news, it’s an AP reseller.
    The ‘paper’ relies on several lefty columnists for readership and their columns are like Krugman’s; the same column over and over with a new headline.

    1. So the first clip has some lefties obviously embarrassed to have been taken by that twit’s lies.
      The second simply shows that river really does flood now and then.
      I’m sure the ‘denialists’ will now claim that Maddow doesn’t know what she was talking about.

  15. OT:


    PHOENIX (AP) ? In a scathing critique of Arizona’s criminal justice system, a state appeals court on Thursday ordered the dismissal of murder charges against a woman who spent 22 years on death row for the killing of her 4-year-old son.

    The Arizona Court of Appeals leveled harsh criticism against prosecutors over their failure to turn over evidence during Debra Jean Milke’s trial about a detective with a long history of misconduct and lying. The court called prosecutors’ actions “a severe stain on the Arizona justice system.”

    1. Just a few bad eggs. Once we get rid of these ones, I’m sure everything will be fine.

    2. Why in the living fuck did it take 22 years?

  16. Here you go, Derpetologist.

    If Neoliberalism were a water balloon.

    He calls it an experiment, which makes sense if you don’t know what an experiment is and think saying random shit means you’ve made a deep point.

    1. I feel like we could play count the fallacies with this video and go all day.

      For example, he argues that every race should make equal amounts of money, and if they don’t, it’s because of discrimination. Obviously it couldn’t have anything to do with cultural differences and different levels of educational attainment. That would be impossible.

      1. At least you’re not letting yourself be typecast!

    2. Good find. The tax-cuts-cause poverty argument is endlessly amusing. Maybe if a poor country like Haiti raises taxes through the roof, they’ll become Hong Kong overnight. Derp.

  17. OT: 20-sided die from the Ptolemaic era in Egypt:


    [please be genuine!]

    1. If it is, it was ‘loaded’ at the time. The moments defining stability and instability are biased toward instability such that nearly any wear or engraving differences means that thing is gonna roll “omega” 8 times out of ten.

      1. That’s good because Omega means Oral sex in the Egyption dice game.

  18. Drawing down on someone who is not endangering you is a cowardly thing to do. That pig should be facing the same charges as anyone else for that kind of behavior: brandishing a weapon, reckless endangerment, and making terroristic threats.


    1. “Drawing down on someone who is not endangering you is a cowardly thing to do”

      I presume you mean pointing that gun at someone who is “armed” with a camera.
      I can only presume it was a threat to avoid being caught on digit (as it were).

    2. How do know he wasn’t endangered?

      1. Apparently, he felt a camera was the greatest threat in his immediate vicinity.

    3. There was a crowd of 50+ attacking the two cops.

      According to the police, his partner was kicked in the head lying on the ground before he took the gun out.

  19. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..951011.php

    Here’s a non-paywall version of the story

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  21. Did anyone see the picture of the cop? He looks like he learned to hold a gun from a street gang. They really are just thugs.

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