07/27/2010

Glitches hindered Oakland cops' riot response

The logistical challenge of dealing with 900 officers complicated policing after the Mehserle verdict

By Jaxon Van Derbeken and Carolyn Jones
San Francisco Chronicle

OAKLAND, Calif. — Communication breakdowns and logistical snafus hindered Oakland's response to mayhem after the Johannes Mehserle verdict earlier this month, leaving riot-clad officers standing by as protesters set trash fires, smashed windows and looted shops.

The July 8 protest-turned-melee marked unprecedented collaboration among 15 Bay Area police agencies on behalf of Oakland, but it also brought unprecedented logistical challenges dealing with 900 officers, said Oakland Police Deputy Chief Eric Breshears, the commander of the operation.

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