Oakland City Hall Council Meeting Chamber
February 22, 2013 -- approximately 11 p.m.
An Oakland Police Departmentd (OPD) officer was standing in the center aisle with his back to the main entrance door, feet widely placed and hands clasped behind him, about five seating rows away from that door. I walked from the left-hand seating (as you face the council) to the right-hand seating, about 3 feet behind him, to retrieve a coat and papers I had left there.
As I passed behind him, he stepped back and slammed into me, then quickly resumed his previous location and stance. There was a lot of force in his move; because I have a chronic neck injury, and his blow jerked my neck, I had an increase in neck pain immediately and for several days afterward. I didn't completely lose my balance and didn't fall.
A friend was seated close to the officer, on the aisle, and saw what happened. She was indignant and would be a good witness.
I don't have the name or badge number of the officer. Because of the pain in my neck, and because the officer was faced away from me, I didn't react as I normally would have.--I didn't get his name or say anything to him. I did walk closely behind him when I recrossed the aisle, bumping into papers that protruded from his back pocket, to let him know I wasn't intimidated. I would like to ID him from OPD officer photos if possible.
I think what he did could have been retaliation for "interfering" in the swarm of cops who surrounded and tried to intimidate speakers who continued their remarks to the [City] Council even though they were supposedly out of time. I objected--probably pretty loudly--to what they were doing and followed them as they physically forced the speakers to a back corner of the room. I asked if they were arresting the speakers and then reminded the cops that because there was not to be an arrest they had to free the detained speakers (which they did).