Protests over police brutality have roiled the Bay Area for days. Earlier this week, police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators and made dozens of arrests. On Wednesday, two California Highway Patrol officers went undercover at an Oakland demonstration, marching with protesters, presumably to monitor the crowd. If their intention was to keep the peace, it didn’t work. The officers were identified as undercover cops by protesters. An altercation began and then ended when one of the undercover officers pulled out a gun and pointed it at protesters.
Here’s more on the escalation from the San Francisco Chronicle:
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…”
Short said the undercover officers were wearing street clothes and had their faces covered. After the shorter officer tackled the person who attacked him, he pulled out a set of handcuffs. The taller man then radioed for help, Short said. Prior to the encounter, vandals marching with the group had smashed the windows of a T-Mobile store in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood and made off with some of the store’s merchandise, Short said. A nearby Wells Fargo ATM was also smashed.