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An interesting letter was released today by the Oakland Police Association. They're 'confused' by the response to the assault that hospitalized a marine veteran and injured several others.

The message?

"We were told to go bust some heads. We did what we were told. Now people are mad at us, including the mayor who told us to go bust some heads! What gives?"

Essentially, they're upset that after seeing the political fallout from the Oakland PD's disastrous handling of the occupy movement, Mayor Quan backpedaled so fast that she ran over the police department which enforced her attempt to shut down Occupy Oakland.

I don't support either of them, and I don't think Mayor Quan should make heads roll in the police department while she pretends that she was innocent of any wrongdoing.

She needs to resign. The Oakland PD need to be investigated. In any case, this letter is an interesting read. Full text is posted below the fold.

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1 November 2011 – Oakland, Ca.

We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland. We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families. We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.

As your police officers, we are confused.

On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza. We performed the job that the Mayor’s Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.

Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in – to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before.

To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the “Stop Work” strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.

That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against “the establishment.” But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest? Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?

It is all very confusing to us.

Meanwhile, a message has been sent to all police officers: Everyone, including those who have the day off, must show up for work on Wednesday. This is also being paid for by Oakland taxpayers. Last week’s events alone cost Oakland taxpayers over $1 million.

The Mayor and her Administration are beefing up police presence for Wednesday’s work strike they are encouraging and even “staffing,” spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for additional police presence – at a time when the Mayor is also asking Oakland residents to vote on an $80 parcel tax to bail out the City’s failing finances.

All of these mixed messages are confusing.

We love Oakland and just want to do our jobs to protect Oakland residents. We respectfully ask the citizens of Oakland to join us in demanding that our City officials, including Mayor Quan, make sound decisions and take responsibility for these decisions. Oakland is struggling – we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead – not send mixed messages. Thank you for listening.

Wed Nov 02, 2011 at  7:23 AM PT: We'll be starting a liveblog to aggregate info from events last night, including information of a police assault in Tulsa OK, last night.

I'll update with the link.

Wed Nov 02, 2011 at  8:25 AM PT: Our Liveblog is Here:

Originally posted to Writing by Will McLeod: A Better World is Possible on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

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