Occupy Oakland has been the site of some of the worst rioting and accusations of police brutality among the Occupy Wall Street protests, and many undercover cops have been caught trying to infiltrate the Occupy movement, and even take it down from the inside.
It comes as no surprise then, that Oakland Police Officer Fred Shavies was exposed as a plainsclothes detective by Copwatch at Occupy Oakland last month. What may be more surprisingly is that Shavies supports the Occupy protestors, and is now speaking out against police brutality at Occupy Oakland.
In a followup interview with Copwatch, an organization dedicated to exposing police brutality and holding cops accountable for their actions, in uniform and in plainclothes, Shavies compared the attacks by policemen on Occupy Oakland to the violence in Birmingham, Ala. during the civil rights movement.
In the '60s, people would protest, would gather, in order to bring about change, right? Shavies said. They were broken up with hoses, dogs, sticks. The photographs of police shooting tear gas at Occupy Oakland, Shavies said, could be the symbol of a turning point. It's about time, the police officer said, that [our] generation stood up for something, right?
In a video posted Wednesday, Shavies said police should be siding with the protestors. I'm a police officer, he told interviewer Justin Warren. I'm part of the 99 percent... it's more than financial, what they're talking about... it's bigger than just money. It's about inequality.
Condemning his fellow officers in the Oakland Police Department for their heavy-handed tactics, Shavies defended his role as an undercover cop in the movement as part of his job description. His role, he insisted, was to identify agitators, precisely so the Occupy movement can continue. His desire to set the record straight, and to show his support for the Occupy movement, prompted him to speak out.
As a citizen of Oakland... for someone to say 'you are a tool of the Man,' it started to bother me, he said.
For Shavies, there is no division between being an officer and an Occupy supporter. To me, it's not black and white, he said. It's gray.
Below, watch the first Copwatch video exposing Shavies, and his video response calling out the Oakland PD for police brutality and praising the Occupy Oakland protestors.
The Original Video by Copwatch About Police Infiltration, and Officer Shavies' Outing by Protestors:
Officer Shavies Responds, Compares Occupy Movement to Civil Rights Movement: