Boxing Board: Discipline Oakland Cops Involved in Brawl

Board wants stiff punishment for officers

Tuesday, May 25, 2010  |  Updated 1:52 PM PDT
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New Video of OPD Boxing Match Brawl Shows Faces

The president of the International Amateur Boxing Association is calling on the Oakland Police Department to take aggressive action to punish the officers involved in a fight at a boxing match or he will ask Sacramento police to file criminal charges.
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The International Association of Boxing said it will ask the Oakland Police Department to take disciplinary action against three officers who were allegedly involved in a fight that broke out at an amateur boxing match in Sacramento Friday night.

The IAB is investigating what led up to a pushing and shoving match involving rival law enforcement officers inside the Radisson Hotel.

The fight broke out at the first-ever Badge vs. Badge boxing event. It started just after the heavyweight title fight between Casey Johnson of the Oakland Police Department and Larry Wood of the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Wood was the winner.

Video of the melee found its way to YouTube. Another video that emerged late Monday shows the faces of some of the men involved in unauthorized fist-throwing. Oakland Police Department spokeswoman Holly Joshi said none of the men shown on that video are Oakland police officers or employees. They are still investigating the case, talking to witnesses and looking for the officers who were allegedly involved in the fight, Joshi said.

"Somebody from whatever side said something to the other side and they kind of came together," said Tom Gaffney, Badge vs. Badge organizer.

The association lifted a temporary ban against the law enforcement agency from participating in such boxing events. However, it said it has identified three Oakland police officers for whom the ban will remain in effect.

The association said if the department doesn't identify the Oakland officers who were involved and take disciplinary action against them, it would bring the case to Sacramento police to find out if charges should be filed against those officers.

In an earlier written statement, the department said, "Anytime we are in the public eye, we need to conduct ourselves in a professional manner. At this time, there is not enough information to comment on what may or may not have happened, but we will conduct our own internal investigation."

Gaffney said the fight is being blown out of proportion. He said no one was hurt or arrested, and the hotel was not damaged. The officers weren’t out of line, Gaffney said, but they "could have controlled their emotions a little bit better."

Gaffney said he originally started Badge vs. Badge to put officers in the spotlight, but not a negative spotlight. He's planning another match at the Folsom Rodeo Arena in August. Gaffney said he plans to invite Oakland police back.

The association said it does not fault the event's organizer or founder for the violence. However, it recommends that there should be more security at future events.

After what happened Friday, Folsom police are giving the promoter's permit application extra scrutiny.

"Of course I'm going to look at it a little higher level, maybe. And just review it. And have some more conversations with the promoter," Larry Saunders from the Folsom Police Department said.

KCRA contributed to this article.
 

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