Oakland Cops Disciplined for Hiding Nametag During Occupy Protest

Two Oakland cops were disciplined for hiding their nametags during a November protest.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012  |  Updated 3:55 PM PDT
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Oakland General Strike Day in Photos

AP

Occupy Oakland protesters rally in front of the State of California building Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland's citywide general strike, a hastily planned and ambitious action called by Occupy protesters a day after police forcibly removed their City Hall encampment last week, seeks to shut down the Port of Oakland.

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Sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name. But not while you're an on-duty Oakland police officer at an Occupy Oakland protest.

Two Oakland cops connected to an incident in which a police officer covered his name tag with black electrical tape have been disciplined, with one receiving a demotion, according to news reports.

The Bay Citizen first reported that Officer John Hargraves has been suspended for a month after he covered the stitched name on his uniform during a Nov. 2 general strike, as a video shot by a protester reveals.

In the video (which can be viewed here), a protester asks Hargraves why he's covering his name. Hargraves does not respond, so the protester asks Lt. Clifford Wong, his superior. Wong then removes the tape from Hargraves's uniform.

But because Wong did not report the incident to internal affairs, he was demoted to sergeant, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Hargraves was suspended for 30 days.

Civil rights attorney Jim Chanin, who represented plaintiffs in the $10.5 million settlement stemming from the Oakland "Riders" police misconduct scandal, told the Chronicle that the name-badge issue shows that "reforms have yet to sufficiently penetrate through the Oakland Police Department."

In that case, four officers were fired for framing or beating up suspects in West Oakland. Three were tried but never convicted of crimes; a fourth is on the lam from the law.

A judge may issue sanctions at a later date.
 

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