After his partner was knocked to the ground, a plainclothes California Highway Patrol officer pulled his gun on demonstrators taking part in a protest against police brutality Wednesday night in Oakland, California.
Avery Browne, chief of the CHP's Golden Gate Division, said that before the officers were outed, they gathered enough information to stop four freeway shutdown attempts. Browne also said that undercover officers have participated in all of the marches since the first on Nov. 24, and will continue to do so.
Freelance photographer Michael Short told the San Francisco Chronicle the trouble started when the crowd began to yell that the men were undercover cops. Someone grabbed the hat off on one officer, and then another man ran up and knocked him down; at this point the other officer pulled out his gun. Browne said the unnamed officer followed department policy by showing his badge and declaring that he was law enforcement, and added that he told him he "didn't know if I was going to make it out of this thing alive."
The protester accused of punching the officer was booked into county jail on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer. Browne said he understood how "it's disturbing, every time a firearm is drawn, whether in a protest situation or in a felonious car stop, but we need to understand that these officers were under attack."