Were Police Too Brutal to 'Occupy Oakland' Protesters?

Police use tear gas, rubber bullets, and smoke grenades to disperse protesters.

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Police attempts to disperse "Occupy Oakland" got ugly Tuesday night as authorities used tear gas, rubber bullets, and smoke grenades to disband the crowd. Multiple raids took place over the course of the evening as ‘Occupy-ers’ returned to their base camp by City Hall after each time police expelled them, only to be met with barricades and more officers. Helicopters roamed the skies of downtown Oakland and more than 100 protesters were arrested. Over the course of the violent clash, a few episodes emerged as rallying points for the Occupy movement, including a two-tour Iraq war veteran whose skull was fractured by an unidentified projectile and this image of a woman in wheelchair being tear gassed.

[See photos of the Occupy Wall Street protests]

Late Wednesday evening protesters were able to return to Frank Ogawa Plaza after an impromptu march down Broadway, Oakland’s main thoroughfare. However, the violence of the night before still echoes across the country, with some cities, like Atlanta, stepping up their arrests of participants, and others calling planned raids off, as authorities did Wednesday in the case of Occupy San Francisco. Protesters across the entire country worry they face similar brutality that the Occupy Oakland experienced, even though the Oakland police have been under national scrutiny since the raid. Oakland officials insist they will investigate the case of the injured veteran as thoroughly as they would a police shooting. Meanwhile, human rights and civil liberty groups argue that Oakland authorities violated city policies as well as “foundational principles of international human rights law” during the raid.

What do you think? Were police too brutal to protesters in the Occupy Oakland raid? Take the poll and comment below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

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