Undercover cop aims gun at photographer at Oakland protest of police killings

Because it was pointing at someone’s face


The image could be taken at a moment when he was moving his gun into position hence the angle.

“images” - Plural


His finger being off the trigger is trigger discipline. This means he did not plan on using it immediately. Rather, the gun was up to warn the protesters not to get any closer.

If he had plans to immediately use it, his finger would be on the trigger, ready to fire. But that is not the case.

Not waving loaded guns at people’s faces is gun discipline. He was quite clearly doing that.


Welcome to BoingBoing, police apologist!

A whole 5 minutes passed between your joining and your defending this particular cop’s action.

I invite you to read down through the thread. It’s been established he’s not Oakland PD, and Oakland PD doesn’t know who the hell he is.

Most people regard having a pistol leveled at their face as a threat of deadly force. It’s kind of hard to see, from the business end of a pistol, whether or not the person who can kill you with the the movement of his index finger has that finger on the trigger or not.

So, let’s see how long you last before the Don’t-Push-Your-Luck Dragon flies through.


There’s two different images, with what appears to be very different positioning of both the person with the gun and the photographer. It’s slightly possible, but pretty unlikely, that he was repeatedly shifting the gun into and out of that position and the photographer happened to catch it in that position two different times.

Revealing a gun is one thing. Actively pointing a gun at people is not what police are supposed to do to simply “prevent people from getting closer”.


I believe the top photo is misattributed to Noah Berger from Reuters instead of Michael Short from SFGate.

Here is the photo on Michael Short’s Facebook page.

The two of them have very similar photos from that night but the image of the gun aimed directly at the viewer seems to be Mr. Short’s instead of Mr Berger’s.


“The police state will fall, you can’t arrest us all.”


Who is the mystery outside agency?


Uh huh. “Moving his gun into position” my hairy ass…

You mean because he was instigating the violence…

Several protesters took to Twitter to say that the undercover officers had instigated acts of vandalism and were banging on windows alongside others.


Had he kept his cool, he could have pulled off the John Woo 180-degree flip.


I think what they hope to gain by sending in undercover officers is to provoke any action for which arrests can be made. As someone noted above, agents provocateur. After all, if the protestors won’t do anything except peacefully march, what’s a cop to do??? /sarcasm


Sorry if this has already been posted, LA Times says the officers are CHP: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-chp-officer-gun-demonstrators-20141211-htmlstory.html .


for question #2: While we often see that method or holding a firearm as “gangsta style” and incorrect, it is not. When drawing and aiming with a single hand it is often easier to attain a Flash Sight Picture with that method, since that is the pitch and position of the firearm as it naturally exits the holster. Still not a very accurate method, but some people have been trained in it, and I’m sure that’s probably the case with this fella.

on 3 i’m sure we aren’t getting the whole story. Dude looks honestly frightened and from the pictures I’ve been seeing, I can understand why he would be. On the other hand, it was probably a dumb idea to be there in the first place.

As @longname wrote, holding a firearm sideways causes recoil to swing the gun to the side, rather than up over peoples’ heads. Depending on circumstances, it can be effective for soldiers with automatic weapons, firing on a large group of enemy soldiers. It can also be useful for a soldier firing a rifle with a long, large capacity clip from a prone position on flat ground; if they hold the gun normally, they may have to lift their bodies dangerously high off the ground. I recently read online about the wartime origin of a sideways grip, but I forget where and I can’t seem to find it now.

It makes no sense to hold a handgun that way, unless maybe you are hiding behind a riot shield; aiming and control are made more difficult. Gangstas don’t care about marksmanship anyway, if they even understand the concept, but it is irresponsible, thuggish behavior for a cop, and he should be disciplined and taken off the street until he has been re-educated.

IMO, it is evidence that he was looking for trouble.


Frightened, badly trained, potentially inciting violence, racially profiling, using unnecessary force, threatening execution. Yes.

This guy has all the regular cop behaviours on display.

The only things he didn’t do was gut a dog in front of it’s owner’s kids and indiscriminately kill people near him in the course of his duties. And then arrest the witnesses and delete the recordings on their phones.


I am, of course, disturbed at the notion of an arrest that nobody appears to have any knowledge of or responsibility for (back in the good old days, we called that an ‘enforced disappearance’, very popular in Latin America among our buddies); but this brings up another question:

If inter-agency coordination is so lousy, and some of the undercover operatives so…dubiously professional… how do they avoid incidents of undercover cops getting themselves shot? By the standards of use of lethal force, ‘dude wildly waving a handgun in the middle of a crowd’ is definitely plausible and even verging on justified.


Exactly. If you disagree with the editorial narrative here at BB they will ban you ASAP with the “dragon” they like to hide behind. It’s almost as if boingboing moderators\editors know their views can’t stand up to scrutiny. They’re not big fans of the dialectic here. It’s best just to agree with all their opinions or move on.

Davide, how do you know this person is a new user and not a returning long time reader who has been banned for disagreeing with the powers that be here at BB?