Oakland Mayor Jean Quan vowed to help improve the relationship between city police and journalists during a recent meeting with news gatherers and professional organizations. The meeting, held in late February at Oakland City Hall, was called in an effort to discuss incidents of working reporters and photographers being detained and in some cases arrested by Oakland Police Department officers during several Occupy Oakland protests in recent months.
Sara Steffens, a CWA District 9 staff representative, said the flaw lies not with the police department’s policy, but with its enforcement. “Our concern is that our members should be able to be out there working and not having to spend the night in jail,” Steffens said. “We don’t have a problem with the policy, but what’s happening in the heat of the moment.”