Occupy Oakland: Free Khali

After a Dec. 16th police raid on Occupy Oakland ended with 3 protesters arrested and carted off to jail, occupiers grew concerned as one of them was detained in jail longer than the others, and is still being held. Concern quickly turned to fear for his physical, and mental well-being...

occupy-oakland

After a Dec. 16th police raid on Occupy Oakland ended with 3 protesters arrested and carted off to jail, occupiers grew concerned as one of them was detained in jail longer than the others, and is still being held. Concern quickly turned to fear for his physical, and mental well-being:

Bail, however, was set and Occupy Oakland immediately began the process of posting it. With all paperwork ready to go, we waited for Khali to be transferred back to Santa Rita Jail so his bail could be posted. Shortly after 8pm, we were notified that Khali could no longer be bailed out because he was now being charged with a felony count of assaulting a correctional officer. We have since found out that this alleged incident occurred upon his arrival back at Santa Rita Jail (at the very time we were placing numerous calls to staff at the jail regarding posting his bail). Khali’s bail for this case has now been set for a staggering $580,000.

We don’t yet have all the details about this alleged incident of assault at Santa Rita, but do know the following:

- Khali was originally arrested on minor misdemeanor charges but because of a violation hold he was incarcerated for 4 days before any charges were formally filed.

- While most people would have been released from jail and asked to appear for a future court date given the minor nature of the misdemeanor charges, the DA extended Khali’s incarceration because of the county’s assertion that he is homeless.

- We are concerned for Khali’s health and physical well-being. He has shown up for every court appearance with severely bruised, swollen eyes and it’s evident that he is suffering physical abuse.

- We are also concerned for Khali’s mental health. He is on medication prescribed by a psychiatrist and we have learned that he has not been given his meds, nor even received medical evaluation since his arrest. It is clear during his court appearances that he is suffering enormously from having his medication withheld.

- We have learned that the alleged assault occurred upon his arrival back at Santa Rita when guards were placing him in solitary confinement. It is unclear why the decision was made to place him in solitary confinement (prior to any alleged assault) given that he was only being charged with minor misdemeanors and was in the process of being bailed out.

Khali’s situation is a particularly brutal example of OPD’s targeting of Occupy Oakland. He was picked up on minor charges which, after four days of incarceration and withholding of his medication, have morphed into a violent felony charge that could now lead to a long prison term. They are sending Occupy Oakland a message, and they’re doing it at the expense of Khali’s health and freedom. As a community, we need to stand by Khali and show police and the District Attorney that we will not allow them to continue to target and brutalize us.

Oakland has become rather infamous for its violent treatment of Occupy protesters, following the October 25th eviction and use of tear gas, flash bang grenades, and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters. That same Oakland Police raid also critically injured Iraq war vet, Scott Olsen, who was struck by a tear gas canister and only recently regained his ability to speak and was released from the hospital.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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