Now We Know What Getting Beaten Nearly to Death is Worth: $645,000.

Categories: Anti-Repression Committee, Front Page, Open Mic

Kayvan Sabeghi photo kayvan-sabegi2_zps09d6a4cf.jpg

We predict that Jean Quan will not be decrying the “economic violence” to Oakland any time soon, but yesterday the City of Oakland and Kayvan Sabeghi agreed to settle Sabeghi’s civil rights lawsuit for $645,000.

Sabeghi nearly died after being beaten by OPD Officer Frank Uu – who has since retired from the force as is likely enjoying a fat pension at taxpayers’ expense.(The $645,000 will be taken from Oakland tax revenue; Uu has not been sued or prosecuted.)

Kayvan Sabeghi, a veteran, had participated in the peaceful Port of Oakland shutdown and General Strike on November 2nd, 2011. He was walking home alone after having left the protest and after having dinner with friends when his path inadvertently took him straight into a police line. Not just any police line: an OPD police line with Frank Uu in it, part of as special SWAT / “Tango team” led by Sargeant Patrick Gonzales, the murderer of Gary King in 2007 who has also been involved in other shooting deaths and the wounding of anti-war protesters at the Port of Oakland in 2003.

The City of Oakland admitted culpability:

In court documents, attorneys acknowledged that city officials “do not dispute that Officer Uu used excessive force on plaintiff in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

This immediately begs the question “Why was Frank Uu not indicted for assault and battery, perhaps attempted murder as well?”

The answer is that the Alameda County’s District Attorney, Nancy O’Malley, quick to prosecute Occupy protesters on the flimsiest of charges, has no interest in pursuing murder and assault cases against police officers. Despite the attacks on Scott Olsen, Kayvan Sabeghi, Scott Campbell and others during Occupy protests, despite the murders of Alan Blueford, Gary King, Raheim Brown and many others by police officers, no charges have ever been filed by O’Malley’s office against anyone on a police force in relation to using excessive force. Alameda County police forces know that with O’Malley they have “carte blanche” to beat, assault and murder without ever worrying that any of their members might be held accountable, with any and all restitution left to be footed by the taxpayers.

Sabeghi still has an outstanding lawsuit against the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, which failed to attend to his medical needs resulting from his beating:

Army veteran Kayvan Sabeghi claims Alameda County sheriff’s jailers denied him medical care and mocked him for 18 hours before he got treatment for a lacerated spleen. He eventually underwent surgery and was hospitalized for five days.

The City of Oakland has now paid somewhere around $2 million in settlements to Occupy protesters, with more to come. The class-action lawsuit by those arrested in a kettle on Broadway on January 28th, 2012 is still in process, as is Scott Olsen’s individual suit.

Here is an annotated video of the beating by CopWatch.


One Response to “Now We Know What Getting Beaten Nearly to Death is Worth: $645,000.”

  1. Alan Kurtz

    It’s worth noting that on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011, editor Charles Burress published an article at the El Cerrito Patch (Sabeghi co-owned a business in El Cerrito) disputing the original reporting of this incident. Burress claimed a Highland Hospital spokesman denied Sabeghi underwent surgery as a result of injuries sustained during his arrest.

    Moreover, U.S. Army spokesman Troy Roland told the El Cerrito Patch that the Army had no record of Kayvan Sabeghi being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, as an immaculate Sabeghi (every hair in place) boasted to the KTVU TV-2 news camera immediately after being subjected to allegedly “excessive force.”

    Finally, we must bear in mind that the video by art student Neil Rivas that captures Sabeghi’s confrontation with Oakland police outside The Cathedral Building shows him taunting a moving OPD skirmish line, advancing south on Broadway. Sabeghi left the sidewalk to stand in the street and get in the cops’ faces to provoke them, defying continual orders by uniformed officers to move out of their line of march. Blocking their advance, Sabeghi yields ground only grudgingly as the massed formation comes within inches of him.

    And all this was happening, mind you, at the scene of a riot. Once Sabeghi is backed into the crosswalk, the video shows bonfires burning out of control in the background outside the former Travelers Aid site on 16th Street, a mere 250 feet away. These fires were set by Occupy Oakland’s Black Bloc contingent following their heroic acts of vandalism around town earlier that day.

    Having written about this in my 2012 book “Occupy Oakland: The Little Revolution That Couldn’t,” I hoped Sabeghi’s lawsuit would resolve these lingering issues. Alas, those questions remain unanswered. This is just another instance of the pusillanimous City Council—in secret session—sweeping an all-around nasty episode under the rug of expedient monetary settlement. In other words, business as usual behind the closed doors of what passes for Oakland’s municipal government.