In April 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided Oaksterdam University and surrounding medical cannabis businesses. The medical cannabis industry has long been a beacon of hope in the economically blighted city of Oakland as well as a model for a legal and responsible cannabis industry nationally.
A crowd of protestors grew quickly around the agents, who were fully armed, and traffic was stopped and rerouted out of downtown Oakland. Officers created a scuffle when moving through the crowd of angry protestors.
Citizen journalist and longtime Bay Area activist, Jose Gutierrez, was beaten by US Marshalls and DEA agents. He now faces charges of assault on a federal officer which carries a lengthy sentence if he is convicted.
Protestors and journalist in the crowd recorded the incident. Warning: the following video contains language that some may find offensive.
Help us raise funds for the legal defense expenses of Jose Gutierrez’s Federal trial, which begins in late September.
Jose was reporting the raid live on KPFA’s Flashpoints during the execution of the federal search warrant at multiple locations related to Oaksterdam University. He is being accused of assault on a federal officer, when he was beaten and hospitalized. This case represents every citizen’s right to protest and is a consequence of the continued conflict between state and federal law on medical marijuana. This was a strike against permitted, tax-paying medical cannabis dispensaries in a city that welcomed their presence.
The physical assault on Mr. Gutierrez was a violation of First Amendment rights and must not be tolerated.
Law enforcement failed to control the crowd of protestors, who were permitted by the city of Oakland, and were never given instructions on where they could or could not protest.
Law enforcement failed to quarantine the area and properly execute this search. Professionals and journalists were caught in a crowd that was surged by law enforcement, all of which to attempt extraction of trapped agents claiming to need rescue. The events that unfolded defied justice and escalated an otherwise peaceful protest into a mess that could have been avoided had Obama and his administration kept their word and left legitimate law abiding tax-paying lawful dispensaries to operate without unneeded federal intervention.
Please help support Jose Gutierrez, a citizen journalist since 1992.
Donate to Jose’s Legal Defense.If you are unable to contribute financially please share this page through all your social networks encouraging others to donate or share.
Sign the petition created by Students for Sensible Drug Policy asking President Obama to put an end to the raids.
Follow Green Aid’s Facebook page for trial updates and court support dates, times and location. The trial will begin in late September in Oakland.