San Jose Officials To Reconsider Use Of Rubber Bullets

Tear gas used on a protestor in Oakland
Photo credit Justin Sullivan/KCBS Radio
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

San Jose city leaders now say they are questioning the use of aggressive police tactics and are reevaluating how they police protests.

The move comes after many protestors and some members of the media have been tear gassed and struck by rubber bullets. At a protest in downtown San Jose Friday some protestors threw things at police, and officers in riot gear fired back. KPIX-5 Reporter Len Ramirez was reporting at the scene and was one of those struck with a rubber bullet.

Thanks to all for your concerns. I was shot in the back with a rubber bullet that left a bruise and mark on my shirt. I am fine. I was hit while reporting live on @KPIXtv during last night’s protest in downtown San Jose. I knew there were risks in being in the middle of that.

— Len Ramirez (@lenKPIX) May 31, 2020

At a virtual city council meeting this week, some of those arrested spoke out about how they were treated by police, and said in addition to aggressive police tactics, officers were not following proper infection control protocols.

“Just speaking of COVID, I would like to know how we are expected to not get it when we are being arrested and none of the police and none of the sheriff’s department are wearing a mask,” said one woman who was arrested while protesting. “We are put on buses by them, we are held in detention with them for 45 minutes to an hour at the Shark Tank. We are being spoken to in close proximity with them within two feet. None of my arresting officers were wearing masks.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo says he is open to reevaluating police tactics, in particular the use of rubber bullets. San Jose Police are scheduled to hold a meeting Thursday at 1 p.m. updating policing efforts in light of the recent protests.