Murders in Oakland and Vermont

OAKLAND, Calif. — Police are investigating a fatal shooting just outside the Occupy Oakland encampment in Northern California and the apparent suicide of a military veteran at an Occupy encampment in Vermont’s largest city.

There is a very good reason why they call it the Flea Party.

The Oakland killing is further straining relations between local officials and anti-Wall Street protesters. A preliminary investigation into the gunfire Thursday that left a man dead suggests it resulted from a fight between two groups of men at or near the camp on a plaza in front of Oakland’s City Hall, police Chief Howard Jordan said.

Investigators do not yet know if the men in the fight were associated with Occupy Oakland, but they are looking into reports that some protest participants tried to break up the altercation, Jordan said.

Burlington, Vt., police said preliminary investigations show a 35-year-old military veteran fatally shot himself in the head Thursday at an Occupy Wall Street encampment. The name of the Chittenden County man is being withheld because not all of his family has been notified.

He shot himself inside a tent in City Hall Park. Mike Noble, a spokesman for the Fletcher Allen Health Care hospital in Burlington, confirmed that the man had died. Noble said he could provide no other details. source – AJC

Deputy Chief Andi Higbee in Burlington told reporters the shooting raised questions about whether the protest would be allowed to continue.

TB on the rise

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The home base for Occupy Atlanta has tested positive for tuberculosis.

The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact. source – CBS Atlanta

Occupy sexual assaults and other violence

Occupy Wall Street has been going on for a little over two months, but protests are becoming controversial as news of sexual assaults and other criminal activity are marring its humble efforts.

Police reported around six sexual assaults coming out of the Occupy camps, with three coming from Zuccotti Park in New York City. The Zuccotti Park attacks forced the innocent protestors to set up an “all women tent.”

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, told Fox News: “The concern would be the rapes and attacks that aren’t reported, we have no way of really knowing. If you have three or five crimes reported, you really don’t know if it’s eight or 10 that happened.”

A man was accused of sexually abusing a woman Oct. 8. This first reported incident occurred while the woman was in her sleeping bag in Zuccotti Park. The woman did not report the incident until she saw the suspect, David Park; appear at the protest site again.

Another man, Tonye Iketubosin, was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman last week in her tent on Oct. 25, also at Zuccotti Park. He was even questioned about the rape of a second woman on Oct. 29.

A 23-year-old man from Dallas was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old runaway in their local “Occupy” movement while in Cleveland. Cops are looking into a sexual assault allegation that occurred Oct. 15.

Apart from the sexual assault reports, incidents of violence have also been on the rise. A man taking pictures in Zuccotti Park was left with a laceration on his face after a protestor struck him, a police report from last week stated.

Local businesses feel the brunt of some of the protestors in Manhattan, as well. The owner of one shop claimed the protestors terrorized her after she refused to let them bathe in her store restroom.

In Boston, a number of the homeless protestors were discovered to have concealed weapons and drugs on them.

A San Diego camp vandalized and destroyed food vendors after the small business owners stopped giving the protestors free food.

However, one of the most grievous incidents happened in Portland. A Molotov Cocktail was allegedly set off near the city’s World Trade Center, forcing authorities to respond to the calls. They received unconfirmed information on the deadly weapon a few days early and responded as they saw fit.

“Paralysis is occurring across law enforcement. It’s becoming a Catch 22,” said Mullins about the protesting incidents in Manhattan. “To go in there to clear the park is going to cause confrontation. To not do so is detrimental.” source – CP