In a video recently uploaded on YouTube, an unidentified protester holding a video camera, filming a police line during the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, was shot with a rubber bullet or a beanbag round after repeatedly asking police officers: “Is this okay?”
The unnamed protester wrote on his YouTube page:
While filming a police line at Occupy Oakland after midnight on Nov. 3 following the Nov. 2 general strike, an officer opens fire and shoots me with a rubber bullet. I was standing well back. There was no violence or confrontations of any kind underway. At 0:31 seconds you can see a tall officer in the front raise his weapon and then fire. This is the full clip of the incident.
The unprovoked shooting apparently took place following Thursday’s call to general strike, which saw tens of thousands of protesters shut down one of the city’s major highway overpasses. Though the event was largely peaceful, police made 103 arrests, mostly for protesters who failed to disperse after being told to leave public spaces.
Despite their name, rubber bullets are not just rubber, but rather small metal cylinders coated with a layer of rubber, which can be shot from traditional firearms.