An undercover cop pulled a gun on a crowd of protesters in Oakland on Wednesday when he and his partner got into a skirmish after they were discovered to be plainclothes police.
Michael Short, a freelance photographer for The San Francisco Chronicle, snapped the photo of the gun pointed directly at his camera.
This photo from Reuters showed another angle of the standoff.
The gun was pulled as a protective measure because the two men—both California Highway Patrol agents—were surrounded by a “mob continuing to advance upon them,’’ according to Avery Browne, chief of the highway patrol Golden Gate division. “We are extremely, extremely cognizant and sensitive to the display of a gun… It can be very upsetting.’’
Protesters had recognized the two officers and began yelling at them in an attempt to expose them, KTVU reports. One officer pushed a protester aside, and that man then pushed back. The protester was then tackled to the ground and arrested, as the photos depict.
About a hundred demonstrators from Berkeley and Oakland were protesting two recent grand jury decisions in which a police officer was not indicted for the killing of an unarmed black man. 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and 43-year-old Eric Garner was killed by an apparent chokehold by New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo.