Undercover cop pulls gun on protester after he was outed by angry crowd; critics pounce

The already ugly demonstrations in Bay Area-California almost got a lot uglier when a pair of undercover state police officers were identified and nearly assaulted by a mob, forcing one of the officers to draw his gun.

Reuters photographer Noah Berger captured the moment in pictures shared on Twitter:

The dramatic moment occurred Wednesday, when two officers dressed as demonstrators – with bandanas covering their faces – drew suspicions as the mob walked through Oakland, according to InsideBayArea.com.

One of the officers was eventually attacked by a demonstrator who pulled a hood he was wearing down over his head, then struck him, the website reported. As the two men tussled, the other officer identified himself and his partner as police officers and drew a baton.

When the mob continued to move in, he drew his gun, InsideBayArea.com reported:

“The two-minute melee, captured by freelance photographers and shared widely online Thursday, is perhaps the most dramatic scene in weeks of unrest and protests in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco. It has also raised questions over how police, particularly the California Highway Patrol, have attempted to control crowds protesting two grand jury decisions to not indict officers who have killed unarmed black men in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.”

The California Highway Patrol was firmly behind the officer’s decision to pull the gun. The danger to the men presented by the mob left him no choice, said Avery Browne, chief of CHP’s Golden Gate Division, InsideBayArea.com reported.

Browne said the officer told him: “Chief, I didn’t know if I was going to make it out of this thing alive.”

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