Police leaders are trying to mollify Oakland officers who are still angry over the department's handling of an anti-police rally last week.

Demonstrators sprayed several officers with "bear mace" and vandalized shops as they walked from downtown Oakland all the way to Berkeley to protest the shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. One officer assaulted by protesters had to be taken to the hospital.

The police union issued a letter to city leaders on Wednesday criticizing commanders for not being adequately prepared or staffed to handle the march and for letting it continue after several protesters became violent.

"People should have the right to peaceful protest, but once there's violence, it's no longer a peaceful protest," union President Barry Donelan said in a phone interview. "The whole thing was ill-planned and the implementation was terrible. And having police officers get hurt is totally unacceptable."

Donelan said follow-up protests this week have been handled better.

Chief Sean Whent said in a prepared statement Friday that he reviewed last week's protest with his command staff and revised several planning protocols.

"Keeping officers and the community safe is my priority, and I am committed to continuous review of our policies, procedures and tactics with the goal of minimizing the dangers involved in these situations," he said.


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Smooth sailing for minimum wage hike

A proposed minimum wage hike on Oakland's November ballot appears to have widespread support and no organized opposition even though business leaders don't like it.

A poll conducted this month by EMC Research found that 75 percent of likely voters support a $12.25 minimum wage that was placed on the ballot by a labor-backed coalition. The findings were similar to a poll conducted earlier this year by a pro-business group.

Business advocates failed last month to get the City Council to place a competing measure on the ballot that would have phased in wage increases over several years and exempted nonprofits that rely on state and federal reimbursements to pay for their employees.

With the minimum wage increase looking like an easy winner, business leaders said this week that they don't plan on spending money to oppose it. They didn't even bother to submit an argument against it for the voter guide.

Oakland gets grants to improve transit

The California Transportation Commission this week awarded $6.1 million for projects in Oakland.

The city will receive nearly $2.5 million for a lighting and sidewalk repair project on International Boulevard. The work is planned to complement additional roadway improvements that will be part of a rapid bus system.

The city also received nearly $3.6 million for a separated bicycle and pedestrian path along MacArthur Boulevard from High Street to Seminary Avenue.