OAKLAND, Calif. — Leaders across the country felt increasing pressure Friday to shut down Occupy encampments after two men died in shootings and another was found dead from a suspected mix of drugs and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a propane heater in a tent.
Citing a strain on crime-fighting resources, police pleaded with Occupy Oakland protesters to leave their encampment at the City Hall plaza where a man was shot and killed late Thursday.
The Oakland Police Officer's Association, which represents rank-and-file police, issued an open letter saying the camp is pulling officers away from crime-plagued neighborhoods.
The Oakland shooting occurred the same day that a 35-year-old military veteran apparently shot himself to death in a tent at a Burlington, Vt., Occupy encampment.
On Friday, a man was found dead inside a tent at the Occupy Salt Lake City encampment, a death that police attributed to drug use and carbon monoxide.
The Oakland killing has further strained relations between the anti-Wall Street protesters and local officials, many of whom have called on demonstrators to leave.
Tensions are also high at the 300-tent encampment in Portland, Ore., which has become a hub for the city's homeless people and addicts. Mayor Sam Adams ordered the camp shut down by today, saying the tipping point came this week with the arrest of a camper on suspicion of setting off a Molotov cocktail outside an office building, as well as two nonfatal drug overdoses at the camp.