California Highway Patrol officials are defending a plainclothes officer who pointed his gun at Northern California protesters after he and his partner were unmasked as police.
Officials say the officer drew his gun Wednesday night during demonstrations in Oakland, California after he was assaulted.
Demonstrators were protesting two recent grand jury decisions to not indict white officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and New York.
The Oakland Tribune reports highway patrol officials claim it was a necessary move for the officer to defend himself and his partner against an unruly crowd.
The officer's name was not released.
CHP Golden Gate Division Chief Avery Browne said the actions of the two officers would be investigated but they remain on duty.
The brief melee was captured by freelance news photographers. The protester who struck the officer was arrested.