Oakland mayor says chief being placed on leave is not intended to be punitive

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Oakland mayor says chief on leave not intended to be punitive
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says Chief LeRonne Armstrong being placed on leave is not intended to be punitive.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland's newly-elected Mayor Sheng Thao held a news conference to talk about the city's Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong on Saturday.

Chief Armstrong has been put on administrative leave after reportedly failing to take action on a sergeant who ripped the bumper off a neighbor's car during a hit and run accident.

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RELATED: Oakland officials, community leaders react after police chief placed on leave

That sergeant later fired a gun in an elevator at police headquarters.

"I want to make sure that everyone understands that under our administration, that we take these findings seriously and it's important that we look at taking the corrective action that is needed to make sure that we stay on track to make sure that we get out of the federal oversight," Mayor Thao said. The mayor says she was in Washington D.C. when the decision to put the chief on leave was announced.

RELATED Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong placed on administrative leave for 'dereliction of duty'

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong has been placed on administrative leave, the mayor announced Thursday.

"At the same time, understanding that we must do what we need to do to get out of that oversight. Our goal here is not to be punitive. This is not a disciplinary action to Chief LeRonne Armstrong, this is an opportunity to more fully review the findings of the reports and let our oversight bodies act and do the job that they're in place to do.

This is about public safety," she said.

When a reporter asked if the chief's job is in jeopardy, the mayor said: "From in this situation, we are still awaiting for more documents. It is our understanding that there were documents that will be arriving soon. And so until we have the full picture to review, I cannot stand here and tell you that there hasn't been a decision made."

MORE: Fired Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick levels accusations at Mayor Libby Schaaf, police commission

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