Oakland City Councilmember reacts to Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick's firing

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Friday, February 21, 2020
Oakland City Councilmember reacts to police chief firing
Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo says he was blindsided by the firing of the city's Police Chief and surprised that she would be terminated.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo says he was blindsided by the firing of the city's Police Chief and surprised that she would be terminated. He also said he has received emails from his constituents saying they were disappointed to hear Anne Kirkpatrick will no longer be on the job.

"The city council did not have any notification. The relationship with the police chief and the council was growing in a positive direction. You don't just terminate anyone without a cause," Gallo said Friday morning.

The Oakland Police Commission voted unanimously in a closed session Thursday to fire Kirkpatrick without cause, saying there had been a series of issues to cause them to lose confidence.

RELATED: Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick out after commission votes unanimously to fire her

Commission Chair Regina Jackson responded to Gallo's concerns.

"Because this is a personnel matter, we were not allowed to speak to anybody else. I can appreciate and respect Council Member Gallo's response. I know we have perspective he didn't get to see. I have been in roll calls this (Friday) morning and will be in roll calls this afternoon to explain and be accountable to police officers because that's what we should be doing," Jackson said.

RELATED: Anne Kirkpatrick sworn in as Oakland's new police chief

They made the comments outside the Oakland Police cadet graduation ceremony. Mayor Libby Schaaf addressed the firing during her remarks to the graduating class, saying it was an interesting day for the department, but she wanted it to be a day of celebration.

Kirkpatrick was Oakland's first female police chief. She was on the job for two and a half years.

ABC7 News reached out to Kirkpatrick for comment, but have not heard back.

Read Mayor Schaaf's full statement here:

"The Police Commission is the community's voice in our system of checks and balances, and I respect its authority and its role. In 2016, Oakland voters created the strongest and most independent Police Commission in America. Tonight, the commissioners exercised their power. As Mayor, it is my duty to determine when the trust between The Police Commission and the Police Chief has become irrevocably lost and prevents Oakland from moving forward. I remain grateful to Chief Kirkpatrick for coming to serve Oakland in the wake of a shameful episode in the department's history and bringing a steady leadership that stabilized the department. Under her leadership, Oakland saw one of its lowest periods of gun violence and officer-involved shootings, as well as new anti-racial profiling policies that significantly reduced discretionary stops of African Americans. I am grateful for Chief Kirkpatrick's service to our city for the past three years."

Read Commissioner Jackson's full statement here:

"Since the Commission's inception, the Commissioners, along with the rest of the citizens of the City of Oakland, observed the Oakland Police Department's failure to increase compliance with the court-ordered reforms required under the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA). The Commission's vote reflects our desire to see the City of Oakland move ahead under new leadership. The Commission looks forward to working with Mayor Schaaf to identify a Chief of Police who will build trust in the community and address racial and gender disparities that continue to exist in the Department and in our City. Our new Chief must address use of force issues and end the need for a court-appointed monitor. The Commission demands a leader who will diversify and grow the Department to the level of respect that our officers and community deserve. The Department must be a model of constitutional policing and justice, and the Commission is committed to working with the Mayor to find the right next leader."

Here's a statement from the Oakland Police Officer's Association on the firing of Chief Kirkpatrick:

Oakland Police Officers have the most challenging job in law enforcement. The Oakland Police Chief is the most difficult Chiefs' job in the nation. Those difficulties in doing and keeping the job were illustrated today with the termination of Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick by the Mayor and Police Commission.

Oakland Police Officers' Association President Barry Donelan explained "Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was a well-respected leader of the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and was making significant progress in bringing stability to OPD. But, fighting for Oakland's residents and Police Officers alike does not endear you to Oakland's unelected Police Commissioners and our Mayor. Oakland Police Officers are disappointed in the actions of the Police Commission and the Mayor. These events don't bode well for public safety in Oakland. Oakland's robbery epidemic continues, we face sideshows every weekend, Oakland Police Officer numbers are attriting downward, and crime in every category was up in 2019."

The Oakland Police Officers' Association stands ready to work with whomever is our next Chief of Police. Despite the changes at the top of the department, Oakland Police Officers continue to come to work every day and serve our residents in California's most crime challenged city.