Oakland Police commission holds first meeting since firing Chief Anne Kirkpatrick

ByLauren Martinez KGO logo
Friday, February 28, 2020
Oakland Police commission meet after firing Chief Anne Kirkpatrick
For the first time since firing Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, police commissioners met at city hall tonight. They released a statement on their decision and heard from members of the public.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- For the first time since firing Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, police commissioners met at city hall Thursday night. They released a statement on their decision and heard from members of the public.

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Oakland Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson said in part, "Kirkpatrick's recent media games to try to attack the mayor or discredit this commission only reinforce we made the right decision. We are a volunteer citizens commission, appointed to serve and we do not get paid to do this work. So the idea that anyone would cast such a serious vote based on something so trifling as a towing fee, or a disagreement is quite frankly insulting."

Sam Singer, spokesman for Kirkpatrick, spoke with ABC7 News about that towing fee Jackson is referring to.

"Police Commissioner Harris approached Chief Kirkpatrick and demanded she fix some parking-towing tickets for her that she refused, after that refusal, there became a series of retaliations and retributions," Singer said.

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

Members of the public and different community organizations came to express support for the commission's decision and specific support for Commissioner Genale Harris.

"What is not going to happen again in these chambers or in this city is that another black woman is going to be thrown under the bus or utilized as a scapegoat for elected officials to hide behind and I promise you that," Cat Brooks said. Brooks is part of the group called Anti Police Terror Project.

Cathy Leonard, member of Coalition for Police Accountability, thanked the commission for their bravery.

"I thank you," Leonard said. "The police chief had to go. I would hope that the next police chief for the city of Oakland, my hometown, gets in full compliance and out from under the federal consent decree. We are wasting millions of dollars."

On the other side, members from law enforcement and the city questioned why the commission made the decision without cause.

One speaker said "transparency is needed to prove that these decisions are unbiased."

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

Helena Wong works at one of the Oakland Police Department's labs and came to speak out with other colleagues to show support for the former chief.

"Like they said, they didn't actually have a cause and I think that further supports the fact that it's kind of a personal issue," Wong said. "Our federal monitor has been trying to get us into compliance for almost the past 10 years. So if we still haven't been in compliance and I know that our department has been trying really hard then shouldn't he on the same bases be fired as well because he's not getting his job done?"

That federal monitor is Robert Warshaw, who others mentioned during public comment as well.

"Recently a lot has been stated about the non-compliance of the police department with the NSA," Susan Molloy said. "And I am in disbelief no one has ever considered we're paying out millions to a federal monitor named Robert Warshaw is acceptable."

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

"There's something fishy, there's something wrong and this is a rogue monitor and a rogue police commission," Singer said. "She was making progress and was at the goal line to get Oakland out of this monitoring program. And then the monitor pulled the rug from underneath her."

"There will be other things that will come to light in the coming weeks that were illegal and unethical actions by this commission that will send shock waves through Oakland and this community," Singer added.

Kirkpatrick is considering taking legal action.