Amid string of Oakland violence, activists push for former Chief Armstrong to be rehired

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Sunday, March 5, 2023
Activists push for Armstrong's rehiring amid recent Oakland violence
Amid string of Oakland violence, community activists push for former OPD Chief LeRonne Armstrong to be rehired.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Two and a half weeks after Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao fired Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, saying she was no longer confident that the chief can do the work needed to achieve the vision, violence intervention organizations, nonprofits and families that have lost loved ones to violence on the streets of Oakland, are pushing back.

"Reinstate Chief Armstrong because he cares about this community, he truly cares about us and our pain," Angelique Paige, a mother who lost her 14-year-old son to gun violence said. "Who else cares like he does?"

RELATED: Former Oakland Police Chief Armstrong fires back at mayor, federal monitor after termination

Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong fired back at Mayor Sheng Thao and the federal monitor after his termination earlier this week.

This comes as Oakland police say they are investigating a string of violence after four people were killed in four separate shootings last weekend alone, three of which, happened on Feb. 24.

"February 24 was called bloody Friday, we lost several of our loved ones, so many shootings over the weekend," Daryle Allums, a spokesman for the Stop Killing Our Kids Movement said.

Killings, which Rachelle Tillis has become all too familiar with, after losing her son to gun violence back in 2017.

"We have to stop these killings so we need somebody who's in there that knows what he's doing," Tillis said.

RELATED: Oakland police chief says federal monitor report is inaccurate

Armstrong was originally put on paid administrative leave when a federal monitor questioned his handling of misconduct charges against one of his sergeants.

Now, organizers are pushing to hold a town hall with Mayor Thao amid the fallout.

"We're asking the mayor to be accountable for the things she said she was gonna do, you're going to take care of the community, here we are," Brenda Grisham, organizer of Saturday's rally said.

RELATED: NAACP members rally to demand former Oakland police chief be reinstated

Armstrong wasn't there for the rally but he did release a statement saying:

"I thank them for their support of me and my (policies) as chief to get justice for victims, reduce violence and improve public safety in Oakland. We will not give up the fight."

While the search for a new police chief is already underway, Armstrong's legal team already filed an official appeal to dispute this firing last week.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live