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

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Former OPD Chief LeRonne Armstrong says he 'won't be silenced'
Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong fired back at Mayor Sheng Thao and the federal monitor after his termination earlier this week.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- We're hearing from former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong for the first time since he was fired earlier this week by Mayor Sheng Thao. We've learned two Oakland police lieutenants have been put on paid administrative leave for mishandling the investigations which led to Armstrong's termination.

"First I'd like to say I was wrongly terminated for standing up for the City of Oakland," said former Chief Armstrong. "As police chief, I did my job and I think I did it well."

He was terminated by Mayor Sheng Thao on Wednesday. "I am no longer confident that Chief Armstrong can do the work needed to achieve the vision," said Thao.

VIDEO: Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong fired, says he's 'deeply disappointed' by mayor's decision

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao announced the firing of Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong after placing him on administrative leave in January.

That move came a month after the mayor placed Armstrong on paid leave, when a federal monitor's report questioned the chief's response surrounding the misconduct by one of his sergeants. The former chief says he did nothing wrong.

"My termination was never really about the facts or my ability to lead the Oakland Police Department - my termination was about Federal Monitor Robert Warshaw and the mayor's failure to fight for the Oakland community," Armstrong added.

The Oakland Police Department confirms to ABC7 News that two OPD lieutenants, Omar Daza-Quiroz and Joseph Turner, were put on paid leave last month for mishandling the same investigations that led to Chief Armstrong's firing. "Every error made by Oakland police is considered a scandal," said Armstrong.

RELATED: Oakland police chief says federal monitor report is inaccurate

This week, community advocates and faith leaders rallied for Armstrong, demanding he be reinstated. Armstrong says he's grateful for the support.

"For the first time in my 24 years at the police department, you're seeing the community support a police chief and a police department," Armstrong said.

It's unclear what Armstrong's next move is but says he is evaluating his legal options to preserve his reputation.

"The voice of Oakland won't be silenced by this monitor," he added.

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