Oakland Police Department personnel want answers after firing of Chief Anne Kirkpatrick

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Oakland P.D. personnel want answers after firing of chief
Oakland police officers and other personnel want answers after Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick fired without cause on Feb. 20.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The sidewalk leading to the Oakland Police Union headquarters was lined on both sides by Oakland police officers and others, as the former police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, made her way through the crowd to a ceremony to honor her time at the top of the department.

"I didn't just want to be a chief. I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be an honorable leader, and a woman of integrity," said an emotional Kirkpatrick as she addressed the media before going inside. "By my termination, you have destabilized the stability of this police department and it destabilizes the community's safety when you do that."

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Kirkpatrick was fired last Thursday without cause by the Oakland Police Commission. But a leaked document suggests it may be in retaliation for Kirkpatrick's unwillingness to do special favors for the police commission.

Many in the police department say they want answers.

"Tell us the reasons for why you let her go. And let it be something that is valid. If it is not, reverse the decision and bring her back," says Dispatch Supervisor Nicole Ruff with the police department.

Officer Pedram Farhang works the overnight beat in East Oakland. He says morale is has been down since Kirkpatrick's firing. He says he will stay on, but he is not sure others will.

"It's a very somber mood. Plenty of people have mentioned about looking for other places, because there have been a lot of negative things, one after another. And this was a significant one," says Officer Farhang.

Barry Donelan, President of Oakland Police Officers Association, says the country is watching. He believes finding a replacement will be tough.

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"Let me tell you why I am worried: What chief, who has a family... comes here to serve the citizens of Oakland? You think they got tenure? You think they have stability? They are going to look back and see the events of last week and (say), 'Hey, any given Thursday, I could be gone by an un-elected, unaccountable police commission that decides they don't want you anymore,'" says Donelan.

In an email to ABC7 News, Regina Jackson, Chair of the Oakland Police Commission, says she will likely make a statement before the start of Thursday's police commission meeting.

In another email to ABC7 News, Justin Berton, a spokesperson for the Mayor, says "Anne Kirkpatrick's service to Oakland deserves the gratitude and appreciation members from the department showed her today. The Police Commission's unprecedented vote to remove a Police Chief from duty was an extraordinary exercise of power by a citizen-led commission and it will take time for the community to process it."

Early Thursday morning, Robert Warshaw, the federal monitor of the Oakland Police Department was at police headquarters. But a spokesperson for Oakland P.D. says he was there for a meeting about the NSA and not to discuss Kirkpatrick's firing.