OPD chief suspends 2 officers after sideshow, fatal crash that killed bystander

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Thursday, June 30, 2022
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2 OPD officers are put on an indefinite leave after engaging in a high-speed chase with a driver involved in a sideshow that ended with a fatal crash.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Chief Armstrong announced Wednesday that he has relieved two Oakland police officers of their "police powers," while the department investigates their actions during and after a sideshow and fatal crash that took place Sunday morning in Oakland.

"We identified potential misconduct, very serious potential misconduct within our investigation and that's led to the additional administrative leave," said Armstrong.

VIDEO: Bystander killed in Oakland high-speed crash ID'd; councilmember calls for 'state of emergency'

Oakland police had been chasing the driver because they believed he was part of a sideshow about a mile away.

"We do know that the lights and sirens were on, but we also do know at one point the lights and sirens were off," says Armstrong.

Police say the car that raced away from officers at a 100 miles per hour ended up losing control, then crashing into other vehicles that struck and killed 28-year-old Lolomanaia Soakai.

VIDEO: Neighbors call for action after 1 killed, 2 injured in massive Bay Area sideshows

The alleged driver of that car has been arrested. Soakai's brother Ian Finau reacted Wednesday night saying they are upset with the driver speeding and the officer's actions.

"They did witness the patrol car with the two officers come tape off the scene and left," said Finau who arrived after the crash and talked with witnesses and victims who were injured. They believe Lolo could have been saved.

"He was still alive when he was on the floor and if they had not taken off, two of them, one of them could have checked on the driver and the other one could have done what he knows to handle the situation," said Armstrong.

Chief Armstrong said he was unable to give specifics as to what exactly happened and when it happened due to the open investigation.

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