The following constitute Make Oakland Better Now!’s comments on the February 6, 2017 iteration of the Police Commission Enabling Ordinance introduced by Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Noel Gallo. (Read about Measure LL and Oakland’s new Police Commission on our blog: here, here, and here.)
We also include several comments on features in The Coalition on Police Accountability’s proposed substitute ordinance. There are some areas where we agree with the Coalition’s suggestions, and others where we support adoption of the February 6 draft ordinance.
On March 8, we sent these comments to the Public Safety Committee. After public discussion and feedback, the Enabling Ordinance will be revised, refined, and returned to the Public Safety Committee with a recommendation to the full Council for adoption.
Last month, the City Council passed a resolution putting a police commission measure on this November’s ballot. (Read recent coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, and East Bay Times.)
The new commission will differ in a number of important ways from the existing Citizens’ Police Review Board. It will possess subpoena power. The charter provides for mandatory staffing of one investigator for every 100 officers. By a 5-2 vote, it can fire the Police Chief for cause (with “cause” to be defined by enabling legislation). It nominates future chiefs, and the Mayor chooses from the nominated candidates. And it has policy-setting powers to “accept or reject” OPD policies related to use of force, profiling, and First Amendment assemblies. It’s already been called one of the strongest police commissions in the nation.
Like most individuals and organizations involved in this debate, we believe this measure is a terrific step forward, and we will support it. But there’s still much work to be done.
Oakland City Council will be considering a ballot measure establishing a police commission, civilian inspector general, and Community Police Review Agency at its meeting on Tuesday, July 19 at 5pm.
We posted about this measure on our blog when it was going to the Public Safety Committee last month. (There’s also been plenty of local news coverage from San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Times, and East Bay Express.)
We’ve reviewed the Police Commission Charter Amendment in full, the most recent revision, and a red-lined revision from the Alameda County Labor Council. Exactly what will go to Council for a vote remains unclear, but here is what we know so far: Continue reading
Last week was very hard for Oakland: Police Chief Sean Whent resigned and was immediately replaced by an Interim Chief Benson Fairow, formerly Deputy Chief of BART Police, and a deeply disturbing scandal — involving a possible cover-up — detailed abuse and misconduct by OPD officers.
And it is in this environment that the Public Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday, June 14 at 4:00 p.m. to debate a new charter amendment establishing a strong police commission and other mechanisms of police oversight. The meeting is at Oakland City Hall, Sgt. Mark Dunakin Hearing Room, First Floor.
The details of the proposal under consideration, introduced by Council Members Dan Kalb and Noel Gallo, are available here and here.
While an alternate measure (read here and here) by Council Members Annie Campbell-Washington, Abel Guillén and Larry Reid is also on the agenda, both Campbell-Washington and Guillén announced on Facebook Sunday afternoon that they would withdraw the proposal.
Make Oakland Better Now! has spent a great deal of time researching this issue. Our analysis is in a rather lengthy and detailed letter to the Public Safety Committee, and we will be presenting our recommendations at Tuesday’s meeting. But here are some of the key points: Continue reading
Posted in City Council, Oakland Police Department, Public Safety
Tagged Dan Kalb, Noel Gallo, NSA, Oakland, Oakland Police Department, police commission, police oversight, Public Safety Committee, Sean Whent