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NOBLE Honors Rashidah Grinage and PUEBLO at Awards Dinner, Oakland, 4/24/09: audio
by dave id
Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 2:40 PM
The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) held a 3-day training conference with various workshops at the Oakland Airport Hilton hotel. The theme of the conference -- "An injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere" -- is from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, written on April 16, 1963, while King was being imprisoned for his part in a civil disobedience protest against racial segregation.

On April 23rd, 2009, the Board of Directors of BART unanimously chose NOBLE to conduct a "top to bottom" review of the BART Police Department. BART Board and Police Department Review Committee member Lynette Sweet of Oakland said, "What we really liked about NOBLE’s proposal is that the organization truly demonstrated it understands the value of engaging the community in the process while at the same time it showed it has the expertise to conduct a comprehensive top to bottom review of our police force." The review is set to last four months and examine BART police culture, recruitment, training, policies, and investigatory practices. Recommendations will be made by NOBLE. BART has its first public meeting to review civilian police oversight models scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd at 1pm in Oakland.

On April 24th, as a part of the training conference, NOBLE held an awards dinner to honor Bay Area activists and civil servants with community service awards as well as to pay tribute to notable achievements within their own ranks. Audio of three of the speakers is featured here. First is NOBLE National President Joseph McMillan, introduced by Dave Clark of KTVU, who MCd the awards dinner. Joseph McMillan -- speaking to the theme of the NOBLE conference and the recent deadly violence between police and civilians across the nation, including the BART shooting death of Oscar Grant on January 1st and the deaths of Lovelle Mixon and four Oakland police officers on March 21st -- declares that "injustice by law enforcement officials breeds injustice."
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noble_042409a_josephmcmillan.mp3 4.9MB

(audio 14:17)

BART public meeting on Saturday, May 2nd to review civilian police oversight models:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/23/18590941.php

BART chooses organization to conduct top-to-bottom review of Police Department
http://bart.gov/news/articles/2009/news20090105.aspx

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE):
http://www.noblenatl.org

Rashidah Grinage, Oakland Citizen's Police Review Board, 4/23/09:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/23/18590987.php

People United for a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO):
http://www.peopleunited.org
§San Francisco Bay Area NOBLE chapter awards dinner
by dave id Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 2:40 PM
noble_042409_sfbayawardsdinner.jpg
noble_042409_sfbayawardsd...

§Rashidah Grinage and PUEBLO honored with community service award
by dave id Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 2:40 PM
noble_042409_rashidahgrinage.jpg
noble_042409_rashidahgrin...

NOBLE National President Joseph McMillan stands in background.
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noble_042409b_rashidagrinage.mp3 3.3MB

(audio 9:31)

Rashidah was introduced by Lt. Johnny Davis, OPD, after Joseph McMillan spoke in first audio clip posted above (at 9 minutes 40 seconds in).

While she did not speak about it at the awards dinner, Rashidah Grinage is currently asking for public support at the Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee hearing on Tuesday, April 28th. PUEBLO will propose that the OPD Internal Affairs department be civilianized and that all citizen complaints against OPD go to the Citizen's Police Review Board:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/23/18590987.php

People United for a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO):
http://www.peopleunited.org
§Keynote speaker Alameda Superior Court Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte
by dave id Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 2:40 PM
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noble_042409c_brendaharbinforte.mp3 6.5MB

(audio 18:59)

Alameda Superior Court Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte speaks about what is means to be an African American law enforcement officer and assuring equal justice under the law.
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noble_042409d_josephmcmillan.mp3 298.1 KB

(audio :50)
04.23.2009

BART chooses organization to conduct top-to-bottom review of Police Department

Today the BART Board of Directors unanimously selected an organization to conduct a comprehensive top-to-bottom review of the BART Police Department following the January 1, 2009, officer-involved fatal shooting on the Fruitvale BART Station platform.

"The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) will look into all aspects of the BART Police Department," BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen said. Ward Allen chairs the Board’s newly created BART Police Department Review Committee whose aim is to provide greater focus on the exercise of BART Police responsibilities and, among other things, assist the full Board in establishing civilian oversight of BART Police. "This is the latest in a series of significant steps we’re taking to ensure a similar incident does not occur again," Ward Allen said. The review should take approximately four months and the cost of the contract is $127,688.


WHAT NOBLE WILL DO:

The review will provide an independent assessment of the fundamental aspects of BART Police including but not limited to:

* Culture and the expectations of customers and the communities BART Police serve

* Recruitment, hiring and promotion standards & practices to determine how well equipped BART Police are to promote safety, customer service, public trust and effective policing in the diverse communities BART serves

* Training and equipment, including use of force, conduct of investigations, diversity, cultural awareness and sensitivity and avoidance of racial profiling

* Policies and procedures to determine if they are comprehensive, reflect best practices and are effective in directing a professional, well-regarded and trusted police force

* Internal investigatory practices for fairness, objectivity and thoroughness

"The goal of the study will be to provide BART with evaluation results and recommendations that will help us identify any changes we need to make to ensure the BART Police Department is structured and administered effectively and that the department follows the industry’s best practices as appropriate in the environment in which BART operates," Joel Keller, Vice Chair of the BART Police Department Review Committee said.

As part of this process, NOBLE proposes a community engagement methodology that is designed to bring law enforcement and concerned citizens together to identify community concerns and apply principles of community policing to create a shared vision and joint strategy to address concerns.

"What we really liked about NOBLE’s proposal is that the organization truly demonstrated it understands the value of engaging the community in the process while at the same time it showed it has the expertise to conduct a comprehensive top to bottom review of our police force," BART Board Member Lynette Sweet said. Sweet sits on the committee and was one of the members who helped evaluate proposals for this contract. "This study will provide us with findings and recommendations that will get the job done in four months at which time we’ll know what our police do well and what they need to do to improve."


ABOUT NOBLE

NOBLE was founded in September 1976. NOBLE is committed to conducting research and sponsoring programs that lead to the formation of policies and procedures to improve the delivery of law enforcement services. NOBLE has a long history helping numerous police departments across the country with issues including:

* Community oriented policing

* Use of force policies

* Crime prevention and fear reduction programs

* Cultural diversity training

* Victim's assistance programs

* Racial profiling

* Religious violence reduction programs


OTHER STEPS THAT BART HAS TAKEN SINCE THE SHOOTING

Since the officer-involved shooting, BART has been conscientiously working to ensure that a similar incident does not occur again. Some of the major steps BART has taken include:

* Completing criminal investigation: On January 12, 2009, BART Police completed the criminal investigation of now former officer Johannes Mesherle and turned the matter over to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The DA filed murder charges against Mehserle and his preliminary hearing is May 18, 2009.

* Completing criminal investigation of all other officers present on the platform: BART completed the criminal investigation of the other officers who were on the platform during the shooting. BART Police turned this investigation over to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office on March 20, 2009. The DA will determine what if any charges to file against any other officer.

* Hiring independent firm for internal affairs investigation of all officers present on platform: BART retained the Meyers Nave law firm on February 11, 2009 to perform its internal affairs investigation to ensure that it is a complete and independent.

* Establish civilian oversight for the BART Police Department: The Committee has been reviewing the different civilian oversight models to determine what is best suited to BART and the communities it serves. That work will accelerate in May when BART begins to hold public forums to solicit input on a model. In addition, there’s legislation in Sacramento that would require BART to create civilian oversight for its police force. On April 13, 2009, the Chair of the BART Police Department Review Committee on behalf of the Board, the General Manager, Chief of Police and the Presidents of the two BART police associations, signed a joint letter to the Bay Area legislative delegation assuring them of BART’s intention to create civilian oversight of BART Police and to assure the delegation that BART is actively working toward that goal.

http://bart.gov/news/articles/2009/news20090423.aspx
§NOBLE Region Six annual training conference
by dave id Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 2:40 PM

§Text of Joseph McMillan's remarks to awards dinner
by dave id Wednesday Apr 29th, 2009 11:35 AM

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Remembering the fivenancySunday Apr 26th, 2009 10:32 AM