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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
The Push for Civilian Oversight of Complaints Against Oakland Police, 4/28/09: photos
On April 28th, the Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee agreed -- with the Mayor's Task Force on Police Issues, PUEBLO, and the strong showing of community members who spoke at the meeting -- that it would be in Oakland's best interest to "civilianize" citizen complaints against the Oakland Police Department, that is that all such complaints should go to the Citizens' Police Review Board rather than allowing OPD internal affairs to continue controlling most of those investigations.
Despite this seeming victory, obstacles remain. City Administrator Dan Lindheim is doing all he can to prevent the civilianization plan from being implemented. PUEBLO and police accountability activists are requesting that concerned citizens attend the Public Safety Committee meeting today, June 23rd at Oakland City Hall in order to keep the pressure on for moving the plan forward. If the plan does not move forward today -- to be adopted as part of next year's city budget -- it is likely that the plan will be dead in the water for at least the next year. Another strong showing from the public is needed tonight!
Full audio of the Public Safety committee meeting on April 28th can be found at: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/29/18591762.php. Photos of many but not all of the speakers from that meeting are posted below.
Pictured above: Lieutenant Shannon, from OPD Internal Affairs, who opposed the proposal to civilianize citizen complaints against the Oakland police department and was granted an inordinate amount of time at the meeting to make his disingenuous arguments. Most of his arguments were centered around the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA) that arose from the infamous Oakland Riders' case.
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Joyce Hicks speaks to numerous issues regarding modern police accountability to the public, including the importance of transparency and the 2006 Copley decision
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At the end of public comment, several committee members (City Councilmembers) remarked about how aghast they were that there is such a large feeling of distrust of OPD in Oakland.
Captain Ed Poulson was the last head of Oakland police department internal affairs and is currently on paid leave (vacation) while his role in the beating death of a person in his custody in 2000 and the subsequent cover-up of that death is investigated.
Patrick Caceres clarifies faulty data from police
Oakland Citizens' Police Review Board
Rosia Fierro, on screen, lays to rest that the NSA (Negotiated Settlement Agreement) would stop the proposal
After long line of public speakers in favor of civilianization, and police generally against it, the committee goes on to discuss the proposal and announce their support for it, pending further work from parties involved. (Full audio: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/29/18591762.php)