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A Big Step Forward for Civilian Oversight of Police in Oakland, 6/23/09: photos & audio
dave id
Advocates for police accountability in Oakland got a boost on Tuesday, June 23rd when the Public Safety Committee voted 3-1 to send the proposal for "civilianizing" citizen complaints against OPD to the full City Council. The Oakland Police Department, its Internal Affairs division, and City Administrator Dan Lindheim put up resistance, but another show of community support for increased civilian oversight at the meeting seems to have kept the majority of committee members focused on pushing the proposal forward. While it remains likely that OPD and Dan Lindheim will continue to resist until the City Council actually votes, it appears probable that a majority of Council members will support the proposal when it comes before them on July 7th. At that point, over $1 million will need to be found to cover the costs of initial implementation that will not be available from the city's general fund due to budget shortfalls this year, but there are a number of potential grants available once the proposal is approved by the full Council. (Dan Lindheim, third from right in photo below, introduces and opposes the civilianization proposal agenda item. Photos of some of the many speakers in favor of the proposal are further below, along with full audio of meeting.)

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