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Who should investigate complaints against Oakland police?
Friday Apr 24th, 2009 6:11 PM
In 2008 alone, the Oakland Police Department has shot ten civilians, six of whom died. In none of those shootings were police charged with crimes or fired for their involvement. In fact, no officer in the Oakland Police Department has been charged with criminal activity or fired for civilian shootings since 2004. Several weeks ago, Capt. Edward I. Poulson, the head of the Oakland Police Department’s Internal Affairs Department, was suspended following allegations that he viciously beat a suspect, who later died, and then demanded that subordinates keep his brutality a secret. In light of these incredible facts, the public understandably has little confidence that the Internal Affairs Department will thoroughly investigate their complaints of police misconduct and bring rogue police officers to justice. The community demands a transparent and efficient civilian-run investigative agency, which will restore public confidence in the investigative process, empower civilians to report police misconduct and help repair the damaged reputation of the Oakland Police Department.


The Citizens’ Police Review Board should receive all civilian complaints. The benefits of civilian oversight are numerous:

1. Creates a credible process of investigating complaints of police misconduct that will increase public trust and confidence. The community is more likely to have faith that investigations are legitimate and objective if civilians, rather than other police officers, investigate allegations against police officers.

2. Creates a more cost-effective oversight agency. The salary of an IAD officer is as much as twice the salary of a CPRB investigator. Adding up the costs of salaries, employee benefits and overhead costs, it would cost the City the same amount of money to employ 20 CPRB staff members as it would cost to employ 8 IAD officers.

3. Provides at least ten additional patrol or detectives to OPD. The OPD can re-assign at least ten of the twenty-eight current IAD officers to either patrol or to detective positions. The OPD desperately needs additional officers to facilitate criminal prosecution.

4. Provides a more effective strategy of risk management by better oversight, saving the City millions of dollars in lawsuits. A civilian-run agency is more likely to recognize and take action against rogue police officers, saving the City money in the long-term from federal and state lawsuits against the Oakland Police Department and individual officers.

A better-funded Civilian Complaint Review Board and a streamlined Internal Affairs Department is a key measure to stopping police brutality in Oakland.

[Citizens’ Police Review Board meeting on 4/23/09:]


LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AT THE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING ON APRIL 28TH AT 5:30 PM – AGENDA ITEM #7. You can fill out a speaker’s card on line and submit it electronically. Our item will probably not be called until 6:15 or even later….

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by me
Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 12:49 PM
Your suggestions in your article are very informative and sound extremely easy to transition, though as normal, you have forgotton to do your homework. If you look at the Police Officers Bill of Rights, it states that Police Officers have the right to be Internally Investigated by POLICE, not civilians. Civilians can conduct their own investigations, they can reccomend discipline, or not, but not hand out discipline. What this all means is, even if a citizens board trys to investigate officers, they would still need to have a number of officers to review all the cases that come in. That also means these officers would have to go through the cases to ensure the cases were investigated properly. So in the end, the IAD would still have the final say as to what happens as far as reccomending discpline to the department. All an investigating citizens board would do is cause more work for IAD, and cause a wider gap between the public and police. It wowuld cause even more money to be spent, and possibly require more officers to be assigned to IAD.
by éste primo
Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 1:57 PM
23 yr old medical student takes 5 rounds after traffic stop in Illinois

with the usual bulls**t villainization, secrecy and stonewalling -
"Due to what was called “wild and totally inaccurate speculation in the media,” police released their own prepared statement just hours after the family’s press conference. Delivering the statement in front of his office, Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh disputed many of the questions raised by the family, information no one was previously willing to provide them.

by me too
Saturday Apr 25th, 2009 8:20 PM
that's a hoot. so cut the public out of the reviews, and that's less of a gap than if civilians are involved?

up is down. you gotta be a cop with a perspective like that. or you're just another closet-authoritarian all too ready to cede every civil liberty to police as the ultimate strong-daddy father figures

and your condescension isn't fooling anyone. it's that exact attitude that motivates people to get involved and stop police unaccountability. you/cops do not know best. how easy it is for you/cops to forget that cops serve the public and not the other way around

yes, discipline can't be imposed by the review board, but that's due to the city charter and not the police bill of rights. and the city charter might very well be updated next year to change that. I, for one, certainly hope so, and will happily vote for such a change
by kebrey-gebre
Wednesday Sep 15th, 2010 7:29 PM
I am american hard working for over 20 years tax payer been harrased chase abouse by oakland police and all over bay areas this is just beganing all over my face evrey ware i go treated like crimenal show up on my job with mean look faces all over my bussiness my phone canversation no respect.