You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Oakland PD has spent the last eight years under independent monitoring for improper use of force:

[In September 2011], U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson threatened to put the department — which is already eight years into what was expected to be a five-year consent decree — into federal receivership. Under the decree, Henderson receives regular progress reports from an independent monitor on the department’s progress on reforms. “We are seriously concerned with the department’s stagnation — and now, reversal — in achieving compliance,” [italics added] Robert Warshaw, the independent monitor in Oakland, wrote in a report just a few weeks ago.

Among the issues concerning Judge Henderson is how frequently Oakland police officers draw their weapons:

According to a quarterly report…The majority of incidents were justified, the monitors said, but they found that in 28 percent of the cases, officers’ use of firearms was inappropriate and unnecessary. The monitors were also concerned that none of the supervisors reading over the officers’ reports raised questions about the events.

UPDATE: The Bay Citizen elaborates:

[on September 22, 2011], Jim Chanin, a lawyer who brought the suit along with defense attorney John Burris, said the issues were indicative of a lack of cultural change at the department that has spurred distrust in the community.

Chanin also said tensions between the police chief, the mayor and the city administrator have contributed to the department’s slow progress.

“The last two weeks have gotten worse,” he told the judge.


  1. […] evidence that the Oakland Police Department are not fast learners here, here, and here. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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