OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The Oakland NAACP was joined by numerous community groups, clergy, and business leaders at a rally Tuesday to demand Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong be reinstated. Armstrong has been placed on leave over the handling of two disciplinary matters.
“We demand that he be exonerated,” said Bishop Bob Jackson with the Acts Full Gospel Church. “I said ‘exonerated.’ We don’t want nothing ruining his reputation. Exonerated and his position as Oakland’s chief of police be reinstated. And when do we want it? When do we want it? We want to now.”
Armstrong’s supporters gathered outside the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse Tuesday demanding the mayor reinstate the chief.
“LeRonne is a man of integrity,” said Jeremy McCants with the Oakland NAACP. “He is a man of honesty, of commitment, and most of all, a man who loves his home of Oakland, California.”
Mayor Sheng Thao placed the chief on paid administrative leave after the report questioning his handling of two disciplinary cases. The chief has maintained he has done nothing wrong and joined supporters Tuesday to demand he get his job back.
“I’m from West Oakland,” he said. “I won’t pick a fight but ain’t running from none, I’m not running from none.”
While this rally was going on, Mayor Thao held her own news conference about a gang-related shooting that occurred Monday night. She appeared visibly angry when asked if she would reinstate the chief.
“I have not seen a request from the NAACP,” she said. “I know that they have an ongoing media thing that’s happening probably right now as well too but at the end of the day, that’s a personnel matter. And we’re going to leave it at that. And thank you for respecting the fact that we are here to speak about a mass shooting in our beautiful city of Oakland where people have died. Thank you.”
KRON ON is streaming news live now
The chief has said the federal monitor overseeing the department manufactured a false crisis to keep federal monitoring in place, but federal judge William Orrick doesn’t see it that way. During a hearing Tuesday, he said recent revelations are profoundly disappointing and demonstrate that significant problems within the department remain unaddressed.
While Orrick acknowledged OPD has made progress and is close to fully complying, it will not be allowed to exit the federal monitoring program until the department has implemented each and every recommendation to guarantee constitutional policing.