OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Families of homicide victims, clergy and community activists met in Oakland Saturday demanding Mayor Sheng Thao reinstate former Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.
He was placed on paid administrative leave in January and later fired. Armstrong still has strong support from the families he has developed relationships with over the years as he climbed the ranks of the police department.
“He needs to be rehired and we’re not going to shut up. We’re not going to be quiet. We’re going to make our voices be made known,” said Marty Peters, pastor.
Nearly a dozen non-profits and a dozen family members of homicide victims addressed Armstrong’s firing at the Lighthouse Community School.
“Chief Armstrong is not my partner. He’s not my boy and he’s not my folks. He is a highly respected chief who at any given time would be out at a murder scene. One o’clock in the morning, he’d get out of his bed and go and console the families of homicide victims,” said Brenda Grisham, executive director.
Armstrong is appealing the decision by Mayor Sheng Thao to terminate him. He was fired without cause following the federal monitors investigation into his handling of two police misconduct investigations.
“He’s family. We finally had a chief from Oakland that supported the community and all that friction and tension that we had throughout the years with the OPD, we finally had a face and a person that was able to come speak to us,” said Daryle Allums, resident.
The group also voiced their frustrations with Mayor Thao who they said has ignored their requests to meet in-person to discuss how the former chief’s dismissal was handled.
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“This decision has re-traumatized our community. At this point, what the mayor has did, has put us in a fight, flight, freeze mode. At this point, we don’t know what’s next,” said Nina Carter, activist.
We reached out to the Mayor’s Office for comment on this story and have not heard back.