OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A new report shines the spotlight on the Oakland Police Department’s handling of last year’s George Floyd murder protests.
On Wednesday, Oakland’s police chief addressed the findings of the report.
Photo shows a person’s body after being hit about 20 times with rubber bullets during last year’s George Floyd murder protests in Oakland. Video shows tear gas being deployed against protestors.
“We responded to those events,” Chief Leronne Armstrong said. “We addressed those events. We had uses of force.”
The results from an independent investigation into use of force complaints against OPD officers during the protests, conducted by Oakland’s community police review agency sustained over 30 allegations against Oakland police.
Chief Armstrong described the challenges officers faced over consecutive days of protests.
“First of all I want to say that our officers did a phenomenal job over a four-day period. If you think about some of the most violent protests that I have seen in my over 22 years of being a member of this department,” Armstrong said. “The idea that you would face officers being targeted. Violence including rocks and bottles being thrown at officers and even the death of the federal officer underwood. It was a challenging night.”
However, the chief admits the use of tear gas did not comply with OPD policy.
“I want to be clear this was not a policy failure. Officers deployed tear gas outside of policy,” Armstrong said. “In order to use that level of force there must be imminent danger to an officer or a community member. During these investigative processes, they determined that did not exist.”
“We heard from so many members of the public and what we heard is that Oakland expects accountability from its’ officers,” Regina Jackson said.
The chair of the Oakland Police Commission Regina Jackson finds the chief’s words of accountability encouraging.
“We’re going in the right direction in some entities. We’ve got a lot of work to do but I believe we have the right leader for the right time,” Jackson said. “Under his leadership that we won’t have these kinds of outcomes anymore.”
The chief will present his after-action report to the police commission in the coming days.
Officers have a right to appeal the review agencies findings.