OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — One week after Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was fired, Oakland residents had questions and comments for the police commission Thursday night.
“Why was the chief fired? How will the commission regain the trust of the public now that the PD is disrupted? How can we be sure that the commission is concerned about what is best for the public and what is best for the PD?”
<no name public comment: “every oakland police officer i know was heartbroken by your decision. your actions have removed a leader that your officers trusted.”>
On Feb. 20, both Mayor Libby Schaaf and the commission unanimously voted to terminate Kirkpatrick with no cause after three years on the job.
While a handful of public comments were against the vote, others though, support the decision.
“Thank you for your courage for firing Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.”
“We support commissioner Harris. We ask her and this commission to continue to ask the difficult questions and to do what’s necessary to improve and reform OPD.”
They’re talking about Commissioner Ginale Harris, the former chief claims part of the reason why she was fired was her refusal to do favors for certain city leaders — notably Harris.
Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson had this to say about the claims:
“Kirkpatrick’s recent media games to try to attack the mayor or discredit this commission only reinforce that we made the right decision,” Jackson said. “Anyone would cast such a serious vote based upon something so trifling as a towing fee or a disagreement is quite frankly insulting.
Commissioner Edwin Prather spoke after and that the decision to let the chief go did not come lightly.
“Our officials need our support now,” he said. “To this end, I think it’s important to remember that we are an oversight body but at times a discussion in commission meetings can be quite emotional and sometimes even for individual commission members.”
We spoke to Sam Singer — the spokesperson for Kirkpatrick who said she is speaking with attorneys to determine her next moves.
“The police commission acted unjustly and without cause in firing the chief in the backlash against the police commission has been tremendous,” Singer said.
A number of the questions are surrounding the federal monitor overseeing the Oakland Police Department.
Singer also said Kirkpatrick has not received her termination letter yet from the mayor’s office, meaning at this time she is still entitled to the one-year salary and she is still weighing those options.
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