Police union gathers to say goodbye to former Oakland chief

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Hundreds of Oakland police officers and civilian employees of the department turned out to say goodbye to their former chief.

On Thursday, the Oakland Police Commission and the mayor fired Anne Kirkpatrick without cause.

Now out of uniform, Anne Kirkpatrick hugged a long line of sworn and non-sworn employees of the Oakland Police Department.

Her voice cracked with emotion as she talked to the media.

“I love them and I’m supporting them and I have loved being a part of this community. I have loved being an Oaklander and I’m just saddened that I have to say goodbye,” Kirkpatrick said.

Details on what led to the unanimous decision by the police commission and mayor to fire the chief were not disclosed.

Other than this was a “no cause termination” and a personnel matter.

Kirkpatrick has alleged she was fired for refusing to fix tickets for a police commissioner.

“I wanted to be an honorable leader and a woman of integrity and I’m not going to say things and do things and fix things, I would rather lose my job and keep my integrity,” Kirkpatrick said.

On Tuesday, some who turned out to wish their former boss well expressed sadness and disbelief.

“You could feel a palpable sense of depression in our line up room when we found out the news, especially since it was so abrupt and sudden,” Officer Pedram Farhang said.

“I was shocked. I was shocked, I was appalled, I was confused, I was disappointed, I don’t understand how you can get away with no cause. She needs an answer, we all need to know why,” criminalist Amanita Lemon said.

“I think we all are struggling, trying to make some sense of something that just doesn’t make sense, we are definitely sorry to see her go and worried about the status of our department, about what our future looks like,” dispatch supervisor Nicole Ruff said.

The Head of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association says he’s worried about what message this firing sends to any future candidates for the job.

“They are going to look back at the events of last week and go, hey any given Thursday, I could be gone, by an unelected, unaccountable police commission that decides they don’t want you anymore,” Barry Donelan said.

In a statement the mayor’s spokesperson says:

“Anne Kirkpatrick’s service to Oakland deserves the gratitude and appreciation members from the department showed her today. The Police Commission’s unprecedented vote to remove a Police Chief from duty was an extraordinary exercise of power by a citizen-led commission and it will take time for the community to process it.” 

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