OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Sheng Thao is embroiled in her first controversy since she was sworn in as mayor of Oakland.

Shortly after taking office, Thao placed the city’s police chief on leave in reaction to a scathing report written by a federal monitor who oversees the Oakland Police Department. She was swiftly met with an outcry from Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong’s supporters.

Armstrong maintains he did nothing wrong as the city’s top cop and he will not be dismissed without standing up for what’s right.

“I’m from West Oakland. I won’t pick a fight, but ain’t running from none,” Armstrong proclaimed. “I should be reinstated immediately in the interests of justice.”

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao delivers remarks during a news conference outside Oakland City Hall on Jan. 21, 2023, in Oakland, Calif. (Yalonda M. James /San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Sources told KRON4 that the mayor is leaning toward reinstating Armstrong, and she will consider new information that comes out of the Police Commission’s closed-door session Thursday night.

On Thursday afternoon, the NAACP Oakland asked its members and the community to call and email Mayor Thao asking for Armstrong’s reinstatement.

The NAACP wrote, “The community’s faith in political leadership is greatly diminished by his removal, impacting the progress made and the city’s efforts to recruit and retain high-quality police officers. It is also an issue of justice and fairness for the people and community of Oakland to have a stable and capable leader at the helm of (OPD).”

Armstrong said he doesn’t fault or blame the mayor for her decision, because she made it based on a false and inflammatory report submitted by Federal Monitor Robert Warshaw, according to Armstrong.

Warshaw is trying to create a “scandal” in order to lengthen federal oversight over OPD, Armstrong told news reporters.

“This to me, clearly, is a last-ditch effort to destroy the credibility of me, destroy the credibility of this department, and to make the community believe that, again, OPD is involved in some shady business,” Armstrong told reporters.

The report detailed a case of alleged officer misconduct involving a sergeant. The sergeant is accused of a hit-and-run crash, stemming from when he struck a parked car in a San Francisco parking garage with an OPD-issued vehicle. A year later, he fired his gun in the police station, picked up the shell casing, and tossed it into the San Francisco Bay, according to the report. He failed to report the incidents to his superiors, the report states.

The mayor has remained tight-lipped about whether she will bring Armstrong back to OPD. At a January 24 press conference, Thao appeared visibly angry when a reporter asked her if she would reinstate the chief.

While Armstrong’s future remains in limbo, OPD Assistant Chief Darren Allison is serving as acting chief of the Oakland Police Department.

Armstrong said, “I think the mayor followed the Monitor’s recommendation. It’s hard (for) a mayor — who has just been in the seat a couple of weeks — would truly be able to push back against the Monitor. For those that have been around here, and have seen many chiefs fall, the common theme when those chiefs fall is it comes on the Monitor’s recommendation.

Last year, a federal jury found that former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was wrongfully fired without cause by the city in 2020.

Kirkpatrick said in a recent interview with KRON4 that she is open to returning to Oakland as interim chief. “If there was a need for an interim of course I would return to Oakland in a heartbeat,” she said. “That’s how much, I very much enjoyed being in Oakland.”