ATTORNEYS REQUEST RECEIVERSHIP OF POLICE
Attorneys John Burris and James Chanin called a press conference on Friday, October 5th to detail the reasons for their filing a motion with Judge Thelton Henderson that requests the appointment of a Federal receiver to 'enforce' the portions of the Negotiated Settlement Agreement with which the Oakland Police Department remains non-compliant.
They pointed out that after nine years of continual meetings with the police and City leadership, significant elements of the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA) that required substantial reforms in policy and practice remain deficient. They pointed to the reports of both sets of monitor teams whose reports remain highly critical of several aspects of the way Oakland police perform, including insufficient and possibly biased investiigations by Internal Affairs, continual and excessive police-involved shootings and a propensity for police to draw their firearms in instances that may not warrant lethal force. They cited the failure of the Department to collect STOP data which might indicate whether not the police engage in racial profiling, and also the failure to implement a computerized system that can track problem officers and offer remediation when needed.
They have concluded that more of the same will not result in the desired changes that were at the heart of these reforms which the police had originally agreed to, and that after all these years of unfulfilled promises, what was needed was the ability to compel these changes that have thus far eluded the police department. Mr. Chanin referred to the differences between the Detroit Police Department and the Oakland Police Departments responses to their respective mandated changes, pointing out that both departments were monitored by the same team of professionals and that Detroit has outperformed the Oakland police under equally, if not more, severe financial challenges. He concluded that the Oakland police did not have the will to come into full compliance with these mandated reforms.
Judge Henderson will rule on the motion for receivership in December.