Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks April 25, 2016 Statement In The Matter Of Elaine Brown v. Brooks

News Oakland Oakland Politics

Zennie Abraham note: this document (converted from PDF to .doc file and then inserted into the Zennie62Media Oakland News Online blog) is Councilmember Brook’s account of what happened during an argument between she and former Oakland Black Panther Party Member Elaine Brown that happened on October 30th 2015.  One that resulted in a civil court judgment against Brooks and the City of Oakland to the cost of just over $3 million. This version of the incident has not seen the public light of day prior to this publishing of it. Note the date. I was informed that Oakland City Councilmembers have seen this. Since that’s the case, why did some elect to believe Elaine Brown’s account of what happened, even though the focus of her anger, in both versions, was her issue with Brook’s negative position on her housing project that was before the Oakland City Council? One could think that Brown may have an incentive to fashion a story that gets Councilmember Brooks into trouble.

April 25, 2016

Manuela Albuquerque

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
1901 Harrison Street, Suite 900
Oakland, CA 94612

Re: Brown v. Brooks

Dear Ms. Albuquerque:

I am sending you the following statement to support my request that the City of Oakland provide me with a defense and indemnification in Elaine Brown’s lawsuit against me and the City of Oakland. As I explain, I was on City business on October 30, 2015, meeting with members of the public, when Elaine Brown confronted me on an issue of City business and engaged in the actions that led to this litigation.

Over the years Everett & Jones has been an informal venue where I have hosted a number of meetings regarding City business. On October 30, 2015, I went to Everett & Jones, Jack London Square, to meet, among others, Dorothy King and Len Turner. I was co-­‐sponsoring a Speakers Series with Everett & Jones on issues confronting residents in the City of Oakland. I was also meeting Len Turner to discuss his plans for properties he owns in District 6.

When I arrived at the restaurant Dorothy King and Len Turner were sitting at a table in the front bar. I joined them. Dorothy was drinking wine, Len had a beverage, and I ordered lemonade as I do not drink alcoholic beverages. We proceeded to talk; shortly thereafter we were joined by Ms. Elaine Brown. Upon joining us, Ms. Brown ordered her first, of what would be a series of, alcoholic beverages. Although I understand that Ms. Brown is an alcoholic who attended alcohol rehabilitation programs in 1999 and 2006, I believe that she continues to consume alcoholic beverages quite heavily.

Ms. Brown injected herself into the conversation between Ms. King, Mr. Turner and me. Ms. Brown said she had applied for the N.O.F.A. (Notice of Funding Availability) with the City. To which I made a general statement that I had been expressing for over a year – “to address the immediate housing crisis of existing Oakland residents, the City should use the N.O.F.A. monies to buy existing buildings rather than wait three to five years for new construction. Once the buildings were purchased the City could cap the rents. This would allow existing residents to remain in place and stave off some of the displacement.” Ms. Brown became angry at my statement and said that she needed money for her project. I reiterated that we were in a housing crisis and that working class families and communities of color could not wait three to five years before we addressed the affordability issue. Ms. Brown said something about her “mother fucking project,” to which I replied, “I thought you were supposed to be for the people.”
Manuela Albuquerque

April 25, 2016
Page 2
My conversation with Ms. Brown lasted just a couple of minutes. It was clear we disagreed on how the N.O.F.A. monies should be spent. As such I terminated any conversation with her. I proceeded to have a conversation with Mr. Turner only.

Ms. King left the table shortly after the conversation between Ms. Brown and me. Mr. Turner remained seated to my left and Ms. Brown was seated to my right. Ms. Brown remained at the table. Ms. Brown ordered two or three additional alcoholic beverages. Despite no-­‐one saying anything to her, the more she drank the angrier she became. She proceeded to make a phone call to someone. She told the person on the phone she had come to celebrate but that wasn’t going to happen because “this bitch” was ruining her celebration. Although she was on the phone, and I was seated at the table, she continued to make loud disparaging remarks about me. I ignored her and continued to talk with Mr. Turner. I had no further dialogue with Ms. Brown for the remainder of her time at the table.

About a half an hour into her drinking, cussing and fussing, I heard Ms. Brown tell the waitress “I need my mother fucking bill because I got to get the fuck up out of here.” Within minutes of her bill being settled Ms. Brown got up from the table. She walked past me, turned, and walked past Mr. Turner. When she got to the far side of the table facing me she yelled, “You bitch! I’m going to kick your mother fucking ass. Messing with my mother fucking project. I’m going to kick your mother fucking ass. Come on step outside so I can kick your mother fucking ass.” Ms. Brown was yelling, cussing and fussing in the middle of the restaurant. I looked at her in disbelief. I did not respond to Ms. Brown’s belligerent behavior.

Dorothy King came back into the front bar area. She told Ms. Brown to stop making a scene in the restaurant. Ms. Brown continued to yell profanities and vulgar statements directed at me. Despite Ms. Brown’s refusal to cease her behavior, neither Ms. King nor any security attempted to address Ms. Brown further or remove her from the restaurant. I still did not respond to Ms. Brown’s belligerent behavior.

Ms. King proceeded to walk to Q’s Lounge in the back of the restaurant, which had yet to open for business. When she walked past the table where I was sitting she said, “come to the back.” Ms. Brown, Ms. King and I began walking towards the back. Ms. King was first, Ms. Brown second and I was third.

Ms. Brown again began yelling, cussing and threatening to “kick my ass” and did not stop. She became more and more agitated, belligerent, and hostile. It seemed that nothing would stop her. She kept yelling at me to “go outside” so she could “kick my ass.”

When we got into the hallway leading to Q’s Lounge, Ms. Brown came up to me and made a weird poking movement towards my chest and stomach area. She continued to yell profanities and threatening to “kick my ass.” We walked a little further down the hall, and Ms. Brown
Manuela Albuquerque

April 25, 2016
Page 3
walked back to me and repeated the poking movement and continued ranting. She said “come outside cause I’m not going to get a case. I’m not going to get a case.”

When we got to the doorway of Q’s lounge -­‐-­‐ Ms. Brown, still yelling, belligerent, cussing and threatening to “kick my ass” while saying she’s “not going to get a case” – turned to me and again made a poking motion towards my stomach and chest area. I had come to Everett & Jones by myself. It became clear to me that no one in the restaurant was going to stop Ms. Brown in her self-­‐induced drunken rage towards me. The last time Ms. Brown made her poking movement to my stomach and chest area, to protect myself I pushed her away from me. I did nothing more. I never punched, or attempted to punch, Ms. Brown.

Ms. Brown has told people that when I pushed her she lost her footing. She landed on her back over a row of chairs at the entrance to Q’s Lounge. I grabbed her and held onto her so she wouldn’t fall to the floor. Others finally came around to help Ms. Brown back to her feet. When she stood up she immediately started yelling profanities all over again.

Someone finally took Ms. Brown outside. I sat at a table in Q’s Lounge with Ms. King, Mr. Turner and some other people. While we were at the table Ms. Brown was outside still in a rage. She sent a note to Mr. Turner telling him if he were her friend he would not sit at the table with me. She sent another note saying that she didn’t want to be a guest of Mr. Turner’s at the Raiders game that Sunday if he continued to sit at the table with me. She returned her Raiders ticket to him. Ms. Brown finally went to the seating area outside Everett & Jones on Broadway and proceeded to get even drunker.

I remained in Q’s Lounge for approximately an hour after Ms. Brown’s scene talking with Ms. King and her husband. When I left to go home, Ms. Brown was still sitting in the front of the restaurant drinking.

Ms. Brown is a known alcoholic. I have heard Ms. Brown speak about perpetrating violence on individuals and entities with whom she disagrees. I have heard that couple of weeks earlier during a conversation Ms. Brown indicated that she had a gun. I did not know what Ms. Brown was capable of doing in her drunken rage. I was left with no choice but to defend myself.

Please contact my attorney, Dan Siegel, if you have further questions about this matter.

Very truly yours,