Oakland Police Commission Second Meeting Shows Problems

News Oakland Oakland Politics

The Oakland Police Commission’s second meeting was not as well attended as the inaugural one. Here’s Oakland’s John Jones with a take he posted on Facebook, and included here, both in text and as an embed:

My thoughts on the second Police Commission meeting last night:

1) Once again it was poorly attended. I am not concerned with pointing fingers, but rather how can we as a City, that voted 83% in support of Measure LL ensure that the Commission has all the support it needs from the People.

2) Clearly the Commission is being impacted by undue, and I would even argue, inappropriate behavior from other City departments. This will not be tolerated.

3) Those who attended were incensed that both alternates (who are women) were asked to not join the dais last night, relegating them to some subservient second-class status. I firmly stated for the record that both Andrea Dooly and Maureen Benson are not only intelligent and competent- they should be full Commissioners. After much pleading from the public, Commissioners Dooley and Benson were allowed to join the dais.

4) Finally, I do not know Commissioner Andrew Smith personally, yet I remain insistent that he steps down as the Chair. In addition to being a mayoral appointee, in my opinion the Chair sets the tone and must lead valiantly to do what is right and not what is easy. There were missed opportunities that the Chair failed to act upon in order to assert the Commission as a fully independent body. Regina Jackson is a mayoral appointee and I have much respect for her, so I am not throwing shots simply because of who picked whom. I shared that I fought valiantly for the omission of criminal background checks, not because it was easy, but rather because it was the right thing to do. In the course of doing so, I was the subject of pushback from even some of my fellow Selection Panel members, City Council and even a nasty op-ed written by the OPOA president. Nevertheless we prevailed and won. This is the type of leadership needed from the Chair of the most powerful Police Commission in the nation, if indeed, it is to be powerful.