Attorneys Call for Federal Takeover of Oakland PD | NBC Bay Area

Attorneys Call for Federal Takeover of Oakland PD

Civil rights attorneys have filed the motion citing OPD's "chronic failure" to make reform



    (Published Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012)

    Civil rights attorneys are calling for a federal takeover of the Oakland Police Department as the city grapples with another wave of violence.

    Citing OPD's "chronic failure" to make mandated reforms, attorneys John Burris and Jim Chanin filed a motion in federal court late Thursday asking U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson in San Francisco,  to appoint a receiver to oversee the department


    The request comes on the heels of two new reports by a federal monitor criticizing the department's handling of officer-involved shootings and Occupy Oakland protests.

    Burris says he does not take the move lightly but felt he had little choice.

    Chanin said, "I never thought it would come to this but we've been through three mayors, four police chiefs and two monitoring groups" but the mandated reforms have still not been accomplished.

    The Oakland Police Department was ordered to reform operations in 2003 following the Riders scandal, but they've repeatedly failed to meet deadlines to make the changes.

    "The police chief, the city, and administrators have not gotten it done," said Burris. "Maybe someone needs to come in and tell them what they must do."

    But Oakland's police chief says the department is making progress despite the dangers his officers face.

    "You have the fourth most dangerous city in America. These are challenges my officers face every single day. We're not making up any of this stuff," said Chief Howard Jordan.

    Mayor Jean Quan says the city will fight to keep the OPD under local control.

    "I'm still confident by the end of the year we can avoid it," said Quan. "I think the Chief's made progress and I don't want his work to be undermined."

    A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for Dec. 13.

    Bay City News contributed to this article.

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