Oakland Council Hears Support For Police Commission | NBC Bay Area
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Oakland Council Hears Support For Police Commission

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    The Oakland City Council on Tuesday night heard a lot of support for forming a police commission, but there also was a lot of disagreement about who should serve on such a commission. Jean Elle reports. (Published Tuesday, July 26, 2016)

    The Oakland City Council on Tuesday night heard a lot of support for forming a police commission, but there also was a lot of disagreement about who should serve on such a commission.

    Dozens of residents lined up to offer emotional testimony about the need for change in the Oakland Police Department.

    "Until we get a citizen police commission that has oversight to bring about justice, there will be no quietness, as long as we have a command staff that covers up corruption," said the Rev. Ben McBride.

    City Councilman Dan Kalb agreed something needs to be done.

    "There's been serious misconduct recently and in the past," Kalb said. "We know we are still under federal review; its been 13 years. We have work to do."

    The proposed seven-member commission would review and change police policy, weigh in on officer discipline and have the power to fire the chief. Members of the community would be appointed to the commission.

    The proposal gives three of those appointments to the mayor. But many in the community say community groups should decide who sits on the commission, not politicians.

    The council was considering an amendment at Tuesday night's meeting that will take away that appointment power from the mayor.

    Activists say they hope the council will remove politics from the process and let citizens who are affected by bad policing sit on police commission.

    If the charter amendment passes, it goes on the November ballot, where voters will decide whether the city establishes a police commission.

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