‘Schaaf Needs to Go': Frustrated Activists Call for Oakland Mayor to Resign Following Growing List of Scandals at Police Department

Fired up and frustrated, activists gathered in front of the Oakland Police Department Tuesday to react to a growing list of scandals and changes in leadership for the police force.

The activists also took aim at Mayor Libby Schaaf.

"It is time for us to say Libby Schaaf needs to go," said Nikita Mitchell with Black Lives Matter.

In addition to the protest, a Grand Jury report released Tuesday concludes City Council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney violated conflict of interest rules and misused city resources to prevent a townhouse project next to her Oakland home.

"It looks like everyone's going to go up in flames," said Carroll Fife with the Oakland Alliance/Oakland Justice Coalition. "I'm really embarrassed right now for the city."

Councilman Noel Gallo said the city "can't run and hide on this one because we have the public attention at our door."

The Grand Jury makes several recommendations, including possible censure.

Meanwhile, council members are set to vote on delaying the next police academy amid the scandals plaguing the chief-less police department. Schaaf on Monday announced Acting Assistant Chief David Downing will help run the police department along with City Administrator Sabrina Landreth.

Downing and Landreth replace the latest people tapped to run the police department in the wake of a growing series of scandals. The pair replace Paul Figueroa, who served two days as the city's sixth police chief since 2011 before resigning on Friday.

The Oakland Police Department is currently looking into allegations more than a dozen officers had sex with a teenage prostitute. In addition, police authorities have launched a probe into alleged racist text messages sent by an Oakland police lieutenant to other officers in the department. 

"I wake up looking for the next scandal to unfold," Fife said. "It feels like every day there's something different."

Schaaf provided the following statement on Tuesday:

“I'm proud to live in a country where people can criticize and protest their elected officials. Many in this group have been protesting me since before I was even sworn in as mayor. I share their passion about holding officers accountable and having a police department that every community member can trust, particularly communities of color who have been abused by this police department. Even today, we know that there are disparate impacts of law enforcement practices on communities of color which is why I am dedicated to reform of our police department. We must continue on our path to rebuild community trust in policing in Oakland. I know that the majority of men and women of the Oakland Police Department share that commitment as well.”

Contact Us