Berkeley City Manager Postpones Police Chief Appointment

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The vote that would make Berkeley Interim Police Chief Jean Louis permanent has been postponed.

The city manager Tuesday pulled the item that would make Louis permanent, canceling the confirmation vote during the city council meeting.

This all started when a fired Berkeley police officer sent an email last week to city officials containing screen shots made public by the online group Secure Justice.  

The messages were allegedly written by the head of the police union, and contained derogatory comments about unhoused residents and people of color.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, there was a brief discussion over the controversial messages.

The Alameda County public defender is now questioning whether the interim chief should lead the department.

“Arrest quotes, remarks about the unhoused and racism have no place in policing but is prevalent with the police department and under the current leadership,” said Brendon Woods.

The city manager said she pulled the item to get results from an upcoming investigation and consult with the community.

The mayor believes Interim Chief Louis had no knowledge of the controversial messages before they were made public.

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