The Oakland Police Commission held its first meeting since the controversial firing of Chief Anne Kirkpatrick Thursday night, and addressed their decision head-on.
Commission Chair Regina Jackson said some of Kirkpatrick’s statements since she was terminated were "insulting."
“Kirkpatrick’s recent media games to try to attack the Mayor or discredit this commission only reinforced that we made the right decision,” Jackson said to applause from about half of the people at the meeting.
She also discarded Kirkpatrick’s claim that her firing was in retaliation for not waiving a towing fee for one of the commissioners.
“The idea that something so petty would drive all seven commissioners and the mayor of our city to reach the same conclusion is just simply ridiculous.”
Some Oakland residents argued that Kirkpatrick never brought the department into compliance with the federal oversight program, which it has been under since 2003.
“We’ve asked for her to be fired for a year, and I’m glad you did,” one woman said during public comment.
The commission, made up of seven civilian volunteers, unanimously voted to fire Kirkpatrick last Thursday. Since Mayor Libby Schaaf signed off, they did not have to provide a cause.
Kirkpatrick was Oakland PD’s first female chief and the 11th top cop in the past 21 years. Earlier this week, dozens in the department lined up to say goodbye and thank her. Thursday night, a group of Oakland forensic scientists came to her defense.
“We felt like we were on the right track,” criminologist Amanita LeMon said. She’s been with the department since 2004.
“We’ve never had [a chief] this unifying…this caring, this interested, this motivating. She’s been dynamic compared to all the others.”
Kirkpatrick’s supporters say because was fired without cause, it will make hiring the next chief much harder.
“We’re probably just going to get a police chief that’s [the commission’s] puppet. That will just do whatever they say,” said criminologist Helena Wong. “I think that’s very scary for us, because this is a police commission of citizens who don’t know anything about policing and they’re making all the policies.”
Kirkpatrick told NBC Bay Area she has not ruled out bringing legal action against the City of Oakland.