Hundreds of Oakland Police Department employees gathered Tuesday at Oakland Police Officers' Association headquarters to say goodbye to recently fired police chief Anne Kirkpatrick.
The city's police commission and the mayor ousted Kirkpatrick from her job last week. She served as the department's top cop for three years.
An emotional Kirkpatrick shared hugs with uniformed and plain-clothed police officers, crime lab technicians, and other department employees who lined up to say their goodbyes. Retired officers and those employees who were not scheduled to work Tuesday also came by to say farewell.
"Thank you so much to each of you," Kirkpatrick could be heard saying as she hugged her former colleagues.
The decision to remove Kirkpatrick as the city's police chief was unanimous and was made during a closed-session police commission meeting. Measure LL, which voters approved in 2016, allows the volunteer members of the commission with the mayor's permission to dismiss the police chief without cause.
Kirkpatrick spoke out Monday for the first time since she was fired.
"I did not want to leave," she said. "I even told the mayor, 'I don't want to leave.' Even now, I don't want to leave."