Judge Demands Investigation into Oakland Police Shootings, Maybe Federal Oversight

The Oakland Police Department’s nine-year-long struggle with federal oversight took a significant turn last week, as a federal judge demanded an investigation by court-appointed monitors into police shootings involving OPD officers and speculated openly about placing the department under federal control.

In a court order issued on May 31, District Court Judge Thelton Henderson indicated that an independent monitoring team raised unspecified concerns about how Oakland officials–including OPD brass, Chief Howard Jordan and “the City officials who supervise him” (i.e. City Administrator Deanna Santana and Mayor Jean Quan)–handle police shootings.

“The Monitor’s concerns surrounding officer-involved shootings highlight the uncertainty over whether Defendants will, without further intervention by the Court, ever be able to comply with the reforms to which they agreed over nine years ago.” Henderson wrote.


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  1. My thoughts on this particular circumstance are more along the lines of “about time” and “what took so long?”. I think the biggest problem in this situation is that a corrupt organization is getting investigated by another corrupt organization… so the likelihood that progress will be made is going to be slim.

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