For Immediate Release
February 16, 2023
Contact: Saabir Lockett 510-987-6987 | Debra Grabelle 510-368-6381
An Alliance of Community and Labor Leaders Issue Statement Supporting Mayor’s Recent Action to Restore Accountability, Compliance with Federal Monitor
The statement is in response to yesterday’s termination of embattled OPD Chief, Leronne Armstrong
Oakland, CA: An alliance of community, faith, housing, labor and Progressive Black leaders issued a statement supporting Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao’s decision to part ways with embattled Police Chief Leronne Armstrong. The statement cited a need to move past the “long shadow of Federal Oversight, scandal and cover up” that has plagued the Oakland Police Department “into an era of accountability and transparency.”
“As community leaders, we know that accountability is essential to working together and moving Oakland past the unfortunate legacy of mismanagement, scandal and corruption that has plagued our City’s Police Department for generations” read the statement. The statement has been signed by several individuals and organizations who are part of the “Oakland Progressive Alliance,” a community-labor coalition made up of organizations representing thousands of community members and workers across the city.
For the first time in two decades, OPD was finally on track to come out of Federal Oversight. However, per a report ordered by the previous City Administration, OPD officers engaged in misconduct that was covered up—yet again–by the highest levels of leadership within the Department. This behavior was seen as a “gross dereliction of duty” by Federal Monitors, it has reversed the course of progress toward Police Reform and required immediate action.
The statement goes on to add that Oakland needs to “break the cycle of corruption, abuse, cover up and scandal that has prevented this Department from focusing on addressing violent crime.” The community leaders, advocates, workers and caregivers behind the statement expressed support for actions that hold senior-level members of OPD accountable to the decades long Federal, “negotiated settlement agreement.” The agreement was put in place to stem years of corruption, misconduct and abuse that have made OPD one of the longest running Departments under Federal Oversight in the Country. Community leaders also point to the need for unity in addressing the root causes of violence impacting the city including taking on homelessness, lack of affordable housing, good jobs and creating an equitable city for the communities who have felt the greatest impact from OPD’s years long struggle with accountability.
The following is an initial list of the groups who released today’s statement:
James Burch, Anti Police-Terror Project
Debra Grabelle, Executive Director, International Federation of Professional and Technical Employees Local 21
Frankie Free Ramos, Director of Campaigns and Organizing, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Liz Suk, Executive Director, Oakland Rising
Oakland Education Association
Kate O’Hara, Executive Director, EBASE
Saabir Lockett, Deputy Director, East Bay Action
Yulisa Elenes, East Bay and North Bay VP, UNITE-HERE Local 2