The San Jose Police Officers Association (SJPOA), which is the San Jose Police Officers Union, leveled charges of bias against Independent Police Auditor Aaron Zisser, claiming he recently attended a rally by family and friends of 18 year old Anthony Nunez, who was shot and killed by two San Jose police officers in 2016.
The claims by SJPOA claims are false and misleading, as Zisser did not attend a rally, as the POA claimed in a press conference, but did meet with the family and friends prior to their event to show them that the office of the independent auditor is listening to all sides.
The police officers’ union is now demanding that Zisser resign. This is ironic in that the SJPOA did not protest his appearance at police department events and graduations nor did it demand that he resign for any of his those appearances at police functions.
It is clear that the SJPOA is mounting a campaign to discredit not only Zisser, but that it aims to annihilate any independent oversight of police in San Jose.
Hopefully San Jose politicians, like Mayor Sam Liccardo, and the San Jose City Council, stand up to the POA and let them know that Trump-like press conferences, misleading accusations, and false charges only harm the credibility of the Police union.
It’s time for the SJPOA to grow up, confront the fact that many in the community do not trust its policies and actions toward people of color, and that the only way for police to build trust and confidence is to participate, not fight, independent oversight.
Cooperation between the San Jose Police Officers Association, its president Paul Kelly, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, and San Jose Office of the Independent Police Auditor, is essential for the police, as much as the community, to win the respect, confidence and support during these troubled times. If the POA continues to fight oversight by an independent auditor it will only further harm the reputation of POA and damage positive police relationships with the community at large.