The City of Oakland released a statement in the matter of the arrest of former Oakland Councilmmeber Wilson Riles, and for an incident that Zennie62Media calls “Zoning While Black.” Wilson Riles is California’s first elected African American public official.
Oakland, CA – Wilson Riles version of what happened is here at Oakland News Now. In brief, he reported the following:
I had gone to the Zoning Department to talk to Michae Legault, Specialty Combination Inspector of the Bureau of Building Inspections & Code Enforcement. He was threatening to require me to get a permit for something that the City codes do not require one to get a permit for and he refused to look at the City codes. I found this outrageous. I insisted on speaking to his supervisor. Eventually, a supervisor, Rich Fielding, showed up and we sat down to discuss the issue, unsatisfactorily. Mr. Fielding indicated that he would look at a document that does not deal with this issue and that he would get back to me…after I left the office. As I got up to go, four or five Oakland police officers arrived and blocked my way, never indicating to me that they were arresting me for anything. I continued to try to leave and they grabbed me, attempted to twist my arms behind me, and tripped me throwing me to the floor. These officers made no attempt to deescalate the situation. Handcuffed, I was hustled out of the building into a waiting police cruiser. Around 11:30 a.m., I was switched into a ‘paddy wagon’ and driven to Santa Rita Jail to be booked. For what: “Obstructing a public officer” and “battery of a police officer.”
Here’s the City of Oakland’s Statement, courtesy of Karen Boyd, the City of Oakland Communications Director, who sent it to Zennie62Media.
“We recognize the arrest of former Councilmember Wilson Riles in the Oakland Zoning Department raises deep community concerns. This unfortunate incident invokes two disturbing national realities that weigh heavily on us all – the use of force by police against black men as well as a heightened fear of workplace violence.
Mr. Riles was detained following a 911 call regarding a City employee who reported a hostile man had chased a City inspector into the restricted staff-only area. Mr. Riles was later arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer.
After reviewing incident reports and Personal Digital Recording Device footage from the involved officers, Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has ordered a thorough Internal Affairs Investigation of the incident, as well as encouraged Oakland’s Community Police Review Agency to conduct an independent investigation. In order to not compromise the integrity of these critical investigations, the City of Oakland will not be releasing further information about this incident until these investigations are sufficiently complete.
An internal affairs investigation has been launched to review every aspect of this incident. Employee safety, and the right to feel secure in the workplace, is paramount to the City of Oakland, as is the right of all African-American residents to feel safe, and free from police bias, which is deeply rooted in this country’s racist history.”
Also, be sure to read Zennie62Media’s content on the story of Insight Terminal Solutions’ Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal Development.