ONN – Susan Manheimer: Oakland Mayor Schaaf’s Allergy Against Black Police Chief Candidates Continues
In selecting Susan Manheimer to be the new Interim Oakland Police Chief, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf seems to be bent on completely ignoring black candidates for the job of Interim Oakland Police Chief, let alone Oakland Police Chief.
There were a number of qualified African Americans in the ranks for the job, foremost was the one who personally told me he wanted the position: LeRonne Armstrong. This makes the fifth time Libby has elected to pass on hiring anyone black for the top cop job.
Her apparent reason? The Mayor’s Office sent this:
“During an unprecedented response to COVID-19, and when Oakland residents rely on our dedicated public servants more than ever, I deeply appreciate Chief Manheimer for adding to our leadership bandwidth in this moment,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said.
Chief Manheimer served as Police Chief of San Mateo for nearly 20 years and was the first woman elected as head of the California Police Chiefs Association and the San Mateo County Chiefs and Sheriffs Association.
“In Chief Manheimer, Oakland gets a proven leader who will build upon our historic reduction in crime, further reduce racial bias, and improve community engagement.”
And The Mayor of Oakland seems to have picked someone who knows the man who endorsed her for Mayor, former Oakland Mayor and California Governor Jerry Brown, seen in this 2010 photo with Ms. Manheimer and her husband. Moreover, Mayor Schaaf picked someone who comes from smaller bay area towns virtually devoid of black folks (including San Francisco). San Mateo’s black population percentage is 1.64 percent.
So, it’s a fair and sad bet that this new Oakland top cop has little experience with anyone black other than some who’s committed a crime – and she’s coming to Oakland. What the heck was Mayor Schaaf thinking? Certainly not about doing anything that might put her in a better light with people who hoped for a different (and back to normal) Libby.
This new Mayor Schaaf is bent on playing a nasty racial politics that continues to divide Oakland (and I say this from the calls and texts I received when this was announced). It’s as sad as it is shocking, and that’s me taking the time to speak for a lot of people in Oakland who just held out some measure of hope for a brighter future.
In closing, I say Welcome to Oakland, Chief Manheimer. It’s not about you, but it is about our fears for Oakland’s future. Just giving you an honest taste of our political discourse. Yes, your tag is Interim, but it’s the symbolism, the optics, of the whole deal. That’s what bothers a number of Oaklanders who’ve reach out to me.
As former Oakland Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente is found of saying “Welcome to Oakland.”
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