ONN – Oakland, California Has Not Hired A Black Chief Of Police Since 2011, Why?
This week, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf hired Susan Manheimer, the newly retired San Mateo Chief of Police, to become the Interim Chief of Police in Oakland.
While the third female Chief of Police in Oakland’s history, Manheimer is also the ninth white police chief to be hired in Oakland in the 21st Century. Meanwhile, Oakland has hired only three black police officers in the 20 years of the 20th Century.
For reasons best known to her, Mayor Schaaf has been allergic to having an African American as Oakland’s top cop. But the record of having five straight times to hire one black person and not doing so, now has to be one of concern.
A racially toothless media has to share part of this blame. One news organization ran a quote from a so-called “city official” who remarked that Mayor Schaaf called famed Oakland attorney John Burris for “consultation” before hiring Susan Manheimer.
Via email, Mr. Burris wrote this:
Misinformation being spread. I never told the Mayor to hire anyone, I gave my thoughts pros and cons for each potential candidate. I did not interview anyone nor did I see there resumes. I told the Mayor that I would prefer that she hired someone from within especially after this interim period of 6 months has passed.
Why would the “city official” use Burris’ name inappropriately? Why did the San Francisco Chronicle fail to check the “city official”’s remarks? It’s this laisse faire media attitude, in part, that allows creeping racism in Oakland hiring to fester and grow. As you will see, it’s contributed to a track record that was once good, then so-so, now poor at hiring anyone black to be the Oakland Chief of Police.
Oakland Police Black Police Chief History:
Joseph Samuels 1993-1999 – Oakland’s first African-American police chief (appointed by Mayor Elihu Harris).
Richard Word 1999-2004 – Oakland’s second African-American Police Chief (appointed by Mayor Jerry Brown)
Wayne Tucker 2004–2009 – Oakland’s first white police chief of the 21st Century, and appointed by Mayor Jerry Brown. He resigned in controversy surrounding the death of former Oakland Post Reporter Chauncey Bailey. Then-Oakland City Councilmember Jane Brunner (District 1) said that city’s next police chief should be someone with experience in an urban environment such as Oakland. Brunner also said she thinks Tucker was ill-prepared for the post because he spent nearly 40 years in the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, where he mainly focused on crime in less populated areas.
Anthony Batts October 19, 2009–October 13, 2011 – Oakland’s third African-American police chief
Howard Jordan October 13, 2011–May 8, 2013 – Oakland’s fourth African-American police chief
Anthony Toribio (Interim Chief) May 8, 2013 – May 10, 2013 Oakland’s second white police chief of the 21st Century lasted just two days.
Sean Whent May 10, 2013–June 10, 2016 – Oakland’s third white police chief of the 21st Century, ousted as part of the fallout from the Celeste Guap Sex Scandal.
Ben Fairow (Interim Chief) June 10, 2016–June 15, 2016 – Oakland’s fourth white police chief of the 21st Century, lasted just five days on the job after Mayor Schaaf lost confidence in him.
Paul Figueroa (Interim Chief) June 15, 2016–June 18, 2016 – Paul was Oakland’s fifth white police chief of the 21st Century, and was ousted by Mayor Schaaf after just four days on the job.
Sabrina Landreth (City Administrator) June 18, 2016–January 4, 2017 – Although representing civic control, Ms. Landreth became the City’s first white female police chief, and sixth white police chief in the 21st Century.
Anne Kirkpatrick January 4, 2017 to February 21, 2020 – Anne Kirkpatrick was Oakland’s second female police chief, and became the seventh white Oakland police chief in the 21st Century.
Darren Allison (Acting Chief) February 21, 2020 – March 23rd, 2020 – Darren was Oakland’s eight white Oakland police chief in the 21st Century.
Susan Manheimer March 23rd, 2020 – present – Susan becomes Oakland’s ninth white Oakland police chief in the 21st Century.
Under Mayor Schaaf, there have been five Oakland police officers, all white, two female, none black. Moreover, the last time Oakland hired a black person to be top cop was 2011, and when Jean Quan was Oakland’s Mayor. Come next year, 2021, that will have been a full ten years ago.
Oakland Must Return To A Time When Qualified African Americans Could Expect To Be Hired For Top Jobs In Government.
The main problem, as I said in the vlog, is that on social media and in society, younger black voices are starting to express the view that if you’re black you can’t expect to be treated fairly in any area of society. We can’t afford to allow such a racial caste system to develop. That was not Oakland’s way in the 90s and through the first decade of the 21st Century, but now, we see major signs of backsliding: BBQ Becky and Jogger Joe are just some of the sadly numerous examples of institutional, and traditional racism that have appeared right in Oakland.
Oakland’s Government should not be allowed to reflect that racism.
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