Caught Cat Brooks for a 37 minute interview from her mountain perch and via the Zennie62Media network. The actress that become activist, and almost the Mayor of Oakland (I still think Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Cat must have lunch and really get to know each other, but I digress), was in, as she told me, a “good space” at what looks like a really relaxing place to be (unless you happen to be me, but that’s another story, yet again). After talking about her play “The Black House”, we talked about Oakland Politics (she even took a shot at my long-time friend Sam Singer but he would be a great hired media gun for Cat if she called to hire him, just saying) and turned to the really sad tale of Ginale Harris.
Ginale Harris, if you follow the doings of the Oakland Police Commission, was the board member who was wrongly investigated by her own Oakland Police Department, and the mistake-of-a-hire-by-Libby Anne Kirkpatrick, the now former Oakland Police Chief. Given that the Oakland Police Chief Kirkpatrick and the now-former Oakland Chief Administrative Officer Sabrina Landreth both placed unecessary and intimidating pressure on Harris, and in truth because she was critical of Kirkpatrick and OPD, it is complete sad to learn that she will not be back on the Police Commission.
And in our talk, Brooks pointed the finger of blame at the Oakland Coalition For Police Accountability.
If you do not know what the Oakland Coalition For Police Accountability is, here’s the official description from its website:
The mission of the Coalition for Police Accountability (“the Coalition” or CPA) is to advocate for accountability of the Oakland Police Department to the community so that the Oakland Police Department operates with equitable, just, constitutional, transparent policies and practices that reflect the values and engender the trust of the community.
In furtherance of its mission as stated herein, the Coalition will:
Monitor the implementation of Measure LL and the activities of the Oakland Police Commission
Inform and educate the community on issues related to policing policies and practices in Oakland
In addition, the Coalition will offer to support efforts by other communities to establish oversight of their respective police departments by community members. The Coalition may also engage with like-minded groups to pursue or support local, county, and state initiatives or candidates whose objectives are to ensure the protection of civil liberties, promote effective public safety strategies, and advocate for a fair, transparent, and accountable criminal justice system.
The membership leaders are listed as:
Pamela Drake, President
Sheryl Walton, Secretary
Len Raphael, Treasurer
And from the website:
Rashidah Grinage is the Coordinator for the Advisory body referred to as the Coalition for Police Accountability. Our Steering Committee members are Bruce Schmiechen, Terri McWiliams, Cathy Leonard, Pamela Drake, Michael Tigges, Larry White, Henry Gage III, Saied Karamooz, Mariano Contreras, Elise Bernstein, and Allene Warren.
From the street level view, Rashidah Grinage, who’s a friend that has been on this network several times, is also the person Brooks pointed to as “leading the charge” to get Ginale Harris, out. I have not yet reached out to Rashidah Grinage for her take on this (heck, the interview was just yesterday) but now I am, in a way. Also, here’s a video talk with Rashidah Grinage from this year:
Given that Ginale Harris is black, and Rashidah Grinage, Pamela Drake, and Len Raphael are white (Walton is black, and Brooks mentioned (by my prodding) Rashidah Grinage, as “leading the charge” against the single, Black, mother that is Ginale Harris is a bad look, to say the least.
As I understand it, Oakland District Three Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney can lead the charge to reserve this and get Ginale Harris back on the Oakland Police Commission – but will she?
Lynette has give challengers for her seat, one of them is Brooks’ friend Carroll Fife. There’s no standard campaigning this time due to The Pandemic. If I were Lynette, I get to work on reinstalling Ginale Harris to the Police Commission, now.