ONN – Rumor: Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick Fired By Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Rumor: Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick Fired By Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
The backstory is that I received an email reporting this last night, but asked where the talk came from. I was told it came from two “upset” Oakland Police Officers.
Then, I received a phone call this morning that “it’s true. It happened last night. It’s being kept very quiet. Given the way Mayor Schaaf ‘kept quiet’ the removal of her hand-picked economic development director Mark Sawicki from that position and in favor of Alexa Jeffress, that the same could be done with Kirkpatrick is, at least, possible.
One source remarked that it seemed the Oakland City Council “hated” the police, and had its crime reporting and processing “hands tied”.
None of that automatically points to Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick getting fired, but the other source claims that the action was done “last night”. Then, the next word was “this is just rumor,” so I’m reporting a rumor, as the headline reads.
The Last Time This Was Reported, Now It Can Be Told
The last time this space reported that Mayor Schaaf took such an action to remove Kirkpatrick, it was two days before the November 2018 election. One Oakland City Councilmember told me of the action, so I texted Mayor Schaaf to confirm, and she asked me not to report the action, so I didn’t. Then, yet another Oakland City Councilmember I spoke with that same Sunday night also reported it was the case, and said, and I quote, “You have the right to report what you know, do it.” So, I did.
I did so because I started to believe that Mayor Schaaf’s staff would withhold such information to me and give it to the ‘big, white, established media’ that Oakland City Councilmembers Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Sheng Thao, specifically, and the Mayor, have a nasty tendency to promote on social media. (Black-owned media, be it the Oakland Post or ZENNIE62MEDIA’s Oakland News Now is deliberately ignored, and for petty reasons that add up to institutional racism. And there, I wrote that!)
So, it was for that reason, in addition to the two Councilmembers, that I ran a post that Libby did take that action. So, I received a call from the Mayor that started out with “What the fuck!” But, it went uphill from there. I explained to her why I took the action I did, but we came to an agreement that seemed to form a better connection – for a while.
For reasons the Mayor did not share, she elected not to pull the trigger and release the Chief of Police at the time. But, the start of that election week, the Chief was going to get pulled.
The main issue, for me, is lack of trust, and that has come to define how information flows out of City Hall. It comes packed in agendas, and reminds me of what former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris used to say to me all the time when I worked for him from 1995 to 1999: “Zennie, there are a 1,000 game you can play at City Hall. The question is, which one are you going to play? In this case, I can’t let game get in the way of the public’s right to know.
One fact remains: the Oakland Police Department and the City Hall it reports to, is exceptionally dysfunctional.
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