Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oakland still ridin'

US District Judge Thelton Henderson, who last year threatened OPD with a federal takeover, has ordered the city of Oakland to address its noncompliance with 5 provisions of the historic 2003 Riders settlement.
* The rehiring in March of Officer Hector Jimenez, who was fired after he shot and killed two unarmed suspects within seven months of each other in 2007 and 2008, including a man shot in the back. Jimenez and his attorney fought the firing, and an arbitrator sided with him against the city, forcing the department to return Jimenez to work under the rules of its contract with the police union. He is currently assigned to maintaining the fleet of police vehicles and keeping in-car computers up to date.

* July's "Operation Summer Tune-Up," a four-day crime prevention effort in which police issued 28 parole violations, made 17 arrests and recovered seven guns. Henderson is likely concerned about the connotations of the term "tune-up," widely used as a euphemism for the beating of suspects by police.

* The finding by the internal affairs division that accusations of illegal public strip searches of suspects by police were unfounded, despite a federal judge agreeing with the case made by at least two suspects to whom she awarded more than $100,000 each.

* A special report in August by the federal monitoring team, charged with tracking the OPD's progress in the reforms, which found that in 28 percent of the instances when Oakland officers draw their guns and point them at someone, the person has demonstrated no threat to anyone. In some cases, the monitors said, the person wasn't even a suspect in a crime.

* The process by which the department hires outsiders to stand on boards that evaluate police use-of-force incidents. The details of this issue remained unclear Wednesday.
-Inside Bay Area