Questions remain over OPD, ICE raid involvement; hearing back on next month's agenda

- Controversy and calls for police to comply with sanctuary city policies dominated the Oakland Public Safety committee meeting Tuesday night. 

Dozens of people gave public testimony, calling for answers as to whether the Oakland Police Chief violated the city's sanctuary city policy last August by allowing officers to do traffic control during a Homeland Security operation in West Oakland. 

Many people were also upset that Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick 's report on the incident was pulled from the agenda by the Rules committee, which said it was pending an internal investigation of the Chief's actions.

At the meeting people showed up with signs that said "Deport ICE."

"Our community needs transparency," said one woman.

"To me there are some serious policy issues that need to be addressed," said Oakland Council President, Desley Brooks. 

Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has said she agreed to help because the federal Special Agent in Charge Ryan Spradlin told her they were conducting a criminal investigation into human trafficking involving juveniles. Brooks said the Chief later said she had never seen the search warrant. 

U.S. Homeland security documents say that a Guatemalan man was arrested at the West Oakland home for "human trafficking", however the document later states, "Santos Alberto, is not believed to be a victim and there is no evidence yet that he was a perpetrator, conspirator or accomplice of the alleged crimes described on the search warrant/complaint."

Many people said they're upset that there have been no criminal charges filed against Santos, but ICE deportation papers have been filed against him for being in the country illegally.

"What they're saying is not matching up with what folks saw on the scene," said one young man with Just Cause, "It's not matching up with what folks heard from the family members that they talked to. So once again, we want to demand that Oakland's status as a sanctuary city be respected,” said Jevon Cochran of Causa Justa/Just Cause. 

We contacted a Homeland Security spokesman James Schwab in San Francisco who said the August 16th operation was a criminal matter, not a deportation raid. He says, however, ICE can deport suspects who are taken into custody.

"The action that was taken was a Homeland Security operation into human trafficking activity. It was not focused on immigration enforcement at all," said Schwab. 

"Whether or not they end up being charged in a criminal case, they are in immigration proceedings because they broke another law by being in the country unlawfully," Schwab added. 

Kaplan says she also is upset that police agreed to help in the Homeland Security operation after a city council order.

"The council passed a resolution I wrote in July, which said to immediately canceled the cooperation agreement with ICE, but the Oakland administration didn't cancel that it for two more months," said Kaplan.  

Kaplan and others say the chief's report needs to be put back on the agenda for transparency.
After listening to public testimony, the Public Safety Committee agreed to put the issue back on the agenda and discuss Chief Kirkpatrick's report on December 5th. 

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