Four Oakland cops on leave year after deadly shooting

Three Oakland police officers and a sergeant have been placed on administrative leave, more than a year after the deadly shooting of Joshua Pawlik, who was killed moments after he awoke while armed with a gun.

Body-cam video shows officers bellowing at Pawlik, "Get your hand off the gun!" just before he was shot and killed in between two homes near 40th and Market streets on March 11, 2018.

The department's Internal Affairs Division, Executive Force Review Board and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick have all concluded that Sgt. Frank Negrete and Officers William Berger, Brandon Hraiz and Craig Tanaka were justified in firing their weapons.

But Robert Warshaw, the court-appointed monitor and compliance director overseeing Oakland police reforms, disagrees. 

Civil rights attorney Jim Chanin says that means these officers now on leave could potentially be fired, even though the Alameda County district attorney's office says the officers won't be charged with any crimes. 

"The monitor has evidently decided that use of force was inappropriate and justified severe discipline," Chanin said.

In his report, Warshaw says, "He was a live human being - and any reasonable officer should not have expected him to remain perfectly still... Pawlik's slight movements did not constitute intent, and a reasonable officer should not have concluded such."

Although the department has cleared Negrete for using deadly force, he's still facing discipline for taking part in the shooting instead of supervising his officers, and for failing to plan for every possible outcome. 

But the chief, after reviewing the internal affairs and force-review board's investigations, reduced the severity of misconduct - and therefore any discipline - that Sgt. Negrete could face. 

"What particularly affected me from reading it was her overruling her own department,' Chanin said.

The monitor, in a report, called the top cop's analysis of the case "disappointing and myopic." 

"It's clear there's been a falling out between the compliance director and the chief of police," Chanin said.

Pamela Price, a civil rights attorney who has filed misconduct cases against Oakland, said, "I think the chief is probably on her last legs."

Price says she wants the monitor to fire the chief.

"I think that this decision to place these officers on leave is obviously a very belated and arguably a pathetic effort to save her own job," Price said.

The department declined to discuss the case Wednesday.