Police commissioner: 'Atrocious slander' by ex-OPD chief is 'shameful'

Ousted Oakland police chief Anne Kirkpatrick this week said that one of the reasons she was fired was in “retaliation” for not waiving the towing fees of one of the police commissioners who fired her.

Now, that commissioner, Ginale Harris, is firing back.

In a Facebook post, Harris wrote “the atrocious slander and defamation of my character by the fired ex-chief of police is shameful."

Fired Oakland police chief talks pain, retaliation

Harris also posted a receipt for $166, which she says went to pay those towing fees.

She also included a string of emails saying she was only asking about towing policy and not asking for a favor.
Harris said Kirkpatrick merely assumed she wanted her towing fees waived.

There was personal tension between Kirkpatrick and Harris. The two had some public arguments at commission meetings. One specifically was in October and was over the hiring of women of color. Kirkpatrick took offense at how Harris addressed Virginia Gleason, a police deputy director, at the meeting.

In an interview Wednesday with KTVU, Harris' attorney, Dan Siegel said of the tension between Kirkpatrick and Harris, "That personality dispute is a really minor part of the situation that led to Kirkpatrick's firing, and I think it's a mistake to make too big of a deal about it."

Harris, is just one of seven citizen members of the Oakland Police Commission, who unanimously fired Kirkpatrick on Thursday, saying the termination was without cause.

The commission cited police reforms slipping, such as use-of-force incidents, and a lack of transparency, specifically in terms of Bearcat deployements, as some of their frustrations with the chief.

Kirkpatrick has fired back that she was moving ahead on police reforms including the city’s lowest levels of gun violence.

KTVU's Lisa Fernandez and Cristina Rendon contributed to this report.    Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at lisa.fernandez@foxtv.com or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez    

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