Protesters call for ouster of Oakland police chief

Protesters are demanding that Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick be fired. 

On Thursday, demonstrators gathered outside City Hall, saying that Kirkpatrick showed a “failure in leadership” in her response to a deadly police shooting of an armed homeless man last year. Just last week, the four officers involved in the death of 32-year-old Joshua Pawlik were placed on administrative leave, and could now face termination, but only after a federal monitor chastised the chief for not enacting harsher discipline on the officers earlier.

“This chief has been brought here under keeping the department accountable,” Coalition for Police Accountability activist John Jones said. “But there has been a bundle of missteps along the way including the bungled investigation.”

Robert Warshaw, the federal monitor over the department, has been very critical of Kirkpatrick’s response to the deadly shooting, saying Kirkpatrick failed to question the officers about a video that contradicted their account of what happened in the moments before they opened fire. 

Federal monitor calls Oakland chief's findings 'disappointing,' 'myopic' 

In an interview with the Chronicle, Kirkpatrick pointed to her successes in reducing officers’ use of force and lessening racial disparities in police stops. The chief said she has an “excellent” relationship with Warshaw and remains confident her department will meet its stated goals.

Mayor Libby Schaaf also told the Chronicle that in the two years since coming to Oakland, Kirkpatrick has fired 31 employees and suspended 61. By comparison, her predecessor, Sean Whent, fired 10 and suspended 46 in the previous two-year period, according to city data.