Saturday, September 14, 2013

why? and who?

The word has come down from Mr. Frazier that "court" has decided to not allow the Citizens Police Review Board to set up the intake office for complaints against members of the police force.  

We do not really know why.  They did not say. 
One informed guess that I heard was that the Oakland Police Officer's Association might be more cooperative with the "court" trying to get compliance with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement that should finally move us past the Riders case if they retain control of complaints against the police in police hands.  
That means if you have an issue with the police, you have to go to the police to file your complaint.  
Seems like only last week, because it was only last week, that the same Mr. Frazier had no objection to the police abuse complaints intake being in citizen hands.  
It was City Administrator Deeana Santana who was obstructing this small amount of citizen control of the police.  She did not say why either.  She just blew off the decisions of our city council and just hijacked the funds set aside for the Citizen's Police Review Board and started to hire new intake officers back inside the Police Department Internal Affairs.  
In other words our elected government decided to make this move and she decided to flat out ignore it and nobody told us why.  
So we do not know why both Santana and Frazier are blocking this simple reform and over ruling the decision of our elected government.  Our police are not in court receivership yet, but it seems that we have lost control anyway.  
So the question remains WHO.  Who is so damn determined to keep complaints against the police in police hands?  
Having such complaints in Internal Affairs hands certainly does not stop the lawsuits.  At 58 million dollars over the last 10 reported years of settlement payouts I wonder who the constituency for the status quo oversight could be.  

Who was able to sell the idea of undercutting our council to our court appointed compliance director?  Isn't he supposed to leading us to a better police force? 

Who put the pressure on our city administrator to keep complaints in Internal Affairs?  

If we have the support of all of the council and the mayor for the Citizen's Police Review Board, then why is there some kind of resistance?  Did Santana and Frazier make these decisions at the request of nobody?  
Who has so much pull that they can have this much influence without any of it coming out in the press?  
Well, we can guess who and we can guess why.  




1 comment:

  1. Don--

    No guessing why is required. This civic failure is a matter of inadequate cognitive bandwidth in city hall. As are most other civic failures in Oakland.

    There is in city hall no specific vision for a better city, no plan to achieve that vision and no leadership or management bandwidth. Oakland's elected officials are amateurs, none of whom has significant experience performing in a real job.

    Some of them may be pretty good paper shufflers, having survived rounds of graduate school or law school or years as Council staffers before being elected. They've served on nonprofit or public agency boards--that's good for dealing with ideas but as you no doubt well understand there's a big void between a good idea and a real accomplishment.

    The Council and Mayor are largely ignorant of critical areas of understanding regarding community building, urban design, environmental protection, ethical policing and social psychology. All of these areas of thought are as fundamental to competent contemporary municipal governance as are basic leadership and management skills.

    The Council and Mayor I am certain would like to take police reform and public safety seriously. They simply do not have the cognitive bandwidth to do so. If they had this bandwidth, civilianization of complaints against OPD would have been established years ago. All the Ceasefire attempts over the years would have shown some results. The NSA criteria would have long been met and there would be no need for Judge Henderson to impose Thomas Frazier on Oakland. Measure Y would have been actually reviewed regularly and improved on an ongoing basis. All of these failures could have been avoided.

    It's too little bandwidth, pure and simple.