Thursday, January 31, 2013

Report Details OPD Indiscriminately Pointing Weapon At Baby, 5 Others; As Compliance Regresses

OAKLAND | The court-appointed independent monitor overseeing reforms ordered a decade ago at the Oakland Police Department said compliance decreased for a second consecutive quarter, in a report released Thursday. The report also references shocking allegations of two OPD officers pointed their guns at a sleeping 19-month-old baby.

“During a search warrant, two officers pointed their firearms at a sleeping 19-month-old child who, of course, posed no immediate threat to the officers or others. The crime being investigated, according to the reports, involved a misdemeanor offense,” wrote Independent Monitor Robert Warshaw.

The 85-page document also reports five incidents occurring sometime between July 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012 when OPD officers raised their weapons at citizens while no crime was committed.

Despite comments made last week by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan sounding pleased by the OPD’s pace of conforming to the court-ordered reforms, Warshaw’s report casts a different light on the state of the department seemingly adverse to institutional change following the 2003 Riders police scandal.
The report admonishes the OPD was regressing in its compliance on two areas, specifically, supervisor/managerial accountability and reporting police misconduct.

“The shift from stagnation to decline should be as unacceptable to all Parties, as it is to us,” said Warshaw. “My hope would be that marking this backwards turn would become an opportunity for the Department to more fully assess its status regarding the Negotiated Settlement Agreement and to renew its original commitment, now a decade old, to effective and constitutional policing. One thing should be clear from the long history of this Agreement: stagnation – and, now, decline – will not diminish the Court’s expectation, or the Monitor’s resolve, that the Department live up to the terms of the Agreement.”

The act of pointing weapons on citizens without cause is an on-going problem with officers in Oakland. Thursday’s report is the seventh consecutive detailing the department out of compliance, noted Warshaw. In addition, the racial breakdown of 61 “use of force” events has remained consistent and sharply slanted toward black (70 percent) and Hispanic suspects (22 percent). Of those, according to Warshaw, 87 percent of the cases where OPD raised a firearm against black suspects were found to be unjustified, while 13 percent of Hispanic suspects were unnecessary. In contrast, only 3 percent of the events included whites and 2 percent for Asians.

OPD officers are also failing in large numbers to turn on digital video camera located on their shoulders during patrols, wrote Warshaw.

The report, however, gives no additional information about the alleged pointing of weapons by two officers at sleeping baby, other than the event occurred during a search warrant.


  1. All of this is a sign of corrupt police service. We need to clean this up in Oakland if you expect our citizens to be good citizens.

  2. 4:43, no this is a sign of fear. Oakland cops are very afraid for their lives for many legitimate reasons. Do you really think they care about their public image? They are now patrolling in a combat zone and their survival depends on their over cautious posture. Most if not the majority of Oakland residents want their cops to be aggressive. aggressiveness is all thugs understand. For the most part they are not dealing with good citizens.

  3. ...says the white guy up in the hills.

  4. Two Oakland police officers were shot in just the last 10 days.

    This stupid emphasis on saying they aimed their guns at a sleeping 19 month old baby is just silly.
    No one believes they seriously took a sleeping baby as threat.

    Just keep on making the Oakland police more and more hesitant to act, hesitant to be suspicious, and you get more of what has been happeing over the past 12 months.
    A alarming increase in lawlessness.

    The police are now under more scrutiny than the criminals... and the criminals know it!

    The same attitude we saw on 880 the past weekend, is happening on streets all over Oakland.
    Dozens of young men are dying due to the handcuffs that are being put on police.

    The citizens are getting sick of this constant attack on the police department. It is endangering our families, our homes, our city.

    That feeling is not just from the "hills" but is also being voiced by the majority of pastors in the more dangerous areas of Oakland.
    The see the results every day. They conduct the funerals.

  5. No, says the Hispanic who lives off off 98th.