Why Stop the “Super Cop”?

Stop the Injunctions Coalition needs your support and action at City Hall tomorrow!  The Oakland City Council has started in on business for the New Year and we are greatly concerned with their direction.

One of the first items on Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee Meeting is an item to spend of a quarter million dollars to hire policing consultants William Bratton and Robert Wasserman.[1]  STIC is strongly opposed to this contract and we are mobilizing tomorrow to urge Councilmembers to reject this contract.

Bratton‘s quality of life and zero tolerance policing strategies are problematic and divisive in cities where they have been implemented. The “positive results” of Bratton’s techniques have increasingly begun to fray under the scrutiny of criminologists, community leaders, and even other police strategists.  Oakland residents have consistently rejected Bratton-style, zero-tolerance policing practices, such as gang injunctions and curfews. Bratton’s potential arrival coincides with a near imminent federal take-over of the Oakland Police Department, further entrenching the public’s mistrust of the department as well as it frustration with the city having already spent $1,000,000 in consultants last year alone. Read this excellent OaklandLocal piece by David Firestein to learn more.

Adding to our concern are the so-called Schaaf-Reid Measures proposed last week to increase the size of OPD and the suggestion by new Council member, Noel Gallo, that Oakland adopt a stop and search policy, similar to the scandal-ridden policy in place in New York City. Studies show that stop and search tactics rely on and extend racial profiling.  Just last week, a judge ruled New York’s stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional, finding it in violation of fourth amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure. Additionaly, in July 2012 the Center for Constitutional Rights released a report on the impact of stop-and-frisk finding wide-spread and systemic human rights abuses stemming from the practice and further disadvantaging marginalized populations based on their race, gender or gender expression, sexuality, age, housing status, income, immigration status, and/or physical disability.

We can all agree that violence in our communities has taken a horrendous toll on our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.  Join STIC tomorrow to urge the Council to start this new year by being responsive to our communities’ suggestions and respect our experience in understanding what works to address violence on our streets.

As our past victories in persuading the Council have made clear, it is up to us to ensure that City Hall makes informed decisions and avoids peril when it comes to considering failed, destructive, and expensive quick-fix police schemes.

Oakland City Hall – 14th & Broadway

Sign up here and fill out a speaker card if you want to voice your opinion at the meeting.  We will provide talking points to support you!

Can’t make it to City Hall?  Jan 2013 Open Letter to City Hall STOP BRATTON and email it to City Hall!

Noel Gallo, Public Safety Chair: NGallo@oaklandnet.com

[1] official agenda item: “Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Administrator To Amend The Contract With Strategic Policy Partnership, LLC In The Amount Of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000) To Hire A Consultant To Put In Place A Much Needed Short-Term Crime Fighting Strategy And A Citywide Reduction And Community Safety plan”

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