STIC members respond to the Bill Bratton and Bob Wasserman consultancy contract with the City of Oakland/ Oakland Police Department. They emphasize that Bratton-style policing (zero-tolerance, lifestyle/ quality policing, suppression-style policing) is particular brand of policing that Oaklanders have sumamrily rejected: gnag injunctions, youth curfews, anti-loitering laws. Further, suppression-style policing is something we must be particularly wary of creeping in with Bratton, given that the the history of the OPD is one of regular harassment and mistrust with Oakland communities. Lastly, this particular contract is just one more bureaucratic layer, rather than signalling any shift in OPD behavior or practice.
Our large anti-Bratton mobilizations to City Hall have dramatically shifted the conversation around the Bratton and Wasserman contract in Oakland. The broad slew of media coverage below show a changing conversation where politicians have distanced themselves from Bratton’s notorious zero-tolerance policing policies and are now even going to lengths to hide him from the public. While the contract was approved by the City Council, we succeeded in shifting the terms of the debate. Bratton will be coming in much more feeble and under the watch of a strong popular front that stands united against his suppression policing tactics:
“But that plan changed after it became clear that Bratton’s support for aggressive police tactics made him a lightning rod for protesters who filled the council’s chamber two weeks in a row. Instead, Bratton’s consulting duties in Oakland will be limited to behind-the-scenes work surveying crime reduction efforts, setting forth a crime reduction strategy and interviewing city leaders.”
Media Round Up City Council Vote on Bratton 1.22.12
Last week Oakland residents filled City Hall, and nearly 100 public speakers debunked the myth that the notorious William Bratton would be welcome in Oakland. Public Safety Committee members went so far as to ask if Bratton was too “toxic” for Oakland.
WE NEED YOU, YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS, and NEIGHBORS TO HELP KEEP BRATTON and HIS ZERO TOLERANCE POLICING OUT OF OUR CITY!TONIGHT! TUESDAY JANUARY 22, 5:30 pm
Oakland City Hall
Sign up here and fill out a speaker card if you want to voice your opinion at the meeting (agenda item 23). We’ll provide talking points to support you, if you need.
(it might be a long meeting, so come through when you can!)
WE DEMAND: Remove William Bratton from the Wasserman contract or reject the contract altogether. Bratton is too toxic for Oakland!
WHY SHOULD WE REJECT BRATTON?
William Bratton is notorious for his implementation of suppression-style policing—stop and frisk, curfews, gang injunctions, aggressive ticketing and harassment— in cities across the country and the world. Targeting people of color, poor people, and young people, his policing methods have led to the displacement and imprisonment of thousands of people, and have left a wake on instability in countless neighborhoods. Bratton is NO GOOD for Oakland.
The City wants to waste $250,000 of its scarce resources on Bratton’s consulting even though the City Administrator’s report states, “The Chief of Police has firmly and unequivocally stated that racial profiling is wholly unacceptable and clearly prohibited by Department training, policies, and law. The Department is committed to police practices that build community relationships and trust.” If the City has a commitment to rejecting these policies, why bring in the guy responsible for popularizing them as an advisor?
Including Bratton in this contract defies common sense. He is slated to work on 3 of 19 activities outlined in the contract, one of which is consulting on a crime reduction strategy. If Chief Jordan and the Council say that they reject racial profiling, stop and frisk and similar zero-tolerance policing practices, why would they spend 60% of the contract’s resources on a subcontractor doing 15% of the work to advise them to use policies they have already rejected? It makes no sense.
Last week Oaklanders spoke clearly and tonight we will again. William Bratton and his zero tolerance approaches have no place in our city. Join us tonight to stand in solidarity against zero tolerance policing and send a clear message to the City Council that Oakland rejects William Bratton.
Last week we succeeded in debunking the myth that Bratton could work in Oakland.
JOIN US TO KEEP HIM OUT OF OUR CITY!
TUESDAY JANUARY 22, 5:30 pm (roll through anytime you can! 7pm is not too late to arrive.)
Oakland City Hall
OUR DEMANDS: Remove Supercop William Bratton from the Wasserman contract or reject the contract altogether. Bratton is too toxic for Oakland!
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.
In the wake of Tuesday night’s Oakland City Council Pubic Safety Committee meeting, during which nearly a hundred residents spoke against the a proposed contract with controversial police consultant William Bratton, STIC and other community organizations continue to debunk the myth surrounding the so-called supercop. With members of the Council wondering if his reputation is too toxic for Oakland, scrutiny has focused on Bratton’s zero tolerance police policies—including gang injunctions, stop and frisk, curfews, and quality of life ordinances—causing Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordon to publicly distance himself from those measures. Speaking earlier this week on consulting the OPD, Bratton himself defended stop and frisk saying, “I’m sorry, but any police department in America that tries to function without some form of ‘stop-and-frisk,’ or whatever terminology they use, is doomed to failure. It’s that simple.”
Resolute in their opposition to Bratton consulting with the OPD, community organizations and concerned residents vow to return to City Hall for the full City Council meeting on Tuesday, when the controversial contract will be back for a vote.
The fierce opposition to Bratton expressed at the Public Safety Committee suggests that Bratton is a greater liability than an asset, as he may be unable to garner enough community support to fulfill the work indicated in the Wasserman contract. If Jordon says hey won’t pursue zero tolerance policing, then he shouldn’t pursue Bratton. The two come hand in hand.
At a fiery Public Safety Committee meeting, Stop the Injunctions Coalition mobilized last night with 200 other Oakland residents, strongly voicing opposition to a proposed $250,000 contract with controversial police consultant William Bratton. Bratton’s name has become synonymous with contentious zero tolerance police policies such as gang injunctions, stop and frisk, curfews, and quality of life policing; all policies that our communities have rejected time and time again.
From 6pm to 9:30pm, Oaklanders spoke out loud and clear: a contract with William Bratton would be unacceptable, given his violent legacy. Speakers noted that Bratton’s seeminglyimpressive statistics have begun to wither under scrutiny, with reports of manipulation of data and last week’s Supreme Court decision finding the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk a violation of residents’ civil rights.
Newly-elected councilperson Lynette Gibson McElhaney (District 3) wondered if Bratton’s reputation was, “so toxic that he can’t be effective here.” McElhaney continued, “He may be the best, but is he bringing so much baggage to your team, Mr. Wasserman, that he cannot hold town hall meetings?”
With Council members Kalb and McElhaney refusing to endorse a “short-term crime fighting strategy” contract that included Bratton, Councilmember Schaaf amended the proposal to include a recommendation that an alternative contractor be explored. The item will now move to a full council meeting. The dubious outcomes of Bratton-style policy and Bratton’s very reputation will be in question when the issue reaches the full Council for a vote next week. Though the Council may decide to implement a version of the contract, last night’s strong showing demonstrated that Bratton is more of a liability than an asset in dealing with an engaged community that is fed up with policing scandals.
The public spoke loudly and clearly: Oakland residents don’t want Bratton in our city. For those of us working day in and day out to make our city a safer and stronger place, we understand that every dollar wasted on failed, quick-fix schemes is a dollar taken away from supporting effective, sustainable, and community-based solutions.
Beware of Bratton, fact sheet from Critical Resistance (also included in email as attachment. Download! distribute! post!)
DOWNLOAD the flyer here. Print, post, distribute!
Listen to Critical Resistance members (part of the Stop the Injunctions Coalition) talk about Bratton-style policing! After last night’s lively City Hall session, round out your knowledge of why Oaklanders continue to reject zero-tolerance policing strategies, like gang injunctions, youth curfews, and other tactics that rely on containment and repression.
THE MORNING MIX, Jan 15, 2013: http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/88051