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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs: Seven Days

Re: “City of Oakland Unions United Against Police Reform Proposal

In Wisconsin, Walker took away all types of binding arbitration for every muni union EXCEPT police. There is .000000000001 chance of Oakland trying to take away binding termination/discipline arbitration for any union other than Police.

Background: All Oakland muni unions currently have binding arbitration for grievance appeals.

Only police and fire also have binding arbitration for contract negotiations.

The non-public safety unions do not have binding arbitration for compensation because they are allowed to strike by state law; police and fire are not allowed to strike.

Fire Fighters real concern: their compensation binding arbitration. Only cops and fire have that. And yes some cities in CA such as Palo Alto did take that away a few years ago. Fire compensation contracts promptly dropped 10%. Around 2008 CM Pat Kernighan did propose repealing fire/police compensation binding arb but two weeks later very quietly withdrew her proposal.

But No Council Member and no police reform group is even talking about repealing binding arbitration for anyone's compensation.

No Council Member and no police reform group is even talking about taking away termination/discipline binding arbitration for any union other than police.

But the other unions don't trust Oakland voters to preserve binding arbitration for their members' termination/discipline. They value their solidarity with their police and fire union sisters and brothers more than the lives of Oakland residents. They won't propose a solution that enables the City to terminate bad cops.

It is esoteric. If the leaders of the major Oakland muni unions get their way, the voter won't get a chance to decide this in November.

All the voters will know is that next time our proposed Police Commission tries to fire a cop like Sgt Ganntt (guy who used his girlfriend to do his paperwork on investigations and is alleged to have tipped off a rapist buddy) , a year later we'll hear that he got re-instated with full backpay, and shake our heads: business as usual at City Hall.

Len Raphael, CPA

Posted by Len Raphael on 06/21/2016 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Veteran Oakland Homicide Investigator Mishandled Evidence in Ongoing Murder Case

Sgt. Gantt has been a dirt bag since joining OPD and has always cheated on his wife. Don't feel sorry for either one of them. To the girlfriend, if you only have his cell number and you've never been to his place...he's MARRIED!

I hope the District Attorney's Office throws the book at Gantt,if not only for having these families have to suffer because these ass#Iles may get released from jail! And for snitching about juvenile text messages between boyz...go head Coby Bryant mini me.

And I would hope that you guys aren't seriously considering making this is very loose teenage girl the poster child for human trafficking! Not condoning sex with an underage child but a sl*t is a s*** .It's always been a whole culture of women who sleep with police officers (men in uniform) going from department to department. She's doing nothing new and know's exactly what she is doing then and now. Go down East 14th to see someone who can really be the poster child for human trafficking at 12 and 13 years old! Sorry, can be PC.

Chief Whent you rock! And thank you for the body cams!

Posted by Humping Patrol on 06/21/2016 at 11:42 AM

Re: “Residents Complain AC Transit Turning Downtown Oakland Park Into De Facto Bus Terminal

I'm glad to see AC Transit focusing on providing access to transit to low-income communities such as those west of broadway around this park. Finally, starting to see some justice in access to economic opportunity!

Posted by Victoria Fierce on 06/21/2016 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Residents Complain AC Transit Turning Downtown Oakland Park Into De Facto Bus Terminal

The Drivers need places to relieve themselves. It's a damn good reason for AC Transit to layover buses there. I don't believe it is a good enough reason to complain about it being a sore site for buses to stop there. The buses have always stopped there. The people who are complaining just arrived last week!!

Posted by Medua Brown on 06/21/2016 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor: Police Culture is 'Toxic,' 'Macho,' and 'Disgusting'

Privatization should NOT be considered! Thanks to the East Bay Express for their coverage and thorough reporting on this police corruption and abuse of power. Encourage courage.

Posted by Julie McKune on 06/21/2016 at 10:17 AM

Re: “City of Oakland Unions United Against Police Reform Proposal

This is not about being pro or anti-police. It's about whether you think a private, unelected arbitration board can overturn disciplinary actions against police officers.

The other unions have decided to back the OPOA because they care about their own financial interests over the welfare of the public and they're making a bet that this issue is too esoteric for the public to care about. The sad thing is, this is no financial threat to the OPOA or any other union. The Kalb/Gallo measure only applies to personnel matters. The other unions are just upset at any hint that any exception they've gotten for themselves might have a precedent for being removed later.

I am not anti-union. My father was in a union and I saw the benefits. But this goes too far.

By striking out at any perceived slight loss of power, the OPOA and other unions are putting us all at risk of bad cops staying in their positions and whistleblowers refusing to report abuse because NOTHING will happen to the bad cops. The unions are corrupting Oakland with their selfishness.

Posted by Doug Martins on 06/21/2016 at 8:54 AM

Re: “Residents Complain AC Transit Turning Downtown Oakland Park Into De Facto Bus Terminal

It's just one giant homeless encampment right now. Kids can't even play there with one dude's stuff taking up almost the entire area inside the park area. Saying that this will impact the quality of the park is disingenuous is best.

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 06/20/2016 at 8:13 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor: Police Culture is 'Toxic,' 'Macho,' and 'Disgusting'

The last thing this city needs is privatization, that is a major flaw in that guys thinking! There are problems all over the country with our safety, courts, parole boards and social services taking over in city's in the Southeast and the East Coast where the city's and county seats are a disaster, due to Privatization! Many traffic offences are costing citizens thousands of dollars. Many end up in jail, lose their jobs, lose their homes all because the person can't afford to pay the weekly fines of $40, when they don't have full time jobs!
Unions should be available to every employee, no matter what his or her job is, IT IS UN-AMERICAN TO LISTEN TO THIS MAN'S OPINIONS! I speak of this Vladislav Davidson, that guy is sounding typically like the PUTIN!! Those ideas come right out of East Socialist, Communist/Capitalist mentality!
Ice cold referring to police, people that they are "cogs"?
Those are the worst ideas, from someone who cares very little for Oakland! Run from those ideas!!!

Posted by Mimi E Wilkinson on 06/20/2016 at 12:44 PM

Re: “Town Business: 'Delete' the Police Academy, Fund a Police Commission

The current policing mess has a fundamental basis which needs to be clearly understood.

We do not as a city have a plan for working from our present problem-ridden condition towards a clear vision for a better future. We just let things happen and then we make often-foolish, always short-sighted, last-minute efforts to try to patch things up.

Instead of following the Federal court's police-reform mandate from 2004, we, via city hall, failed for a decade to do anything productive. Then, a few years ago, when Jean Quan was Mayor, the court essentially took over the police department from city hall and placed it under Monitor Robert Warshaw. When Warshaw decided that a Chief had to go, the current excrement hit the propeller. We have to keep in mind that city hall's long-term irresponsibility empowered Monitor Warshaw.

We have in city hall now the same group of people who have there for the last decade and more, with the same inabilities.

We have a combination of poverty, crime, inadequate policing, poor police morale, housing displacement and other burdens. We need to understand our problems and to identify how we are going to work on them in a coordinated way that our limited resources can support.

Instead of thinking clearly, planning thoroughly and working our way forward we react to whatever short-term problem pops up at any one time.

Thus now we are talking about cutting back on cop recruitment and spending more money on social problems. While Oakland's social programs can be useful, this reactive, improvised policy change is likely to lead to even poorer police morale, diminished crime prevention and more long-term social stress on the poorest of us who experience the greatest amount of trauma from violence. Yes we need a police commission independent of city hall to oversee a problem-ridden police department. But we also need a lot more than a police commission.

So the cycle repeats as it has over very many years in Oakland. No transparency, no planning, no vision, no progress.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 06/20/2016 at 9:14 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor: Police Culture is 'Toxic,' 'Macho,' and 'Disgusting'

The real problem is that policing in America is seen as a "para-military" system, rather than a customer service profession. If customer satisfaction was actually the primary metric by which officer performance was measured, and based on which officer were hired and fired, everything would change.

Privatization should be seriously considered. While certain tasks can only be done by sworn officers, the majority of calls to which officers respond can certainly be done by private contractors - processing of simple fender-bender incidents, calls that can be answered by social workers, etc. Private companies can undertake the overwhelming majority of calls to which officers currently respond, saving the taxpayers many millions in the process.

At the end of the day, police officers are easily replaceable cogs in a system, and the issue is that we've put them on a weird plateau of heroes. It's just a job, and while it's a job that comes with life risks, so do many others - and in fact many jobs do come with a statistically higher risk of death and injury. We pay these people to accept risk - plain and simple. This is America and we do capitalism here - if you don't like the job terms, someone else will take it in your place.

We need to attack, degrade and fully destroy the police unions. Put civilian oversight over our police forces (bravo to the Mayor for doing this!). Privatize any tasks that can be done by private contractors. Institute strict performance metrics and fire any officers who fail to deliver. Demand and drive ROI. It's not rocket science. Corporate America knows how to drive results, and the same optimizations can fix our governments.

Posted by Vladislav Davidzon on 06/19/2016 at 8:22 PM

Re: “New: Oakland Fires Yet Another Police Chief (Third in a Week!)

schaaf knew about these problems all along, yet feigns surprise and new disgust . please . she should be impeached, and the people should have complete control over police, from hiring to training to charging with crimes, to firing

Posted by demotro polis on 06/19/2016 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Everything You Need To Know About Oakland's Sex Crime Scandal and Firing of Three Police Chiefs in a Week

I've been fighting criminals in the Alameda County DA's office since 1981. I can't thank you enough. Keep rocking this beat! I'm not a "cop hater". Far from it. My grandfather was a cop, (Boston) and my mom's brother was a cop. I hate criminals wearing badges. Maybe the feds will actually be able to find a crime scene. you think?

Posted by Shawn Maguire on 06/19/2016 at 1:36 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor: Police Culture is 'Toxic,' 'Macho,' and 'Disgusting'

Once again the ridiculous consequences of Measure X rears it's ugly head. Time and again it is obvious that Mayor Schaaf is way over her head. She does not have the background, knowledge or experience to run a city department, much less the whole organization. The idea that she or a novice city administrator (Sabrina Landreth) is going to whip the Police Department into shape is a totally unrealistic expectation. At the end of the day, it is not Schaafs fault. Measure X was adopted when an ex California Governor (Jerry Brown) was in office and uniquely qualified to be a strong Mayor. That will never happen again. Libby Schaaf is a private citizen with government experience as a staff assistant. Her ability to garner 50% support at the ballot box from the 30% of the citizens who vote does not magically anoint her or anybody else with the experience, knowledge or the wisdom to run a City. This is particularly true in a complicated and historically dysfunctional city like Oakland. The lack of leadership at the top is glaring. Landreth has been largely silent and invisible since being hired by Schaaf, despite the very public and complicated issues facing the city. Landreth also did not exude any confidence or enthusiasm at the press conference announcing the transfer of responsibility to her for Police oversight. In fact, she looked like she was about to open a day care center. What concerns me more is Schaafs energetic assertion that somehow she was going to magically turn the Police Department into the boy scouts. Lets be clear, some of the behaviors uncovered over the last few months is way over the line. However, she needs to realize that a Police Department is a para military organization. The internal salty language and gallows humor is not unique to OPD. Nor is it unique in the armed forces, fire departments, EMS providers, correctional facilities, law offices, hospitals or even college and professional sports teams. These are environments dominated by grown men and raunchy language and extreme humor helps cope with the extreme pressures of those jobs. With that being said, there are still limits that have to be established. The key is to have a strong experienced Police Chief who knows how to find the balance. Sabrina Landreth does not stand a chance. If Schaaf gave that same boy scout speech to the last interim Chief appointee, no wonder he headed for the hills. In fact, he chose a demotion rather than taking a job knowing that he would fail. No experienced competent smart Police Chief will ever take that job. As long as Measure X is in place, Oakland will never have strong leadership. If the citizens want change, Measure X needs to be repealed. If not, put on your seat belt and expect turmoil to be a constant.

Posted by Gary Patton on 06/19/2016 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Everything You Need To Know About Oakland's Sex Crime Scandal and Firing of Three Police Chiefs in a Week

While EBX's coverage of all this has been laudable, there is still the matter of what to do about the culture of policing in the U.S. When Libby Schaaf says she's hoping not to have to fire anyone else, that's how we know there is no commitment to make any structural change. Just fire a few "bad apples" and hope the others will see fit to lay low for awhile and cut the scandals, huh Ms. Mayor.

When will the Express and all other media organs get serious about what will be required? Which of course is no less than tearing down policing as we have known it, including sweeping out all officers, their so-called leaders, and their unions; reimagining policing as an institution; and then rebuilding it in service to the people. Read: not in service to power.

How about building a decent society while we're at it? You know, one that would obviate the need for much policing. Yeah, let's not hold our breath, for either scenario, eh? And most especially not for the media to publish any actual responsible institutional analysis that might lead to structural change.

Posted by Henry Hughes on 06/19/2016 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Landlord Being Sued for Allegedly Pushing Out SRO Tenants


Unlike San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other California cities, Oakland has no laws that preserve SRO units. The previous article pointed this out.

This article about is about the City Attorney and plaintiffs' attorneys attempting to enforce Oakland's Tenant Protection Ordinance. The TPO does not preserve SRO units, but it does bar constructive evictions of renters, regardless of the type of housing unit they live in.

Hope that helps.

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 06/19/2016 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Veteran Oakland Homicide Investigator Mishandled Evidence in Ongoing Murder Case

Why did you show this officers picture, and the inspector from the DA, but not the others, who are also on administrative leave? What's the difference?

Posted by jmatza on 06/19/2016 at 9:14 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor: Police Culture is 'Toxic,' 'Macho,' and 'Disgusting'

Not enough details of the Fairow's relationship have been made public to say anything specific about that. But in general, any time there is a relationship between people at work, you have to consider how "consenting" it is if there is a significant difference in rank and power between the two parties. Often the lower ranking person (usually a woman) feels things would go badly for their career if they refuse an advance.

Posted by Valerie Winemiller on 06/19/2016 at 8:55 AM

Re: “New: Oakland Fires Yet Another Police Chief (Third in a Week!)

We need that police commission as of yesterday. It's time to professionally move our police management towards professional and honorable law enforcement.

Posted by Don Macleay on 06/19/2016 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Attorneys Burris and Chanin Want Feds to Take Over Oakland Police Recruitment and Training

The Feds can "train" but they cannot legislate morality into these lot of cops that are rotten morally to their core. These cops commit crimes known & God only knows how many unknown crimes the have / are committing.
From the top (chiefs of Police) to the bottom they cover one another's perversions, sexual abuses of minors, prostitutions, & all sorts of crimes.
Worse than gangs this lot! At least gang members don't have their mealy mouths yapping about how they they "protect & serve" the community.

And the city officials are the same. NOT there to serve the people but only themselves.
How low we have fallen America!!!

Posted by Paloma San Basilio on 06/18/2016 at 10:50 PM

Re: “Veteran Oakland Homicide Investigator Mishandled Evidence in Ongoing Murder Case

@ Melissa Kittel,
Sexual abuse against minors, a cop killing his wife & having his cop criminal friends covering it up, has nothing to do with women nor men.
It has to do all with -- perversion, criminality, and an arrogant belief they were above the law. That the law did not apply to them, but it did to others that were not cops.
If civilians did what these cops did they' d be in prison by now.
Btw...The downfall of men & women ( humans) is -- self.

Posted by Paloma San Basilio on 06/18/2016 at 10:43 PM

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