Thursday, October 12, 2017

Oakland City Council to Hold Hearing on Controversial ICE Raid and Oakland Police Misinformation

By Darwin BondGraham
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:37 PM

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The Oakland City Council's Public Safety Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Nov. 14 about the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation that took place on August 16 in West Oakland.

On that date, about two dozen ICE agents raided a home, leading to the arrest of one individual who is now facing possible deportation.

"There has been a significant amount of concern with respect to the raid that took place," Councilmember Desley Brooks said today at the council's rules committee meeting, which approved the upcoming hearing. At least two Oakland police officers assisted ICE during the raid by blocking streets to traffic.

Brooks said the events surrounding the ICE operation were especially troubling because the city council has set a sanctuary policy that bars any city employee, including police, from assisting federal immigration agents when they are enforcing civil immigration laws.

Furthermore, the ICE operation occurred after the city council had voted to terminate an agreement between OPD and ICE. However, according to city records, the police department and city administrator didn't end the agreement until Aug. 25, nine days after the raid.

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan joined Brooks in requesting the hearing.

The hearing was recommended by the city's Privacy Advisory Commission, which is tasked with examining matters of privacy and civil liberties. Last Thursday, the commission's chair, Brian Hofer, published a memo about the ICE raid raising questions about whether the Oakland police spread false information, and whether OPD Chief Anne Kirkpatrick made false statements.

Among the issues raised by Hofer:

On the day of the raid, the OPD issued a notification saying ICE was carrying out a "sex trafficking" operation involving "juveniles."

But there is no evidence that the raid was conducted pursuant to any sex trafficking allegations. OPD later deleted the notification and issued a different one stating it was a "human trafficking" investigation instead.

However, there is no evidence of human trafficking in the case. At last week's hearing, Hofer said, "The chief repeatedly supplied false information."

Later, Kirkpatrick again claimed in a public forum that the individual who was arrested during the raid had been charged with a crime, and that "there is not a deportation matter in this case."

But the man who was arrested hasn't been charged with a crime. Instead, ICE filed paperwork to have him deported for a civil immigration violation.

It's unclear whether ICE agents purposely misled Kirkpatrick and OPD into believing they were helping with a criminal investigation, when in fact, they were assisting in a deportation matter — in violation of Oakland's sanctuary city law.


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