The Oakland City Council voted 7-1 on Tuesday night to hire former Los Angeles and New York Police Chief Bill Bratton as part of a team of consultants tasked with stopping the city’s increasing crime rate.
According to The Oakland Tribune, the council voted 7-1 to spend $250,000 to hire Bratton. Mayor Joan Quan endorsed the move, saying, “The reality is, sometimes you need an outside eye.”
But the debate over hiring Bratton drew public comments from hundreds of residents on both sides of the issue, causing the meeting to last until 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. KNTV-TV reported that the council’s decision was greeted with screams of “Shame!” and “Let the war begin.”
During the meeting, critics of Bratton accused him of using policies like “stop and frisk” to encourage racial profiling by officers.
“Bratton is the father of suppression policing,” said one resident, Jay Donahue. “He destroys black and brown communities.”
The council also voted to add more civilian staffers and bring in more Alameda County Sheriff’s Department deputies to assist local police, measures it hopes will combine with Bratton’s input to help alleviate a 23 percent rise in violent crime last year. Police will also be aided by the approval of a third academy class; last year the Oakland Police Department counted only 613 officers.
The department was also in danger of being taken over by the federal government, after criticism over both its treatment of Occupy Oakland protesters and the discovery of “racist” photos of a judge and federal monitor.
Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge ordered the NYPD to stop using the “stop and frisk” policy. At least one analysis last year found that the policy did not prevent the number of shooting deaths in the city from increasing.
Watch KNTV’s report on the council’s decision to hire Bratton, aired Wednesday, below.
View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.
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