Early Wednesday morning, the Oakland City Council approved a $250k consulting contract with a team that includes former Los Angeles Police Department chief William Bratton. Mayor Jean Quan proposed hiring Bratton to develop a public safety plan and the City Council supported her, voting 7-1 to hire the former LAPD chief.
Bratton, who also served as the New York City Police Commissioner and Boston Police Commissioner, is known for his unapologetic support of ‘stop-and-frisk’ laws.
Brooks, who cast the lone “no” vote, said Bratton would have little accountability under the $250,000 contract, and would be obligated to set foot in the city only three times over six months. She also said his overwhelmingly white consultant team didn’t reflect Oakland’s diversity.
“I am deeply concerned that we are feeding into the politics of fear and playing on people’s emotions on crime,” Brooks said. “It makes it seem like if we don’t pass this contract tonight that nothing gets done
Critics worry Bratton will suggest a ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy that could lead to racial profiling.
“Bratton is the father of suppression policing,” Oakland resident Jay Donahue told the Oakland Tribune. “He destroys black and brown communities.”
Last year the NYPD released ‘stop-and-frisk’ statistics to the City Council that revealed that out of 685,724 stop-and-frisk stops, 87% percent of those stopped in 2011 were black or Latino. The stats also showed nine out of ten persons stopped were not arrested, nor did they receive summonses.
An NYCLU analysis showed that black and Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011, though they make up only 4.7 percent of the city’s population.
Bratton is an unapologetic supporter of ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies.
“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,” Bratton told San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX earlier this month.
Bratton told CBS 5 he also has a consulting contract in Detroit and a proposal to consult police in Baltimore, which recently hired former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts to lead the force.