Light coverage of the ad hoc committee on Militarized Equipment. Specifically now creating a use policy for the Bearcat and other Armored Vehicles
Several community members don't actually want a Bearcat, at all. The OPD did not have a cogent policy for Bearcat or Armored Suburban last year when the Council denied their request to use grants to buy a new one, Council asked them to come up with one with Police Commission
A local encounter with the Bearcat from this Summer, not to far from where I live.
Here's my reporting about the militarized equipment ordinance created by Gage and Lindsay-Poland. Right before being passed, additional language that would limit Oakland's capacity to call in mutual aid based on controlled equipment policies in oakland 1)
Here's the passage of the ordinance in Summer
It's been backburnered at Council since Summer, but with the new composition of the Public Safety Committee, it seems pretty likely to be taken up soon. That could ultimately result in the Bearcat itself being banned, along with other kinds of equip
Another caller says the first thing that should be struck from OPD under Reimagining is the Bearcat. She says the first time she saw it was at Loren Taylor's Eastmont Mall Juneteenth celebration. She said she was floored. Taylor's been on hook for this ever since, awful optics
Community member Anne Jenks explains that the rush to create a policy was generated by judge ordering OPD to create a new one after the shooting of Pawlik by February. #oakmtg
DC Leronne Armstrong says that the challenge for Oakland is increased violence. He says the equipment is vital to the safety of Oakland residents because they deal with high impact ballistic weapons [referring to its use as a weapons platform and form of cover]
Armstrong calls the Bearcat a "rescue" vehicle. He says he hears the impact it has when its deployed, but he wants to temper that with strict policies about how its deployed
Lindsay-Poland says that he wanted to hear from members of the community before developing the draft policy. He notes that of the dozen people who spoke, none said that the Bearcat should even be used.
Lindsay-Poland says that the policy of the legislation is from people inside the vehicle, he suggests changing that POV to people outside of the Bearcat. Gage says that its clear that many members of the community don't support the Bearcat #oakmtg
Most of the preceding commentary was prompted by Chair Jackson's comment that the public didn't answer the questions posed in the invite [below]. LP, Gage and others observed that speakers said they thought the Bearcat should never be deployed, effectively answering question
Reissa Jaffe observed Armstrong brought up violence, a tendency of OPD whenever required to defend a policy or use of equipt. She says they never show a correlation between the act/equipment and reduction of violence, and she favors scrapping the policy and starting from scratch
In midst of Police Commission ad hoc committee mtg on use policy of Bearcat, OPD's Twitter posted this several minutes ago, boasting Bearcat just today was used in capture of a homicide suspect. In obvious move to adjust the frame, OPD now calling it the "armored rescue vehicle"
Jackson says that the Commission needs to be aware of when a Bearcat is absolutely necessary, they need to be "educated". She says important to understand all the applications to make informed comments about the policy. She suggests a "smaller group" for educational report out
Jackson seems alone on this in the midst of the ad hoc committee, most favor considering the possibility. She says she doesn't know whether there are instances where the Bearcat and only the Bearcat can solve a problem.
Here is bystander footage of the OPD's use of the Bearcat today.
Omar Farmer responds to Jackson's comment saying that he feels educated enough about the armored vehicles, and feels that the community is saying that they don't want the vehicles.
Armstrong says a conversation about removing an item of equipment should also cover what the effect would be without it. He says the risk increases for there to be some kind of lethal encounter, and that the level of force OPD is facing has increased over years
Gage asks Armstrong if the armored Suburban could replace the Bearcat, he says absent the Bearcat, they would be delayed in their ability to respond. He says the Bearcat allows the OPD to get closer to the suspect to communicate.
OPD has been using "rescue" several times relating to Bearcat. But its usually used for an assault on a holed up individual. Reminiscent of "story" told by OPD Randy Wingate, where he misled Commission lack of Bearcat led to death of Sacramento officer
Wingate claimed that the lack of a Bearcat led to a delay of its arrival, but it wasn't true. The Bearcat itself mechanically failed and the police apparently flubbed the "rescue". There's been no use of the Bearcat to rescue a downed officer in Oakland.
Reference to the question if there's a non-military armored option to Bearcat, Jordan says he recalls, in the last ad hoc meeting, the armored suburban was rated comparably to the Bearcat. He says the weight and height of the Bearcat are the actual distinct differences.
Lindsay Poland says the Bearcat was obtained with the urban areas security initiative, which came out of 911. He says the most extreme hypothetical circumstances are used to defend the use of the vehicle, but then it's proposed use expands.
Lindsay Poland says that if the Council passes the militarized weapon ordinance, they'll get another go at the Bearcat, because it will require a historical use report and data to defend the use of the equipment.
Omar Farmer says he wants to see the data of how OPD confronted armed individuals before 2008. He says most of what they've heard is that it causes trauma and its misuse caused the killing of Joshua Pawlik. He wants to see the data on how its prevented lethal violence.
He says he talked to an armored vehicle manufacturer who told him that the armored suburban is fine for the kind of caliber weapons used in urban situations.
Jackson says OPD needs to educate the ad hoc on why the Bearcat is necessary and what is the distinction with the suburban. She says she doesn't want to get out there with opinions, because the commission isn't who deals with the violence.
Farmer says that OPD doesn't necessarily need a Bearcat, and that an armored suburban can be ordered to have the same level of protection, in his research
Sgt Joe Turner says he takes to heart Farmer's remark about allowing the most extreme hypothetical to shape policing. But he says its a balancing act.
Jordan brings up the issues around the ad hoc group, where those most involved in drafting the legislation are getting too far ahead of the rest of the members of the ad hoc.
Lindsay-Poland goes over the changes the ad hoc made over circumstances for authorized use. Significantly reduced: he says serving warrants/deterrence would be scaled down, the vehicle would be used because of its ballistic capacity, not just over threat of arms.
Ad hoc seems open to the idea of creating yet another iteration of the policy that might end up requiring another kind of armored vehicle completely. The legal February deadline makes it complicated, he's also suggested bifurcating the process, and doing act 2 with the ordinance
Armstrong doesn't seem to think he can come up with data but will instead show alternatives that were available when the Bearcat was used. He says he wants to do training and illustration of what these encounters look like.
Just looking at Orrick's Case Management Conference minutes [and they're frustratingly brief], there is a request deadline for the Pawlik related policy changes [of which Bearcat will be the least] by February, but it doesn't seem to very hard.

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More from @hyphy_republic

12 Jan
New Council members Treva Reid and Carroll Fife were just counted in their first Council roll call, 1/12/2021 #oakmtg Image
In opening remarks, newly appointed Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas observes the Capitol assault of last week, also clarifies that despite vaguely described misinformation, the EMP is not on the agenda, rather only alternatives for shelter during a camp eviction #oakmtg
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12 Jan
The latest Covid Cares Act update from City doesn't seem to recognize extra time allowed by new act. Particularly, cash meant for East Oakland's wi-fi is still going back to general fund, through the OFD, and supposedly to be drawn out at some future point to complete the project Image
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1 Dec 20
12/1/2020 Council Meeting Thread starts here #oakmtg
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1 Dec 20
Today, OPD will ask for authorization to accept a 325k "Port Security Grant" from DHS that requires City to match 108k to accept. Its for a new patrol boat. OPD already has 2-3 boats, a tactical Catamaran and [possibly 2?] standard patrol boat from Almar, pictured below #oakmtg
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A thread on what's of note at tomorrow's City Council meeting, either the last or second to the last for the year and for the old Council. There's one more scheduled 12/15, but it might just be a placeholder. #oakmtg
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