Following the publication of an investigation’s results, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao last month put police chief LeRonne Armstrong on administrative leave.
According to the investigation, Mr. Armstrong neglected to sufficiently punish a sergeant involved in a hit-and-run.
It wasn’t an easy choice, Ms. Thao admitted.
At a news conference on Wednesday, she said, “But it’s one I believe is vital for [reform] momentum to continue.
Due to a police corruption incident in 2000 involving an anti-gang unit called “The Riders,” the Oakland Police Department has been under federal surveillance for 20 years, the longest period of any US police department.
One of the seven police chiefs to leave the agency in the last seven years is Mr. Armstrong.
Leronne Armstrong Tried To Hide Bad Doings Of Other Officer
Sgt. Michael Chung, a police officer, was driving a department car when he was engaged in a hit-and-run accident in March 2021. He then fired his service pistol in an elevator.
A January 2023 independent investigation found that he made no attempt to disclose the crash and instead tried to hide both of his activities.
The January 2023 report claimed that Mr. Armstrong authorized an internal investigation into the event without having reviewed its findings, which stated that no departmental rules had been broken.
According to Ms. Thao on Wednesday, Mr. Armstrong ignored the independent study that discovered “severe deficiencies in the disciplinary process” and minimized concerns about police officer wrongdoing.
Upon his dismissal, Mr. Armstrong issued a statement expressing his “great disappointment” with the mayor’s choice.
It will be evident that I was a devoted and successful reformer of the Oakland Police Department if the pertinent facts are thoroughly assessed by evaluating the available data rather than relying solely on soundbites from purposefully leaked, unreliable reports, he claimed.
It will also be obvious that I did nothing wrong, making my termination fundamentally incorrect, unjustifiable, and unfair.
The city’s police force needs to be reformed, according to Ms. Thao, who was elected last year, who stated on Wednesday that she would do so “not by ticking boxes, but by developing a culture of integrity and fairness at every level.”
She remarked, “I no longer have faith that Chief Armstrong can do the work required to realize [that] objective.