OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL
Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick reiterated that she was not previously aware that a raid conducted by federal agents in West Oakland on Aug. 16 involved a potential deportation matter.
The raid in West Oakland by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents involved a warrant for human trafficking, but ultimately included the arrest of a person now at risk for deportation.
Community members and later Oakland officials criticized OPD’s involvement acting as traffic control during the operation and following a council resolution last summer prohibiting collaboration with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Under questioning, Kirkpatrick said she was not aware of the deportation component prior to the raid and asked federal agents to view the warrant. “I was told it was under seal,” said Kirkpatrick.
Nevertheless, Kirkpatrick acquiesced to the federal agent’s request. “I accepted it on its face,” said Kirkpatrick. “I’m suppose to be able to rely on another law enforcement officer giving me information.”
Some Oakland elected officials, however, were much harder on Kirkpatrick than others. Councilmember Desley Brooks, for example, excoriated Kirkpatrick’s handling of the raid.
To prove her point, Brooks played a video clip from a police town hall that included Kirkpatrick telling the audience there was not deportation involved with the August raid. When the council voted to “receive” the report on the raid, rather than “accept” it, Brooks murmured, “The report is not worth the paper it’s written on.”
Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan also added to Brooks’s dissatisfaction. “I think Oakland got played here and should know better than to fall for this, particularly given the widespread and coverage of similar lies with HSI around the country,” said Kaplan.
Later, with a bit of biting irony following the August raid, Kaplan noted that a recent list of cities published by the U.S. Department of Justice, ostensibly cities that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is “mad at,” said Kaplan, does not include Oakland.
The controversy over ICE in Oakland is not going away. Kaplan will unveil legislation at a committee meeting on Dec. 5 to strengthen the city’s existing resolution that prohibits involvement with ICE, or as she put it Tuesday night, not even to offer their agents a cup of coffee.