|Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks|
OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL
Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks is one of the most notoriously feared elected officials in the East Bay. Her reputation, though, is growing at the expense of Oakland taxpayers after an Alameda County Superior Court jury Thursday found Brooks assaulted former Black Panther icon Elaine Brown at a well-known downtown restaurant in October 2015.
The jury awarded Brown $3.5 million in damages with possibly more to come, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The court may levy additional punitive damages next month.
In a episode that quickly became infamous in Oakland politics, Brooks, in an official city capacity, according to the jury, met with Brown and others at the Everett & Jones barbecue joint near Jack London Square.
Brooks, 54, though, become incensed, and according to the jury, pushed Brown, then 74, with two fists to the chest. The shove led Brown to tumble and caused her injuries, including a torn rotator-cuff. The act is deemed as elder abuse, said the jury, the Chronicle reported.
The decision, which could still be appealed, is also a major defeat for the Oakland City Attorney’s office. The city had originally balked at a $1 million settlement offer from Brown’s lawyers.