Oakland is following San Francisco and Portland in ending its relationship with the Joint Terror Task Force, an intelligence gathering arm of the FBI.
The Oakland City Council unanimously approved the termination of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Joint Terror Task Force on Tuesday night. The action had been recommended by the city’s Privacy Advisory Commission since last year.
“We’re just asking you to defend Oakland values,” said Brian Hofer, a member of the Privacy Advisory Commission.
The council’s move does not preclude the FBI working with the Oakland Police Department,” Hofer added. “It would not prevent us from responding to a public safety threat. It would no prohibit OPD with speaking with or sharing information with the FBI. It would not disturb the FBI’s mandatory duty to warn us of a public safety threat.”
Oakland business owners of Yemeni descent, many who live and work in West Oakland, have felt targeted in the past by the federal government.
“No member of our community should live in fear,” said Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who represents West Oakland. “We know since 9/11, our Islamic community has felt a great deal of stress and has not fully supported and protected by our government and have often felt targeted.”
San Francisco rescinded a similar agreement with the Joint Terror Task Force in 2017. Portland did so in 2019.