From its inception, the Oakland Police Commission has been incredibly problematic. One of the most egregious elements is that it allows the Mayor to directly appoint three people to the commission with no vetting.
NOW - the Commission is dragging its feet to comply with community demands that the Chair of the commission, Thomas Lloyd Smith, who was directly appointed by Libby Schaaf, undergo an investigative process related to inappropriate actions he has taken as the Chair:
- On March 11, the night of the most recent police shooting in Oakland, Mr. Smith showed complete disregard for the community by getting on the media and parroting the police narrative of that shooting without any investigation having happened.
- Mr. Smith falsely claimed that the meetings needed to move from Wednesday to Thursday’s because that was the only day KTOP could broadcast in an effort to exclude a member of the commission who has been publicly critical of his behavior.
- There are multiple concerns about the actions of Mr. Smith, both on the dais and behind the scenes. These have been brought to him both from the community in public forum and privately, and as well have been expressed to him by several commissioners- mostly women. He remains unwilling to acknowledge or respond to these concerns.
Not only has his actions demonstrated a necessity for careful scrutiny of the behaviors of commissioners, but before this commission was even formed we knew it was compromised by the placement of Mayoral appointees without a clear transparent process for the skills, and characteristics of who the mayor would send to be on this commission. We knew this before the commission even began, but as a Mayoral appointee, he has simply proven our point.
We continue to maintain that all commissioners should be appointed by the community to represent the community, and should be always evaluated by and held accountable by the community. You cannot replicate the systems of oppression that exist within the police department by hiding facts, being dishonest and avoiding accountability.
Join APTP to demand an investigative process for Mr. Smith to be accountable for his actions.