I WAS HOPEFUL ABOUT THE CPRB
I was hopeful about the CPRB (Community Police Review Board). I knew it couldn’t discipline officers but nothing was stopping it from making a full factual examination that could have produced a reasonable mental health policy and prevented future families from enduring the kind of police violence we had unnecessarily been exposed to, but what I discovered instead was more internal corruption on taxpayer dollars.
CITY HALL WAS FULL OF ARMED POLICE IN UNIFORM BLOCKING VICTIM SAFE ENTRANCES AND EXITS
The first challenge and critical error in victim safety is getting in and out of the building. The hearing process is held at night so victims must walk in the dark alone through city hall. Victims were promised safe entrance and exit away from officers but instead victims were forced to enter through a dark hallway in city hall full of 10+ fully armed in uniform officers all glaring at them. This structure of police groups were positioned at all entrances and exits victims use so if you felt confident starting you certainly felt fearful by the time you could got to the door of the hearing room which had a repeat of another group or armed officers -it was intimidating. I was afraid and the promised escort through the Pueblo group but the escort never arrived and was not waiting for me as promised. Immediately I knew at that moment this process was going to go worse than hoped.
Second structural error that endangers victims physical safety after the obtuse filling of city hall with armed officers was the positioning of a table outside of the hearing room and facing the exterior of city hall were victims were placed so all officers or anyone downstairs or even from outside could view, photograph, or other wise target victims and put faces to reports. The CPRB had made promises that victims would have a private room to be safe from police but instead they were so overtly on display is was intimidating and I refused to sit there. The structure of the hearing itself was intentionally harmful to victims well being and confidence. This was highly strategic and intentionally harmful to innocent people who merely out of good citizenship and making the best out of a bad situation wanted to improve city response to mental health calls by police.
I WAS NOT PROVIDED A TRANSCRIPT OF MY CPRB INTERVIEW IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE IT WAS ACCURATE PRIOR TO TRANSCRIPT BEING SENT TO BOARD
Prior to the actual hearing I had completed interviews with the CPRB intake worker but when it was time to do a proof read to make sure the facts were not inaccurate I was denied a final read over before my alleged interviews were sent to the board. This is a problem since these are not transcribed but in a lose interview style meaning errors in interpretation were possible so the process dictated the victim had the right of final say of product going to board but because the CPRB worker did not provide me a copy- to this day I have no idea if the board ever heard my story or if they only heard the story provided by the intake worker for the CPRB that may or may not have been accurate.
NEGATIVE IMPACT OF NOT HAVING BEEN PROVIDED REPORTS
Because I was blatantly denied the necessary review of transcript process when the intake person failed to provide me a prehearing copy of the report she produced, at the time of the hearing this CPRB failure to provide a transcript caused a fatal disconnect between the questions I was asked and answered and whatever I might have felt needed to fill in the gaps of understanding. I consider this a fatal legal error and huge violation in the transparency of process itself which contributes to the CPRB ineffectiveness.
LACK OF ADVOCACY
I was allegedly granted a helper who was supposed to be my advocate and question the board on my behalf but when it was time to ask the tough questions she had nothing to say and never asked one tough question. She was also supposed to make a closing arguments similar to an informal lawyers closing but she made no such closing and never challenged police accounts at all. She(Janet) did not advocate for me in any way. Next of her obvious failure as an advocate was that we were supposed to meet several times leading up to the hearing but we did not instead we met one time and I sat on the street curb literally on the ground outside on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley because it was close to her home despite it being far from mine. I sat in the street while she stood over me and promised to really give them the work over on the tough questions she then later blatantly neglected to ask.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
The failures in the process were after the Rashada Grinage / Pueblo organization had received a 2million dollar grant to help citizens contribute to better Policing through reconciliation of fact in the CPRB. Unfortunate for humans suffering in this tragic situation Pueblo and the CPRB itself intentionally harpooned what could have been a reasonably enlightening process but by convenient and blatant human failure it became a joke to any quest for fact finding or professionalism.
THESE VIOLATIONS WERE FATAL TO A LEGITIMATE EXAMINATION OF FACT IN A POLICE KILLING OF A MENTALLY ILL PERSON
The seriousness of these violations are only more glaring when it is understood this was an examination of a police shooting death of a person in mental health crisis and the near death of innocent witnesses who were forced into the line of police bullets by lack of proper training. The process it self should not be so riddled with convenient errors that denies victims and community a legitimate examination of fact.
THE HARM OF A MISMANAGED CPRB IMPACTS THE WHOLE COMMUNITY & THE POLICE ABILITY TO DO THEIR JOB PROPERLY
These aspects of representation were also denied to the community to improve its police response to mental health calls through blatant negligent management and the Oakland still has no mental health training plan in place for officers and instead has chosen to focus on political image instead of reducing corruption and improving the dismal condition of human rights in Oakland.
The City, CPRB, Rashada Grinage & Pueblo Advocate could have easily used some of their large grant to make sure victims issues were presented in way that allowed the city to make improvements in policy especially something so critical as a modern city with no mental health police training and no mental health response plan.
CPRB IS INTENTIONALLY MISMANAGED
The CPRB process is broken at every stage -failing to make a safe physical environment for victims. Failing to make a reasonable examination of fact. Failure in the interview process, in making reports available, in having victims review reports before the reports went to the CPRB Board. Failure and in making available escorts and pre-meetings to go over case strategy. Failure in having advocates who give supportive advocacy, provide reasonable lists of questions to go over with victims based on reports. To provide the proper closing statement and ask the tough questions in advocacy to innocent victims. It was a pre destined failure and I couldn’t help but recognize the intentional nature of each error. Currently- these same CPRB people want to grant themselves more power with measure LL when they have not properly managed their obligations to Oakland in the first place.
THE SAVIORS ARE NOT SAFE
On the board itself sat Jim Chanin and he was highly uninterested in any fact finding and could barely stay awake during the hearing.
These are the same people pushing for leadership positions under measure LL- And if their performance at the CPRB is any indication of the quality of their advocacy work then the new board will be as ineffective and process corrupted as the management of the CPRB
next story- a review of Idriss Stelly Foundation and cautionary tales of unsavory parasite “activist” types who lurk around innocent victims waiting to exploit the system failure for their own gain. THE ACTIVISTS AND ORGS