Virtual Press Conference with Vice-Mayor Kaplan, youth harmed by militarized policing, and community organizations demanding public oversight and transparency for police equipment

From being teargassed for peaceful protest, intimidated at a Juneteenth celebration by an armored vehicle, suffering terrorizing SWAT raids in neighborhoods of color, and the killing of an unhoused resident behind the cover of the BearCat, Oakland residents have continuously organized to end police brutality, since before the uprisings of 2020. Currently, the #DemilitarizeOPD Coalition calls for enhanced public safety through a “Controlled Equipment Ordinance” that requires Oakland Police Department (OPD) to account for all acquisitions and deployments of militarized equipment in Oakland.

In a live-streamed virtual press conference, on Tuesday, June 8, coalition organizers, directly impacted individuals, and Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan (primary sponsor of the proposed ordinance) will express the urgent need and broad community support for this ordinance. A petition signed by more than 1,400 people, hundreds of postcards, and letter from dozens of community organizations called on the City Council to enact the measure.

“This legislation empowers the Police Commission to monitor and regulate the Oakland Police Department’s acquisition and use of militarized and militaristic equipment, and creates a practical regulatory structure designed to support actionable oversight,” said Police Commission member Henry Gage III.

The ordinance will be heard in the Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee later (1:30pm) the same day. By passing this community-supported ordinance, Oakland will send a clear message to the rest of the state and nation that militarized policing cannot go unchecked.

WHO: Oakland Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan; Alejandro Manzanares (impacted by militarized policing); David Jordan, Police Commission member; John Lindsay-Poland, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); Sameena Usman, Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA); Brian Hofer, Secure Justice

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference ahead of June 8 vote by Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee

WHEN: Tuesday, June 8, 11:30am – 12:00pm

WHERE: Virtual on Facebook and Zoom

CONTACT: Sameena Usman, CAIR-SFBA, 707-412-0786, susman@cair.com; John Lindsay-Poland, AFSC, 510-282-8983, JLindsay-Poland@afsc.org