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Arrest of former Oakland councilmember sparks outrage at committee meeting

Tuesday night’s Oakland Public Safety Committee meeting’s main agenda item—reviewing a report about holding a special election to amend the regulations that govern the Oakland Police Commission—was initially upstaged by jarring testimony from former Councilmember Wilson Riles Jr. about his arrest last week.  Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan introduced the issue for the committee to address. “Our colleague, former Councilmember Wilson Riles, was arrested—” Kaplan began, but was interrupted by members of the crowd yelling, “brutalized!” “And brutalized, and improperly treated,…

Oaklanders grab coffee with cops (and horses)

Oakland Police Department (OPD) officer Michael Tacchini loves caramel macchiatos. They aren’t his favorite, but he likes to get them when he’s in a “good mood,” he said. Tacchini and about a dozen other OPD officers were in pretty high spirits as they gathered Wednesday afternoon at a Starbucks near the Oakland Coliseum BART station. They all had volunteered to participate in “Coffee with a Cop Day,” a nationwide event that provides residents with the opportunity to meet and speak…

Oakland police prepare to crack down on sideshows

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) has increased its response following recent sideshow activity. Last Sunday, a large contingent of law enforcement officers took the streets to combat the illegal gatherings, which are informal demonstrations of automotive stunts, often held in vacant lots or in public intersections. This weekend, they will do the same. Officers will be accompanied by air support along with regional law enforcement partners, teaming up to deter sideshow participation by issuing citations, making arrests and towing vehicles….

Alameda County supervisors vote to to scale back, shift focus of Urban Shield

After more than five hours of public comment and heated debate, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to approve nearly all of an ad hoc committee’s recommendations to demilitarize the county’s controversial Urban Shield annual training program. They voted 4-0 to eliminate SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) deployment exercises and the event’s weaponry and military gadget show, shifting the focus of the training event to natural disaster preparedness. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office launched the annual Urban…

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