Newly-inaugurated “progressive” Oakland, California, mayor Sheng Thao fired Oakland Police Department Chief LeRonne Armstrong this week over alleged mishandling of police misconduct — and he is fighting back.
Armstrong was a frequent critic of the far-left, opposing efforts to “defund the police” and speaking out against violent crime. Notably, he opposed a decision by the city in 2021 to cut $18 million from the police budget.
Mayor Thao suspended Armstrong over claims that he had mishandled two investigations into police misconduct — claims that he denies — and fired him after he organized rallies to protest his suspension.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday:
Armstrong, an Oakland native who became chief two years ago, was meeting with his attorneys to discuss possible legal actions, according to Sam Singer, a crisis consultant hired by Armstrong after Thao put him on paid leave a month ago.
Residents who support Armstrong criticized the mayor, saying that she had fired a beloved chief who was from the community. Nearly 30 people gathered outside of City Hall midday Thursday, demanding that Thao reinstate Armstrong.
But others supported the termination. A coalition of groups that includes the Anti Police-Terror Project, Oakland teachers union and others released a statement saying that accountability is key in moving the city’s police department forward.
Thao was elected in November over party favorite Loren Taylor, who had been endorsed by outgoing mayor Libby Schaaf. Thao was a “self-described progressive,” SFGate.com noted, and was backed by left-wing groups.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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