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To the Oakland City Council re its $250,000 corporate cop contract

January 24, 2013

by Ann Garrison

Desley Brooks
Oakland’s voice of reason, Desley Brooks, told fellow Oakland City Councilors that the Bratton police consulting contract was a gimmick and that people had been frightened into supporting it with the implication that if the Council didn’t do this, they wouldn’t do anything else about violent crime.
I was at Oakland City Hall until almost 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Jan. 23, 2013, until the City Council voted 7-1 to hire global “Super-Cop” William Bratton as a consultant to solve its soaring homicide and violent crime rates. Only District 6 City Councilwoman Desley Brooks dissented.

I wasn’t among the hundreds who spoke, because I ceded my time to West Oakland Bikes4Life bike shop owner and community builder Tony Coleman after the Council cut speaking time to one minute because of the crowd.

This is what I would have said if I’d had my own two minutes and what I’d still like to say, here in the Bay View:

My name is Ann Garrison. I’m a journalist and I live in West Oakland’s District 3.

According to Businessweek, William Bratton, in 2009, became chairman of Altegrity Risk International, a new division of Altegrity, a billion dollar company owned by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

Altegrity Risk International was created to bid on highly lucrative State Department contracts to help train police forces in 14 “post-conflict” nations, including East Timor, Haiti and Afghanistan. Obviously U.S. taxpayers should not be paying to create and manipulate conflicts all over the planet and then to train “post-conflict police forces,” but William Bratton likened this to “the Peace Corps but better paying.”

Adam Blueford Oakland City Council re Bratton contract 012213 by Lance Iversen, Chron
Standing beside attorney Walter Riley, Adam Blueford, father of unarmed teenager Alan Blueford, who was shot dead by Oakland police, spoke about his son and asked the Council whether we were going to throw away our civil rights on the day after the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday. The crowd gasped when District 4 Councilwoman Libby Schaaf interrupted to ask if he’d heard Police Chief Howard Jordan’s statement earlier in the hearing. – Photo: Lance Iversen, San Francisco Chronicle

Bratton went on to become the CEO of Kroll Associates, a similar business since acquired by Altegrity. He later stepped down as Kroll’s CEO but was retained as its senior advisor. He also serves as vice chair of the Advisory Council of the Homeland Security Department.

I hate to see Oakland become a market for this or any police mercenary corporation, whether traded on Wall Street or otherwise privately held.

And I think all of you know that the Bratton contract is a gimmick that might generate short term political capital but that it’s not going to work.

The City of Oakland doesn’t have the resources to do everything that needs done about the poverty, unemployment and despair that cause violent street crime, but that’s all the more reason not to throw another quarter million dollars away on a gimmick.

Oakland should turn instead to its own Bay Area neighbors in Richmond to see what they’re doing right and why their homicide and violent crime rates have so radically dropped. I imagine that Richmond’s crime fighting team would consult with Oakland’s at little or no cost, considering the mutual benefit of reducing crime in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at anngarrison.com.

“Alan Blueford” at Oakland Council Meeting – Oakland, California January 22, 2013 from Daniel Arauz on Vimeo.

Uncle Bobby at Oakland City Council Meeting – Oakland, California January 22, 2013 from Daniel Arauz on Vimeo.

 

6 thoughts on “To the Oakland City Council re its $250,000 corporate cop contract

  1. Seamus

    I think this is not a huge amount of money and we do need more police presence on the streets to deter… We're getting something new here off Park Blvd, groups of young men knocking on doors to see if there's anyone home. This has me nervous enough to accept police tactics I would have previously considered bordering on the draconian.

    Reply
  2. John Mulligan

    "The City of Oakland doesn’t have the resources to do everything that needs done about the poverty, unemployment and despair that cause violent street crime." I don't buy this. I've been to plenty of poor places in this country and around the world where there is no crime. The services available to people in Oakland are far better than the poor can expect almost anywhere else in the world.
    You have to look no further than Tupak Shakur, a man convicted of rape, yet idolized as a prophet, to understand the culture of gangsterism that is pervasive in American cities like Oakland. Check out Cradle to Grave, listen to what he's talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h84fTFEajCY

    Reply
  3. Selina

    Hey Mr. Shakur was no different Patrick Henry, Paul Ravier or any other determined individuals:

    Henry was encourage encroachment of Native Land and Ravier was staunch supporter of encroachment

    Mr. Shakur was a staunch supporter of Civil Rights and self determination just like Malcolm X, which makes all these men rebels with real cause

    Unlike Mulligan a no nothing, do nothing thinks he knows it all

    Reply

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