OAKLAND -- The City Council faced more protests over an officer-involved shooting Tuesday -- the same day Oakland's police monitor released a report criticizing the department's handling of such incidents and warned that some officers could face sanctions.
In a 10-page report, police monitor Robert Warshaw wrote that in several cases where the use of deadly force by officers was not clearly justified, police investigators exhibited "the most deficiencies and the least inquisitiveness."
The report, ordered in May by U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson, reviewed department investigations into the past nine officer-involved shootings.
The victims names were not included. It's unknown if it included the investigation into the death of Alan Blueford, an 18-year-old shot to death in May by police Officer Miguel Masso.
Blueford's family and supporters staged a boisterous protest at last month's City Council meeting, forcing the council to adjourn the meeting shortly after it started.
To prevent another early adjournment, the city closed access to balcony seating for Tuesday's meeting. About 100 Blueford supporters marched to the council chambers shortly after 5 p.m., but were blocked from entering.
"It's a community meeting and they closed out the community," said Blueford's mother, Jeralynn Blueford, shortly before the meeting began.
As Blueford family members addressed the council, dozens of protesters chanted outside the chambers, and ground floor seats in the chamber remained unfilled. Several Blueford supporters inside the chambers shouted at council members as the meeting got underway and chanted "Let them in."
The crowd quieted down about 6:40 p.m. when Council President Larry Reid walked over to the family and handed them a redacted copy of the police report, which the family had asked for at the last meeting. Ten minutes later, Blueford's family members and supporters left the chambers, saying that they would return to future council meetings.
Blueford's father, Adam Blueford, was not satisfied with the report because too much of the information was blacked out.
The documents, which touch on the investigation into the shooting, the providing of medical care, summary witness statements and lab results, will be posted to the police department's website, Chief Howard Jordan said in a prepared statement. The District Attorney's office is still investigating the incident.
Blueford was shot three times by Masso shortly after midnight May 6 at 92nd and Birch Street. Police have said that Blueford had pointed a gun at Masso.
Law enforcement sources said that Blueford's fingerprints were found on the magazine of the weapon, which was one of eight taken in a November 2011 burglary in Mountain House.
Blueford's family, who is suing the city over the shooting, has said that police have lied about the incident. They had demanded a copy of the police report.
The decision to close the balconies, which comprise nearly half of the seats in the council chambers, was taken after a closed-door council meeting earlier on Tuesday.
City spokeswoman Karen Boyd said city leaders were concerned that the bright lights above the seats posed a security concern, making it hard to look into the sections.
Warshaw's report comes just two days before attorneys are scheduled to file a motion seeking to place Oakland's police department under federal control for failing to fully implement court-sanctioned reforms stemming from the 2003 settlement of the Riders misconduct case.
Warshaw found several failings in police investigations. He wrote that investigators appeared to favor fellow officers.
"This can range from failing to ask difficult questions and probe inconsistencies ... to providing actual justification for an officer's action."
Warshaw also found instances where he felt the officer didn't face an imminent threat at the time of the shooting and that investigators cleared officers based "on scenarios that may be possible, but if looked at objectively, do not appear likely."
Judge Henderson had left open the door for potential sanctions against individual officers. Warshaw wrote that he intended to discuss with Henderson "our concerns regarding the actions of individual officers who were involved in (officer involved shootings) as well as the behaviors of those who have investigated or reviewed certain cases that have been of great concern to us."