Oakland leaders tapped a former Baltimore police commissioner Wednesday to head the investigation into the Police Department's handling of the Occupy protests.
Thomas Frazier, who was Baltimore's top cop from 1994 to 1999 and before that a deputy chief in San Jose, said he hoped to issue his first report within 90 days.
Oakland will spend up to $100,000 for the initial report, which will cover only the police response during the protests stemming from the first police eviction of the Occupy encampment Oct. 25.
The city, which plans to contract with Frazier to also look into police handling of the general strike protests in November, decided to separate the investigations because they involved different circumstances anddifferent mutual aid partners, City Administrator Deanna Santana said. All of the reports will be made public and presented to the City Council.
"We're not afraid of the investigation," Mayor Jean Quan said. "We really want to make sure that we strike that balance of protecting civil rights and having effective community policing."
The Police Department has been criticized for several incidents during the protests that resulted in injuries to two military veterans.
"If these investigations reveal wrongdoing on the part of our officers, I am committed to taking swift and fair corrective actions," interim police Chief Howard Jordan said during a Wednesday news conference.
Frazier will lead a team of four retired officers, including deputy chiefs from the Los Angeles and San Jose police departments, and said he will consider adding a civil rights attorney to help with the inquiry.
"Our commitment is an honest and straightforward investigation," he said.
Oakland police already face stringent federal monitoring stemming from a 2003 agreement that settled the Riders case.
Santana said the federal monitor was "on board" with the independent investigation.
Frazier's review will include the use of force, mass arrest procedures, compliance with police policies, and the integration of officers from other departments to help police the protests, which Frazier said "is clearly an issue here."
Scott Campbell, who police shot in the leg with a bean bag projectile during a protest last month, said the investigative team was too stacked with retired police officers. "It should have been an entirely different set of individuals who have a more impartial view," he said.
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