OAKLAND -- Police Chief Anthony Batts, saying he understands some people's distrust in an internal police investigation of the two officers who fatally shot an unarmed man in November, has asked federal officials to do an independent investigation, he announced Tuesday.
Batts spoke at a Public Safety Committee meeting where several members of the family of Derrick Jones also spoke of his death. Jones, a 37-year-old barber and father, was fatally shot Nov. 8 by officers who responded to a domestic violence call at Jones' shop in the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue.
Jones' mother, Nelly, wept as she spoke to the committee. She said the police are "hiding behind a badge and a gun" and that she's tired of the "broken record" explanation police have so far offered for the shooting: Jones ran from officers asking him about the domestic violence call and appeared to pull a metal object from his pants near his waist just before the two officers fired on him, possibly prompting the officers to fear he was drawing a gun.
The object, police have said, turned out to be a small metal scale, and Jones had a small amount of marijuana on him, as well.
Nelly Jones said she believes police murdered her son, adding, "I wouldn't want to be them on Judgment Day."
Several other speakers said they doubt the reliability of the separate investigations being conducted by the police department's Internal Affairs and homicide sections, and some called into question a third investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, calling it too close to the problem to be trustworthy.
Batts said he spoke with the FBI earlier Tuesday to ask for an independent civil rights investigation into the shooting.
The two officers who shot Jones are not on street duty and would not be returned to duty unless cleared of wrongdoing, Batts said.
Homicide investigators have 45 days from the time of the shooting to submit their findings to Internal Affairs.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 510-238-3821.