Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee Votes to Sever Ties With ICE & to Review Agreements With FBI

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Community activists turned out to a July 11 meeting of the Public Safety Committee of the Oakland City Council to urge an end to police participation in task forces led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or other federal law enforcement agencies.

Representatives of Oakland Privacy, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Council on American Islamic Relations, the ACLU, and other groups and individual came to testify that the community will be better served, and safer, if Oakland Police officers stop participating in federal law enforcement task forces.

Not a single member of the public testified in favor of continuing the relationship with ICE, and the committee unanimously voted to sever those ties.

Activists also focused their concern on OPD participation with FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces. “The JTTF has invasive policies,” Sameena Usman, the government relations coordinator for the Council on American Islamic Relations Bay Area chapter, told the committee. Rather than revoking all agreements to work with all federal law enforcement agencies, the committee voted to require the approval of the privacy commission before new agreements are signed.

Both measures now go to the full City Council for approval.