Friends, Oaklanders, and #oakmtg addicts, lend me your ears:
I come to bury this this cycle of Police Commission Selection Panel Meetings, not to praise it.

Join me at 6PM as I livetweet the meeting that decides who will join Oakland's Police Commission. 
You can catch up on how the other three finalists did by reading this very long #oakmtg thread.

On Monday, the Panel interviewed Tyfahra Singleton, Omar Farmer, and Brian Hauck. Tonight they interview Sergio Garcia and frontrunner Jesse Hsieh.
The Panel takes Public Comment at the very beginning of the meeting and sometimes in the middle of interviews if they recognize the name of the person who pressed "Raise Hand" in Zoom, so sign in and shoot your shot! Anything could happen #oakmtg 
Jim Chanin just swore at his zoom and then signed off. We're off to a good start. #oakmtg
Gene Hazzard asks for a point of clarification before his time starts (King of Delaying His Time). He asks whether Chanin will say what the public comments sent for the meeting on Monday said and whether the public will have access to them. #oakmtg
Hazzard directs Mr. Luna to start his time (lmao). Hazzard is once again speaking in defense of Ginale Harris. "How did she go from being the most impressive to only getting two votes?" He narrates the process Gay Plair Cobb went through to contact Harris' references. #oakmtg
In a long narrative, Hazzard ends by advocating against Asians being on the Commission (woof! I mean I think we're not impacted for these purposes, but yeah) #oakmtg
Cathy Leonard is calling in as a member of the Coalition for Police Accountability. She says Ginale Harris and APTP are not telling the truth about the CPA lobbying to keep Commissioner Harris off the Commission. She says CPA has supported her. #oakmtg
Leonard's examples: organizing a town hall for Harris, talking with her on the phone with her, annotating documents for her. She says the CPA criticized the City Admin's attacks on Harris. There are more examples and receipts. #oakmtg
Michelle L. She says, "Being a Police Commissioner requires a different level of commitment, which is why the Panel is important." She's worried that the finalists who are applying for the first time don't know the history of OPD's violations. She lists them. #oakmtg
"None of these finalists were even there when the backlash for firing Chief Kirkpatrick happened." She says Commissioner Harris should be reappointed. "She spoke for us. And she threw herself into the fire for us." #oakmtg
Assata Olugbala says the CPA told her that they didn't defend Ginale Harris was because they didn't want to participate in the process, but points out that Cathy Leonard *is* participating now "to defend yourself." She says CPA is blind to how Harris holds OPD accountable #oakmtg
"You didn't stand up for her, and she was doing the work. But you decided you wanted to hold her accountable for things that had nothing to do with the work...This will not be forgotten. Assata Olugbala, every meeting, will remind you of this. You have no credibility." #oakmtg
Saleem Bey: "You say you did help her, but you're not choosing personal assistants that you like. You're choosing people who are supposed to be representing the community." Points out there's not even 9 panelists working. Really goes personal, whoa #oakmtg
"this old white guy has been listening to this" (sounds like Mike Tigges) "I gotta commend Commissioner Harris for getting her troops out and playing the race card as hard as she can." Says as CPA member he wants to protect the Commission from irrelevance & abolitionists #oakmtg
Tigges says confrontation isn't the best way to do things. "We need a commission that represents all of us." Says he's tired of a small, vocal portion of people trying to convince the Panel to do things they don't want to do #oakmtg
(I also spoke about the fact that they could have avoided this whole kerfuffle if they did a separate process for reappointments and also ranked choice voting and also Black women candidates are not just conduits to their community for OPD, come on) #oakmtg
No comments from the Panelists! The interview of Jesse Hsieh is now beginning. Don Link is doing the interviews. Brutal to follow those comments lol #oakmtg
Jesse Hsieh he has not been involved in public safety in Oakland. Answers the question he wishes he'd been asked, which is about his personal philosophy on what public safety means. He says he's done more work in Contra Costa (where he's a public defender).
Link: What do you hope to achieve on the Police Commission?

Hsieh's overall goal is for OPD to stop hurting Black and Brown people and also to reduce racial profiling, systematic racism in the OPD. #oakmtg
Hsieh says change can be through a number of policies, laughs and says he won't get into the small details because they don't have a lot of time (bad move, my dude, Bill Thomasson is gonna grill you on those deets if he's for real) #oakmtg
Wow incredible, after the question was asked in three public interviews, suddenly Jesse Hsieh knows what the Vision system is, giving the impression that he's better prepared (this interview process has so many problems ahhhh). #oakmtg
Hsieh is explaining the goals of the Vision system to the Panel, which, I'm sorry, given Monday's performance seems like it's sorely needed. He's explaining what risk management is now, but laughs again (is he nervous? No laughs in his other interview!) #oakmtg
Don Link asks what's needed to break up the Thin Blue Line and code of silence. Hsieh asks, "Is a policy change really going to change the culture of the Oakland Police?" Seems to have flummoxed himself. Says data needs to be tracked. Discretion needs to be taken away. #oakmtg
Hsieh says that opportunities to cover things up need to be eliminated. "The way to change a culture is to shine a light on it and make sure that everyone in the public is aware of what is happening." Says new policies need buy-in. "I'll figure out the minutia later." #oakmtg
Hsieh says he wants to be available to the public. Mentions again that he was previously in contention to be a Mayoral appointee (why, my dude!). He says "you cannot do this work without talking to the people." Says he will listen to ppl and then bring views to Commission #oakmtg
Hsieh says he'll do office hours and public outreach.

(Me, editorializing: This is a lot of speaking to and then speaking for, not a lot of speaking as! We got enough of it)
Link asks how he looks through other people's experiences. Hsieh says he has a lot of clients with mental illnesses, who are often "kind of in the throes of it." He thinks about what his clients w/hallucinations are experiencing to try to prove their reality in court #oakmtg
Link is now testifying as Hsieh somehow, explaining his job as a public defender to everyone??? I'm so confused. Feels like he's trying to get Hsieh to say his clients are Black??? The indirect discourse on this panel is ASTOUNDING sometimes #oakmtg
Hsieh says he's good at reconciling many different perspectives into something that's a lot like a compromise. "I compromise a lot, every day at my job." He gives an example of forming bylaws at work for something? Vague and not super compelling so far.

Here’s a sandwich my partner made me that I can’t eat because of live tweeting whyyyy
Hsieh says the biggest challenge he anticipates on the Commission is the Brown Act? He doesn't really elaborate, just says some aphorisms about needing to understand where people are coming from and not just "butt heads with everyone." SORRY TRANSPARENCY IS INCONVENIENT #oakmtg
OMG hsieh undercuts himself completely (just like Hauck) by saying he'd only be able to do investigations and think legally about OPD complaints. He'd rely on "other commissioners" (read: Black ones) to tell him about their life experiences. What is happening #oakmtg
Is he throwing this interview??? Hsieh says that public comment is also a good forum for listening for information that will help him figure out how to handle OPD complaints. Then just lists the mechanisms and resources the Commission has #oakmtg
Links asks the impossible "OPD chief from inside or outside" question (I don't know HOW THIS ONE GOT THROUGH)

Hsieh laughs: "I don't know. I've never hired someone before."


Jesse Hsieh, if you are reading this, I am sorry for being this shocked about your performance, it's a measure of my expectations. Hsieh was the FRONTRUNNER. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THIS PANEL VOTED FOR HIM. This is a real hit to the panel's credibility. #oakmtg
Hsieh eventually settles on the only acceptable answer: insider/outsider is not the correct metric for deciding on who the OPD chief should be. #oakmtg
Hsieh says "the heart of the problem is the culture. How do you get at the culture? You try to make these changes and...hope change happens relatively quickly." This question is about systemic racism and institutional racism. Yikes yikes yikes #oakmtg
Okay, now we're cooking with gas: Hsieh says the problem is racism is in the law, and so the key is asking OPD to do better than what the law asks them to do. He says 4th amendment jurisprudence and qualified immunity really holds up real change #oakmtg
Hsieh: You gotta get somebody [for chief] who's going to change OPD and not just pay lipservice. I've listened to a lot of public servants, and I think we know when we're getting lipservice. We're getting it now in Police Commission meetings [from the chief] #oakmtg
Hsieh says getting crime reports every meeting is a tactic (AMEN). "I want someone who's actually made change somewhere. And the kind of change that we want. Not just making sure there are more police officers on the street, but making sure use of force goes down." #oakmtg
Hsieh says he'd evaluate a new chief based on what they've actually done. "That's going to be really difficult" (laughs) "I'm an idealist and I try to push as close to my ideas as I can. That would be the top quality--someone who can make change happen." #oakmtg
Hsieh says someone "from the deep trauma that this police department has inflicted on the community" could be chief if they wanted to make change? He laughs again. This interview is going very weirdly. #oakmtg
Gay Plair Cobb asks Hsieh about his role in the Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyer Assoc (I think)? She asks if she's worked with any of the African American lawyer association groups around advancing civil rights. #oakmtg
If the panel is reading this, just a reminder that you have to ask him if he can recruit Black women to OPD! I don't make the rules, your decision to profile the first Black woman finalist interviewed made the rules! #oakmtg
Hsieh responds to Cobb's question by saying he has collaborated with African American lawyers in the past? But not recently? This is a weird line of questioning. He's now into the history of his organization. #oakmtg
Cobb continues to ask questions about his diversity and outreach activism. Hsieh: "It's not enough to listen and speak with people, but it makes the most sense for our clients to be represented by someone who looks like them, thinks like them, and speaks like them." #oakmtg
This interview is really thick with irony.

OH GOOD, Chanin is here with the how would you recruit Black women officers to serve on OPD. Buckle up! #oakmtg
Chanin says he's planning to call the chair of the Commission and have her put recruiting Black women police on the agenda?! OOF

Hsieh says no Black women OPD is abysmal. "I want to know why you don't see the numbers at all. Where in the process do things break down?" #oakmtg
Chanin interrupts Hsieh to tell him that he thinks the problem is mainly outreach.

Oh really? OUTREACH is why??? I'm holding my tongue so hard ahhhh

Hsieh: "It's a hard thought for me to want to get more people to go through and become police officers...I can't force people to, so I guess I would have to ask or solicit volunteers, Black women police officers of any rank, to do outreach in Oakland communities" #oakmtg
Hsieh is implicitly pointing out how much of an agenda is scuttled into the premise of this question, which I appreciate. He laughing says "the goal is to connect people to the dept" "I don't know if they'll listen to me, but I'm willing to try" lol #oakmtg
Hsieh's interview is over. Chanin again says he thinks the Panel next year will probably interview him if he's not selected, which Bosserman pointed out is not true. #oakmtg
Sergio Garcia's interview is beginning. Garcia was the General Counsel for a company that made an FDA-approved device to remove fat from people's jawlines (it's real! Look up his LinkedIn). He's also chair of Centro Legal de la Raza's board. #oakmtg
Bill Thomasson is doing the interview.

OOooooooh Garcia is ready! Starts off by saying "The concept of public safety is at the *heart* of why I'm talking to you." Mentions growing up in South Central LA during "the crack epidemic" and his work w/Centro Legal #oakmtg
Garcia names CMs Bas and Taylor and the oft-cited "Taskforce to Reimagine Public Safety" as an example of something good. He wants to redefine public safety for communities that want a mitigation of crime and freedom from police misconduct. #oakmtg
Garcia says he wants to ally himself with people on the Commission who want to make change. Says the Commission's independence is important. Weird choice of language--says he's chosen to "make myself vulnerable to this selection panel" #oakmtg
Garcia on Vision: "Vision is an analytics tool. And to the extent that Vision can be leveraged to look at interactions between police and community...with a social justice lens, then that tech can be leveraged" for better tracking those things that create systemic racism. #oakmtg
Garcia says he wants to repeal the Police Bill of Rights. For labor: "Insist on equitable bargaining that's based on race and gender disparities within the OPD."

Honestly I was not excited about this guy but now I'm like maybe? #oakmtg
Garcia is talking about engaging with community at the "not just with the leaders of organizations, but at the street level, people who have the dire need to voice concerns with OPD, the Commission needs to amplify those voices." Says it's not just town halls #oakmtg
Garcia: "There's so many allies in Oakland--there's so many good organizations that can become allies in the work of this Commission to do proper outreach for the community and be successful." #oakmtg
This is the question about other ppl's life experiences. Garcia starts talking about his classmates from his "inner city school" who ended up in the criminal justice system. #oakmtg
"In some ways, it's unimaginable for me to think of folks that I grew up with who have those issues, but I've learned a lot from conversations with those people and from my conversations on the board in the Fruitvale" #oakmtg (is it "the Fruitvale"? He keeps saying this)
Garcia speaks about division by saying it's probably about tactics, approaches, or concerns but it's very unlikely to be division around the overall goals and objectives of the Commission that are defined by the charter and define why someone would be on a Commission #oakmtg
Garcia says "good governance requires us all to be good listeners and reach consensus." Emphasizes that the point is "the mission" of the Commission.

I know I've said this before, but tHeSe ArE pRoFeSsIoNaL dIsPoSiTiOnS nOt VaLuEs #oakmtg
Had to bust out the old school aZn XaNgA type to get that point across--I wish the Panel were capable of thinking more sociologically about content rather than just appearances and respectability of form ugh #oakmtg
Garcia says he wants to build teamwork by establishing committees on different issues.

I *have* wondered why every committee is ad hoc! Other commissions have permanent committees, why not the Police Commission? #oakmtg
Garcia says OPD has its own review process. Says that the Commission is meant to establish its own process to be an independent check on OPD.
It's the insider/outsider Chief question!

Garcia: "Wow. That is such an important role of this commission...I would aim to develop some criteria, some objective criteria for that search." Too bad Garcia didn't go to the meeting where that criteria was already presented! #oakmtg
Garcia says someone who embraces the Commission as an ally for necessary change but also an independent check would be a good Chief. He slips and says he wants a "commissioner" (think he means chief) who will stand up to the OPOA. #oakmtg

How has no one done the homework??? The nerve! #oakmtg
Garcia synthesizes the best of the four answers to that question that came in the interviews before him and says he'd look for someone who achieved change already either where they are or elsewhere. #oakmtg
Garcia interrupts Bill Thomasson to quote a James Baldwin passage about not trusting police or laywers (lmao). This is up there with Omar Farmer's expert butt-kissing of Chanin (the best moment of these interviews so far). #oakmtg
I'd think this were funnier if Garcia quoting Baldwin to prove they need "outreach at the street level" hadn't been preceded by them throwing Ginale Harris off the Commission #oakmtg
Chanin asks a Latino-specific question (PANELISTS, YOU'VE GOTTA STOP DOING THIS) #oakmtg

Garcia: "I would humbly not try to answer it on behalf of a very broad demographic of Latinos in Oakland." The correct answer, thank g-d!!!
Chanin, if you are reading this, you do not get to only ask him about Latinos!!! You gotta still ask him about recruiting Black women into OPD, do not forget! He doesn't get a pass because you found a new way to racially profile candidates at the eleventh hour #oakmtg
Gay Plair Cobb also asks Garcia if he's collaborated with African American lawyers. I don't know what the angle on this question is. I don't think she asked Hauck (the other lawyer). #oakmtg
Garcia says his career is "animated by a passion for diversity in the legal system." He mentions the dearth of Black and Brown judges. He says he formed a multi-racial coalition for the SF bar. "We were the first."

Lol I wish I were not so quick to assume there is a conspiracy here, but the question is so nonsensical unless you know you're going to get a first-person college entrance essay answer like this.

Meanwhile Garcia is pointing out he did this stuff "back in 1995." #oakmtg
Garcia is talking about representing Black firefighters fighting against discrimination. They won monetary damages and changes in that fire department's internal processes w/regard to race and gender. He's talking about raising consciousness of Black and Brown unity #oakmtg
I think one thing is clear: Garcia is definitely NOT throwing this interview. He's crushing it. Right now my bet would be him and Omar Farmer. #oakmtg
Garcia keeps referring to the Police Chief as "a commissioner," which is not the best, but it's ok. Don Link asked him what he'd look for in an Inspector General. He says an independent and analytical person. #oakmtg
Chanin's voice is cracking (protect this precious man, who's been suing police departments his entire life!)

He's asking the recruit-Black-women-into-OPD question, bless his heart #oakmtg
LOL like Hsieh, Garcia also uses the word "abysmal" to describe there being no Black women in OPD.

(Listen, if you recruit two people with remarkably similar professional backgrounds, you will get remarkably similar answers!)

I kind of zoned out to eat a pickle, but Garcia is saying "perception" that OPD isn't a friendly place for Black women might be the problem here. (I don't know if it's just "perception," but I don't know!!!) #oakmtg
The interview is over! Time to listen to the Panel discuss, and woooooh boy is this going to be wild.

Chanin is reminding everyone of the protocol they all agreed on. #oakmtg
Bless her heart, Lorelei Bosserman is reminding everyone that Tyfahra Singleton had a major disadvantage because she went first in the interview process. THANK YOU, LORELEI BOSSERMAN #oakmtg
Chanin is locked in on everyone having two votes. "You can vote for the same person twice, though." WHAT??? NO TO THIS PROCESSUAL NIGHTMARE #oakmtg
Running back from eating--did anyone catch that? Chanin was explaining the process. First discussion, then vote, two votes each (could be for one person), if they're happy, that's it, if not, second vote, second vote is final #oakmtg
Mary Vail wants to think about where they were when the Police Commission fired the Police Chief. "Back then we were hearing, LL went too far, maybe we should listen to the OPOA, it was a very distressing, difficult environment, and the environment that we have today..." #oakmtg
"...because people--African Americans--were killed by the police...We can't afford to have the tie breaker be representation or pick people who will have learning curves. Because people have been attacked before and will be in the future..." #oakmtg (this is Vail)
"...we need people who are strong, have good community skills, won't be swayed by the public safety crowd in Oakland. I know the public is upset right now, and they're the driving force for me. We must succeed." #oakmtg (this is Vail)
Bosserman immediately jumps in and says she's offended that Vail thinks they'd be selecting any of the finalists in terms of representations. "They are all qualified." Chanin asks if he should read the racial representation of the Commission. Thomasson says no? #oakmtg
Chanin and Bosserman stumble through it. After Commissioners Smith and Harris leave, there will be three Black Commissioners. #oakmtg
Don Link agrees with Vail (no surprise there) #oakmtg

"Anyone with professional obligations that are going to limit what they can provide in service could be a problem. Because we want people that can get in there and do the heavy lifting and get things done." #oakmtg

Link likes Hauck. Thinks he has the talent and the commitment. Likes Hsieh too (because Hsieh said he works 60 hour weeks?! That means he might NOT have time) #oakmtg
Chanin says all five finalists would be very fine commissioners and this will be a very hard choice. He kind of shades the pool three years ago and the panel that chose Ginale Harris. He says the current Commission made this into something that ppl would want to do #oakmtg
Link is still talking about his "scores" my lord. #oakmtg
Thomasson says they're going to get a lot of backlash. "I look at Mr. Hauck, who hasn't lived in Oakland long at all, and who doesn't know different parts of Oakland." Reminds them he couldn't say a single thing about East Oakland. #oakmtg
Thomasson says Hsieh could not answer a question without a "hem" and a "haw." "Every night we get on here and the public is blasting us for not getting the best people out here." Says he's hired hundreds of people and Hsieh and Hauck would not be qualified. #oakmtg
Thomasson says the problem is that people get on these commissions and do not know anything about Oakland. AMEN. #oakmtg
Cobb points out that Tyfahra Singleton has both worked and lived in impacted parts of the city. "I found her to be very thoughtful, I found her to not provide the usual trite answers, to actually stop, think, and then propose something that's a little out of the box." #oakmtg
Bosserman on Tyfahra Singleton: "She lists three people that she knew who were killed by police...that's significant personal experience."

Cobb: "And I forgot to state the obvious--she's the only woman in our finalists." #oakmtg
Brendalynn Goodall says she agrees with Cobb.

If they select Tyfahra Singleton, I will be so. Pleasantly. Surprised. #oakmtg
They're voting already!!!

Jesse Hsieh: NO VOTES?!
Sergio Garcia: NO VOTES?! Oh wait no it's a technical thing

Chanin is swearing at the Zoom again #oakmtg
In this moment of silence I just want to say I'm looking forward to years of Assata Olugbala calling in to remind the Selection Panel they have no credibility. #oakmtg
Ah man I missed the votes. Did anyone get that???
Anyway Sergio Garcia got 7 votes, didn't hear them

Jesse Hsieh got Vail's vote

Brian Hauck got Link's vote

Omar Farmer got Bill Thomasson and Mary Vail

Tyfahra Singleton got Bosserman, Goodall, Cobb, Chanin
Okay so right now it's Sergio Garcia and Tyfahra Singleton.

Chanin says he's very torn between Mr. Farmer and Ms. Singleton. "Could we have some discussion, I would really appreciate that." NOOOOOO #oakmtg
Thomasson likes Farmer because of his experience starting organizations, working with groups, does motivational speaking, is articulate and doesn't have "ums" and "ahs," "He would be there to balance out other things that are going on with the Commission." #oakmtg
Vail: "I was torn too between Mr. Farmer and other candidates." (No kidding! Bet we can guess who) #oakmtg
Vail is free-associating, but says that she ultimately likes Farmer because someone she trusts recommended him to her at the beginning of this process. (WOOF) #oakmtg
Vail doesn't like that Singleton worked in charter schools.

Thomasson brings up Farmer as a Black father surrogate?!

This Panel truly needs to redefine its standards or else just eliminate them. Why pretend this is anything other than a free-association fest? #oakmtg
Link says if he could have voted for three people he would have voted for Mr. Farmer. His involvement in Oakland Neighbors Inspiring Trust is something Link actually experienced (this means Farmer did a "please don't racially profile on Nextdoor prezo for Link lol) #oakmtg
Goodall says she understands the importance of having a Black male involved. She says Singleton was at a slight disadvantage, "but she has been involved in Oakland! On the Oakland rent board." Likes that she thought "outside the box" and would "do the research" #oakmtg
Goodall: "And she was impacted. Her family members that were killed." (She said her uncle was shot--I don't know if he died.) "And she lived in Deep East Oakland, which is important."

We've lost Chanin #oakmtg
Thomasson: "Mr. Chanin, you're muted." lol

Cobb: "Since Deep East Oakland is so significant and centered in many of these most problematic issues relating to OPD, I think someone who's actually in that community, relates to that community, is extremely important." #oakmtg
Cobb points out that no other candidate lives in Deep East Oakland.

No one has pretended like Farmer and Singleton are comparable with Garcia, who everyone voted for. Farmer and Singleton are only comparable with each other. #oakmtg
Link points out that they've already chosen. "I'd really need a justification."

Chanin says it's because he's having a lot of trouble making up his mind.

He made up his mind when he voted!!! AHHHHHHHH #oakmtg
Is this the ghost of Omar Farmer's excellent ass-kissing??? If so, well done, Omar Farmer, if you get appointed for this years, I will never forget it #oakmtg
Lol I would proud to join her company for something this petty
The other panelists are like "...what?! We already voted."

Thomasson, a little chippily (but rightly so!), point out that this is Chanin playing kingmaker by either changing his vote or not. #oakmtg
Goodall also thinks revoting is not necessary.

Link also points out that a four to four tie cannot be resolved. Everyone says it won't be four to four, it will be three to three. Thomasson points out that in that case Link would become the kingmaker.


Omar, what a mensch!!! He's conceding to Tyfahra Singleton.

Bosserman says, "Now I really want him involved in police accountability!"

Wow Farmer run for something, these people will all vote for you #oakmtg
Assata Olugbala is telling the panel the history of Centro Legal de la Raza.

I appreciate Ms. Assata so much, but I am very concerned about what she is going to say next. #oakmtg

Gene Hazzard: This whole procedure has been flawed. No disrespect to Ms. Singleton when it was stated that she was at a disadvantage, but you found a way to bring her back in.

He reads Chanin for his "Black women" OPD agenda "as if it were a badge of honor" #oakmtg
Gene Hazzard points out that it still doesn't make sense for Ginale Harris to only get two votes given the standards that the Panel is using to evaluate all of these finalists. (It's true)

Members of the panel are sighing in the background #oakmtg
Chanin is stumbling. "I think Mr. Farmer...I'm sorry you feel that way but I'm going to go with you and accede to your wishes and declare Ms. Singleton the winner."

This is quite rude to Tyfahra Singleton, but bygones #oakmtg
You can follow @meganasteffen.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: