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Oakland Police Chief Pledges Transparency After Officer-Involved Shooting

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Derrick Jones (California DMV)

Derrick Jones (California DMV)

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OAKLAND (KCBS/AP) – The fatal shooting of an unarmed Oakland man on Nov. 8 has raised questions about the victim’s actions, as well as the response from authorities.

Police Chief Anthony Batts acknowledged the calls from the African American community for answers and an explanation about the incident, but cautioned that a thorough investigation would take time.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Police said two officers chasing Derrick Jones, 37, believed he was reaching for a weapon when they opened fire. He was fatally shot by the officers, whose names weren’t initially released. They were placed on standard paid leave.

The police department since revealed that Jones, a parolee, was carrying a small silver scale, not a weapon.

An attorney for Jones’ family said he was surprised and suspicious that it took so long for the police to release the information.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and Oakland police pledged a comprehensive investigation into the shooting, which happened after the officers responded to a call reporting a domestic dispute.

Jones allegedly led police on a foot chase in East Oakland before he was shot, after he reached for his waistband.

“It was clear he’s unarmed, but I have to make sure that what the organization does is give out all the facts that are there,” stressed Batts.

Batts said the incident underscored the need for additional officer training.

“We need to better ourselves in dealing with people going for waistbands, going into clothing, into different aspects and make sure that we give officers the proper training to address these things.”

Jones’ death has prompted accusations of excessive force, with his friends and family saying the shooting was unjustified. About a dozen demonstrators held a series of protests after the shooting.

“I also send condolences to the family and our heartfelt concern along those lines and assure them that we’ll be reviewing and checking and double-checking to make sure that everybody is held accountable,” said Batts.

He acknowledged that his department was under scrutiny.

“We’re going to be very transparent with this, to make sure that the public knows what’s going on. We’re not going to try to hide anything.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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