Phil Matier: Oakland Police Accused Of Drawing Guns Too Often On Black Suspects

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Oakland police officers are often too quick to draw their guns, especially when confronting African-American suspects, according to a federal court monitor.

The monitor, Robert Warshaw, looked at a random sampling of police reports from the first three months of this year. Warshaw and his team found 80 incidents in which officers drew their weapons, two of which resulted in deadly shootings. The analysis found that officers acted appropriately in a majority of the cases.

However, according to KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier, Warshaw and his team said they were troubled by the high number of instances in which police did not have to draw their guns. The report found that in more than three-fourths of the cases in which officers appeared to have overreacted, the suspects were black. Latinos were suspects in 17 percent of those cases, while whites represented three percent.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:

City officials plan to discuss the report with a federal judge on Thursday. The judge ordered the analysis as a result of the Riders case, in which several officers were accused of framing innocent people.

”There are a lot of politics involved in this, as is the case with police work all over the Bay Area,” said Matier. “Like a lot of these studies, this is going to be used politically in the next couple of months as Oakland tries to figure out what to do with its crime problem.”

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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