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Oakland PD Chief Disputes Claim Of Officers Pointing Guns At Toddler

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – Police chief Howard Jordan disputed an account in a court-appointed monitor’s report that described two Oakland officers pointing their loaded weapons at a sleeping toddler, while serving a search warrant.

A section of the report by independent monitor Robert Warshaw that deals with officer use of force mentioned an incident where officers drew their weapons on a toddler during a misdemeanor search.

“That is a gross misrepresentation of the facts,” Jordan said.

He said the report omitted key details that demonstrate much more responsible policing.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

According to Jordan, two officers served a warrant on a home on suspected of drug dealing, and unholstered their weapons during the search as they were trained to do. They also discovered a 19-month-old child.

“The officers immediately recognized that the kid was not a threat. In fact, one officer remained with the child until the search was completed,” Jordan said. “They did not at any point, point their firearm at the kid or detain that kid.”

Jordan also questioned the conclusion of the quarterly report that the Oakland Police Department has fallen behind in implanting 22 reforms mandated after the Riders corruption case a decade ago.

In particular, Jordan disputed allegations that officers had willfully withheld information during misconduct investigations stemming from Occupy Oakland protests in 2011.

“Based on the circumstances of officers having to deal with a very volatile crowd, it’s impractical to expect them to stop and look to see who’s doing what,” Jordan said.

A letter challenging the allegations in the Warshaw report has been filed with the court, Jordan said.

The chief said he is nevertheless striving for full compliance with the court’s orders and plans to discuss Warshaw’s report directly with the monitoring team at its next scheduled visit in March.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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