The Oakland police department that has been under federal oversight by U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick, steaming from a police misconduct case settlement in 2003,

lost a significant legal battle against the city of Oakland after a panel of three state appeals court justices ruled that officers being actively investigated for misconduct do not have the right to obtain confidential records pertaining to their case. This decision comes while the Oakland Police department is being examined by a 17 year long federal oversight committee, making recommendations for police reform within the department.

While the community has welcomed the oversight committee, the Oakland police department ex police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, asked for change in the 17-year-long federal oversight of the city’s Police Department before being fired after serving for three years. Kirkpatrick, who was fired on Feb. 20, wrote in an op-ed published in the East Bay Times that the U.S. Department of Justice should intercede, remove longtime police monitor Robert Warshaw and allow the Police Department to complete its reforms on its own. The decision by the appeals panel, said the state employment law that the Oakland Police Officers Association used in previous misconduct cases that requires police departments and civilian police oversight boards to hand over such documents to officers who are under investigation, will no longer apply. The appeals panels sided with Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, who said the state law undermine the search for the truth and prevent a city from holding police officers accountable for wrongdoing.

The decision comes after the previous statement on Feb. 20 of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

that the trust between the Police Commission and ex police chief Kirkpatrick was “irrevocably broken” and keeping Kirkpatrick in her job would prevent the city from moving forward and Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson said one reason the commission wanted Kirkpatrick to be dismissed is that the Police Department has still failed to comply with reforms that were ordered in the federal court settlement 17 years ago. The decision from the court examined a state law adopted in the mid-1970s titled the "Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, that gives law enforcement officers blanket job protections while limiting police departments in their efforts to investigate police officers for misconduct. The law allowed an officer to have a copy of the interrogation recording and be entitled to a transcribed copy of any notes made by a stenographer or to any reports or complaints made by investigators or other persons. This law could be used in the intimidation of witnesses and fellow officers.

The Oakland police department has seen a revolving door of police chiefs in the 17 years under the federal oversight committee. Ex police chief Kirkpatrick wrote before her firing “Like the nine chiefs before me, my efforts and that of the women and men of the department were thwarted by the very person whose job it is to oversee them: Robert Warshaw, the appointed monitor.” Kirkpatrick wrote, “The ever-changing mountain of bureaucracy he has instituted takes police officers off the streets and keeps them behind desks filling out forms and looking at hours of video, putting public safety at risk.” The Oakland Police Commission which is a civilian oversight body, main point of contention appears to be Chief Kirkpatrick’s exoneration of five officers involved in the 2018 police shooting of a homeless man after the commission wanted all five officers fired. Justice auditor Robert Warshaw audits was highly critical of Kirkpatrick’s leniency in that case. The Oakland police department has witnessed scandal after scandal under the 17 year federal oversight. In 2014, technicians were updating the police department's computer system which includes the body camera footage archive when an employee checked a box "preserve" instead of another box "preserve everything." This simple slip up was enough to erase a huge swath of recorded evidence. The mistake was caught a month later, and metadata was used to determine the amount of footage lost. Oakland police were quick to insist that no cases had been impacted and anything that had specifically been marked as "evidence" was stored elsewhere and yet this mass deletion only came to light because a defense attorney for a man charged in the 2013 killing of 66-year-old Judy Salamon had requested police body camera footage, only to be told it no longer existed.

The Oakland police union who have aggressively defended officers in previous misconduct cases have previously enjoyed the mutual agreement between police union and investigators who handed over their notes and reports about a case before conducting a second interview with an officer who is suspected of wrongdoing. The appeals court in their decision puts a halt to the practice saying "handing over records could severely hamper a the investigation of police misconduct . While officers do have a right to obtain a recording of their first interview before they’re interrogated a second time, wrote the justices, they don’t have the right to other records if investigators determine they’re confidential." The case is especially relevant to Oakland, which has two separate offices that investigate police misconduct: Oakland’s Community Police Review Agency, which was created by voters in 2016 and is staffed with civilian investigators who work under the guidance of the Police Commission, and OPD’s Internal Affairs Division, where police investigators work under the supervision of a captain who reports directly to the chief. The two offices are independent of each other and conduct separate but parallel investigations whenever officers are accused of violating city policy.

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  • Evelyne Shuster, Ph.D.

The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. The person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable them to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to them the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon their health or person which may possibly come from their participation in the experiment.

The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.

2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.

3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.

4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.

5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.

7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.

9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.

10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill, and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

The Nuremberg Code is the most important document in the history of the ethics of medical research. The Code was formulated 50 years ago, in August 1947, in Nuremberg, Germany, by American judges sitting in judgment of Nazi doctors accused of conducting murderous and torturous human experiments in the concentration camps (the so-called Doctors' Trial). It served as a blueprint for today's principles that ensure the rights of subjects in medical research. Because of its link with the horrors of World War II and the use of prisoners in Nazi concentration camps for medical experimentation, debate continues today about the authority of the Code, its applicability to modern medical research, and even its authorship. The chief prosecutor at the Doctors' Trial, General Telford Taylor, believed that one of the three U.S. judges, Harold Sebring, was the author of the Code. Two American physicians who helped prosecute the Nazi doctors at Nuremberg, Leo Alexander and Andrew Ivy, have each been identified as the Code's author. A careful reading of the transcript of the Doctors' Trial, background documents, and the final judgment reveals that authorship was shared and that the famous 10 principles of the Code grew out of the trial itself.

In this article I will explain the important role that physicians had in the prosecution of the Nazi doctors and in the formulation of the Nuremberg Code and summarize how medical researchers have used the Code as a guide over the past five decades. The judges at Nuremberg, although they realized the importance of Hippocratic ethics and the maxim primum non nocere, recognized that more was necessary to protect human research subjects. Accordingly, the judges articulated a sophisticated set of 10 research principles centered not on the physician but on the research subject. These principles, which we know as the Nuremberg Code, included a new, comprehensive, and absolute requirement of informed consent (principle 1), and a new right of the subject to withdraw from participation in an experiment (principle 9). The judges adopted much of the language proposed by Alexander and Ivy but were more emphatic about the necessity and attributes of the subject's consent and explicitly added the subject's right to withdraw.

The Nuremberg Code has not been officially adopted in its entirety as law by any nation or as ethics by any major medical association. Nonetheless, its influence on global human-rights law and medical ethics has been profound.6 Its basic requirement of informed consent, for example, has been universally accepted and is articulated in international law in Article 7 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). Informed consent, with specific reliance on the Nuremberg Code, is also the basis of the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, the most recent guidelines promulgated by the World Health Organization and the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (1993).

Urban One Founder and Chairwoman Cathy Hughes announced TV One will air a special episode of its hit autobiographical series UNCENSORED featuring the late rapper DMX. The special is slated to air on Sunday, May 16 at 8 p.m.ET/7C, immediately followed by the annual URBAN ONE HONORS hosted by Erica Campbell and Roland Martin at 9 p.m. ET/8C. It will feature an interview with DMX just three weeks before his passing and is confirmed to be his final and most transparent to date.

"DMX sat down with our team and was completely UNCENSORED,” said Cathy Hughes. “We have one hour with the late rapper in his own words. For DMX to be with us just three weeks before God called him home, I believe it's truly divine intervention. I thank Nikki from SWIRL films for staying the course because he kept telling her 'no', but thankfully we were able to make it happen. His family, fan club, friends, and supporters will be happy with the way he told his story for the last time. The two-part special will air directly before the annual Urban One Honors. I'm particularly excited because I feel like this will be the biggest night in TV One History."

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