Statement: City Manager’s Office Response to Independent Investigation of the Berkeley Police Department re: Arrest Quotas and Racial Bias

I am extremely troubled that the City Manager’s Office, who is in charge of the very police department under scrutiny, is releasing details from the independent investigation by telling the media that there were no arrest quotas nor departmental practices of racial bias.

The City’s public information officer, who works for the City Manager, told the media definitively “that the department does not have a practice of racial bias,” and that “the department does not have any arrest quotas.” In addition to the disturbing release of confidential information, these statements draw a conclusion that extends far beyond the scope of the investigation into the bike patrol during a narrow period of October 1, 2019 through November 22, 2020. The public information officer indicated that the one-page summary of the the investigatory process (but not conclusions) were all that could be released publicly but then drew these sweeping conclusions.

It is a breach of protocol and undemocratic to keep the investigation confidential while simultaneously releasing drips of information without context to absolve the department and management. This behavior breeds further mistrust about government and the independent nature of the investigation. 

Kate Harrison
Berkeley City Council