Commissioners went on to write: “The video also confirms that at no time did Mr. Pawlik raise the handgun towards the officers or otherwise in a threatening manner towards Officers. Mr. Pawlik attempted to raise his head and sit up by using his right elbow for leverage.”
In May, the Police Commission rejected findings made by investigators for the Community Police Review Agency, which had decided the officers did not violate use of force rules. The agency is the commission’s investigative arm.
Civil rights attorney Jim Chanin, who has been involved in the monitoring the Oakland Police Department for 16 years, said the two decisions are a major development and he cannot remember a case like it.
“It is the first time that we’ve ever had the compliance director, which we’ve had since 2012, overrule the chief of police on a discipline matter,” he said. “And then at the same time, it was the first time that the Police Commission has overruled the chief on a discipline matter. So I think we’re entering a new day.”
Chanin said the commission’s findings are “not good for” Kirkpatrick, noting that the majority of its members were appointed by Mayor Libby Schaaf, who hired the chief following a widespread sexual exploitation case centered in the Police Department.
The commission, “a completely independent body separate from Warshaw, came to virtually the same conclusion that he did which was very, very different from the one that she came to,” Chanin said.
Schaaf was out of the country Wednesday and not available for comment.
“The civilian police commission represents the community’s voice in this issue, and their findings are another step to provide transparency and accountability to all residents,” mayor's spokesman Justin Berton said.