"There is a cost in turnover, but there is also a cost in keeping someone when we're not making progress," Chanin said.
Robert Weisberg, co-chair of Stanford's Criminal Justice Center, said Kirkpatrick had to walk a fine line when trying to meet the demands of the federal monitor.
"It's sad because I think she is a very well-regarded police chief and had a fair amount of trust, from the line officers," Weisberg said. "It seems that she just had trouble navigating her way through the conflicting forces aligned against her."
Both Weisberg and Chanin said whoever steps into the police chief position will have a difficult job.
"You're going to have to do things that some people don't like in order to make this department go in the direction that we want it to go, it's not about pleasing everybody," Chanin said.
Weisberg said the position is an "extremely unattractive job" and a "no-win situation."
"You walk in with a shadow over what you’re doing because you’re walking into a court injunction," he said.
Because she was dismissed without cause, Kirkpatrick may be eligible for a year's salary in severance pay, Schaaf said.
Deputy Chief Darren Allison will serve as acting police chief while Oakland conducts a national search for a permanent replacement for Kirkpatrick.
KQED's Raquel Maria Dillon, Alex Emslie, Marnette Federis, Mina Kim and Tara Siler contributed to this report.