Oakland Mayor Thao rejects list of police chief candidates

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The search for Oakland’s new police chief continues as the city’s mayor, Sheng Thao, rejected the list of candidates presented to her by the Oakland Police Commission. 

Thao’s office confirmed on Wednesday that she had requested a new list from the commission. 

“Mayor Thao has requested a new list of candidates from the Oakland Police Commission. The Oakland Police Chief leads a critical component of the Mayor’s comprehensive community safety strategy. Mayor Thao thanks the Oakland Police Commission for their continued service and looks forward to working with the commissioners to select the best possible candidate for Oakland,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

Since February, Oakland has not had a police chief following Thao’s firing of LeRonne Armstrong. 

Armstrong was fired after investigations showed misconduct by Oakland Police Department officers. 

He was later exonerated by a hearing officer after reviewing the circumstances around his termination. 

In October, the commission submitted a list of seven candidates to Thao. Armstrong confirmed he was among those candidates. 

“It is unfair that I am unable to continue to serve and protect the people of Oakland. As a native of Oakland, nothing gave me greater pleasure and pride than to work in my community and fight to improve it,” he said in a statement.

The other people on the list are unknown. 

In September, Thao said she would call for a state of emergency if three candidates were not submitted to her by the end of the year. 

The police commission sent the following statement to the press:

“We respect the Mayor’s decision to ask for a new list of candidates. The Oakland Police Commission will continue to perform our duty under the City Charter to review candidates and provide recommendations to the Mayor. The commission will work collaboratively and diligently with the Mayor to find exceptional candidates for Oakland.”


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.