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2nd Reading of Oakland’s JTTF ordinance
October 3, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
ACTION ALERT: Show your support for a new law to help
protect the community from Donald Trump’s FBI!
This Tuesday, October 3rd, the Oakland City Council will be having a second reading on a law that will make sure that local police working with the FBI follow strong California and local laws that protects us, not weak federal law that lets the FBI profile us. The ordinance is on the Consent File and is Item #7 on the agenda.
What is the JTTF?
The Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”) is a partnership between the local police and the FBI. It takes local officers and cross-deputizes them as FBI agents; that means they are both local officers and FBI agents at the same time. The problem is, those local officers then start following the FBI’s rules instead of stronger local and state law.
What Would This Law Do?
This law is very simple, and essentially says, ‘this is our house, so you have to play by our rules.’ It says that if the Oakland Police Department (“OPD”) wants to be in the JTTF, they have to make sure OPD officers follow local and state laws when they participate in the JTTF. If they do not follow local and state law, then they cannot be in the JTTF.
How will this protect our communities?
The FBI has almost no rules stopping them from harassing, visiting, and questioning people, even when they know the person has not done anything wrong. This is why so many Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (“AMEMSA”) community members are visited so often by the FBI. But the local police cannot do those things! California and local law says that local police have to have a reason to think someone is involved in crime before they can investigate them.
The FBI is only able to surveil and harass us so well and so often because of the help of local officers; they don’t have enough staff or knowledge of our community to do that on their own. If we stop our local officers from helping the FBI doing this kind of dirty work, our local work can have national impact. We may not be able to completely stop Trump’s FBI from racially profiling us, but we can definitely make sure that they don’t use our police officers and our tax dollars.
This law does not stop OPD from getting FBI help to solve real crimes. Even if OPD was not in the JTTF at all, they would still be able to work with the FBI when there is a real reason to think someone was involved in crime. Many cities do that without a JTTF. But if we are going to have our officers work full time with the JTTF, we have to make sure they follow the same laws that every other OPD officer has to.
With Donald Trump in office, things are only going to get worse, so this protection is more important than ever! We remember his promise to surveil our mosques and treat us all as suspicious. This law fights back. We may not be able to completely stop him from profiling us, but we can definitely make sure he doesn’t use our local resources or officers to do it.
What You Can Do!
The last step to getting this law passed is getting the Oakland City Council to vote on this law. They are discussing this at their next meeting on Tuesday, October 3rd Go to Oakland City Council Chamber, 3rd Floor, at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, California, 94612. Contact us with questions!