Police misconduct in Oakland? How to file a complaint.

















article found via Oaklandlocal.com

If you believe you have been mistreated by, or witnessed misconduct by, an Oakland police officer or park ranger, you can file a complaint with the Citizens’ Police Review Board. (More about what CPRB does and how it works.)

Here’s everything you need to file a complaint with CPRB, or directly with the Oakland Police Dept…

File a CPRB complaint

1. Fill out and submit this complaint form. Download the complaint form. Or call the CPRB (510- 238-3159) and request that a complaint form be mailed or faxed to you.

Oakland CPRB complaint form

Complete, sign and mail or fax the complaint form to the CPRB:

Citizens’ Police Review Board
City Hall
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 11th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Fax: 510-238-7084

If you need help filing a complaint: call the CPRB (510-238-3159 or TTY: 510-238-2007). Ask to speak with an investigator. Or visit the CPRB office (City Hall, 11th floor)
What happens after you file a CPRB complaint

After your complaint is file, a civilian complaint investigator will investigate your complaint and prepare an investigative report for the CPRB.

In some cases, CPRB conducts hearings and may make written recommendations to the City Administrator for discipline of officers or rangers.

Finally, the City Administrator decides whether to implement CPRB’s recommendations (called “tolling” the case), to implement them with modifications, or not to implement them.
Another route to complain about police misconduct: Internal Affairs.

You also can file a complaint of police misconduct with the Internal Affairs Division of the Oakland Police Department. Here is that complaint form:

Oakland, CA Police Dept., Internal Affairs: Complaint form for police misconduct

Alternatively, you can call OPD Internal Affairs (510-238-3161) to request that a complaint form be mailed or faxed to you. Or visit the Internal Affairs office (address below) to pick up the form.

Mail your completed complaint form to:

Oakland Police Department, Internal Affairs Division
250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Ste. C
Oakland, CA 94612

What happens after you file a complaint with OPD

According to Internal Affairs:

“If you decide to have your complaint investigated by the Police Department, an investigator will contact you to discuss the complaint. The investigation will be conducted by an investigator of the Internal Affairs Division or by the supervisor of the officer or employee against whom the complaint is made.”Occasionally, the problem actually is with an agency other than the police, or it may be possible that the supervisor or an investigator can explain the officer or employee’s actions to your satisfaction. However, if the complaint is not resolved, the investigator will take a recorded statement from you and provide you with a written copy or taped copy for your records.

“You will be contacted by the assigned investigator within 5 calendar days with the case number of your complaint. The investigator will then interview witnesses, collect evidence, and complete a written report.

“You may contact the investigator at any time to determine the status of your investigation. An internal investigation normally takes up to 120 days. When the investigation is completed, it is reviewed by the Chief of Police. In cases where disciplinary action is appropriate, the Discipline Officer will provide the Chief of Police with a recommendation for discipline.

After the investigation has been completed, evaluated, and endorsed by the Chief of Police, you will be notified of the finding and whether appropriate corrective action has been taken. You will not be notified of the exact discipline imposed.”


According to OPD Internal Affairs, citizens have the following rights in making a complaint of misconduct against an Oakland police officer:

  • Members of the public have a legal right to file complaints, and OPD Internal Affairs is required to accept any complaint you wish to file.
  • You have a right to a written description of this procedure.
  • Any attempt to interfere with, discourage, or deter the exercise of your right to file a complaint will not be tolerated.
  • Any act of retaliation by an employee against a complainant for filing a complaint will not be tolerated.
  • Any attempt to contact you regarding the complaint by an employee named in the complaint as a subject is prohibited unless authorized by you or as part of an agreement to participate in an approved mediation.
  • To protect your rights and to facilitate a thorough investigation, internal investigations are by law confidential.

Great reference tool.  Exercise your right to fair treatment. Don’t be bullied.



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