Oakland Cops Withholding Records on Massacre

Four months after four of Oakland's Finest were gunned down, their department is still sitting on records that might show why two highly trained SWAT
sergeants died as they hunted for a gunman who had already murdered two
motorcycle officers, writes columnist Tom Peele for the Bay Area News Group.

Oaklanders deserve answers about how things
went so horribly wrong. The police and Mayor Ronald Dellums must be
publicly forthcoming with details regardless of how ugly they may be.

But
a written message that Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan recently sent
out, raises doubts about how transparent — if at all — police will be
about the killings when lengthy investigations are finished.

Jordan
asked officers to close ranks, act like a family, and trust that he
would get to the bottom of what happened: Officers should "seek the
confidence of those who are willing to help and guide us as opposed to
those — the media — who seek to hurt us and discredit us to the public
we are sworn to serve."

The Police Department also has rejected requests — with the backing of the city attorney's office and the county District Attorney — for the 911 tapes and dispatcher broadcasts about the shootings, citing an ongoing investigation.

In
Pittsburgh, Pa., just weeks after the Oakland tragedy, three police
officers were also killed. Within days, news organizations had access
to 911 tapes that showed a horrible error: a dispatcher had failed to
pass on to the responding cops that there were guns in the house.