Oakland mayor fires police chief for 'serious flaws in disciplinary process'

Armstrong was the city's seventh police chief in as many years. 
LeRonne Armstrong, July 18, 2022, Oakland, Calif.

Oakland, California, Mayor Sheng Thao fired the city's police chief for allegedly calling officer misconduct "mistakes" and having "serious flaws" in the officer disciplinary process. 

Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong's dismissal on Wednesday comes after an external probe last year stated that he "committed violations of his duties and responsibilities" in the investigation of a sergeant involved in a fender-bender hit-and-run incident with his patrol car. In a separate incident, the officer fired his service gun in the police headquarters elevator, The Associated Press reported.

Armstrong "said that officers made 'mistakes.' He publicly stated that the sergeant involved in a vehicle collision was held accountable, disregarding the independent investigator’s findings of serious flaws in the disciplinary process," Thao, a Democrat who took office last month, said in a statement about her decision to separate Armstrong from the department without cause.

"I can say that it is clear to me that there are systemic issues the City needs to address, and that we cannot simply write them off as 'mistakes,'" Thao said. 

The Oakland Police Department has been under federal oversight since 2003 after four officers were charged with excessive force, planting evidence, making false arrests and other related crimes.

Armstrong was the city's seventh police chief in as many years.