An organization specializing in high-risk police situations will begin a study of Oakland police SWAT policies and procedures to assist in implementing recommendations made by an independent board that found many tactical law-enforcement errors in the March 21 fatal shootings of four officers by a parolee, reports the Oakland Tribune. The California Association of Tactical Officers had offered to do an assessment soon after the shootings, but the Police Department wanted to wait until the board’s report was completed. The report was written by James K. “Chips” Stewart, a police consultant and former Oakland police captain.
The report, released Wednesday, was highly critical of police commanders’ decisions March 21, particularly as they related to the decision to “prematurely” send SWAT officers into an apartment where an armed parolee was hiding after he had fatally shot two motorcycle officers during a traffic stop. The parolee, Lovelle Mixon, then killed two SWAT officers before he was killed. Police Chief Anthony Batts, a former SWAT team leader when he was a Long Beach, Ca., officer, said, “I concur with all the findings.” He said the department is moving quickly to deal with the recommendations. Mayor Ron Dellums commended the department for releasing the report and taking “another step in the healing process” for the city, the department and the officers’ families.