Oakland Police Announce and Rescind Warehouse Policy

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Oakland’s assistant police chief ordered officers Thursday to immediately begin reporting unpermitted parties and illegally converted warehouses to their superiors — but in an erratic about-face, city officials rescinded the policy four hours later, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Assistant Police Chief David Downing sent a directive about 2 p.m. to the rank and file telling them to inform supervisors when they come across unsanctioned structures or events.

But City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, who oversees the police department, sent a brief statement around 6 p.m. saying the directive was sent prematurely and that the city was still working on a policy. Now, the police are back to having no policy on how to deal with potential hazards they see while on calls. Questions over what officers do when they come across dangerous properties were raised last week after newly released city documents showed that officers had been in and out of the Ghost Ship warehouse on many occasions in the years before the building burned Dec. 2, killing 36 people during an unpermitted music event.

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