I support this termination. Programs which frame people of color and Muslims as inherently suspicious must end. We should invest in positive measures such as education, restorative justice, and community health.
As a representative of young Black and Brown Muslims in the Bay Area, I fully support this termination. It has been proven time and time again that progress like these do more harm than actually preventing whatever it is they claim to prevent. They are used as guises under which Black and Muslim community members are surveilled, scapegoated, and criminalized. This hurts community members. It's time that Oakland took a stand against policies and partnerships that continue to harm its own community members and taxpayers. We deserve to be invested in and supported, not attacked and mistrusted. We can only continue to grow stronger as a community through love and cooperation, not mistrust and conspiracy.
As a long time Oakland resident, grocery store owner, activist and Arab-Muslim American, I urge the council members to end OPD’s partnership with the JTTF. The FBI has an infamous history for racially profiling, surveilling and criminalizing low income, immigrant, Black, indigenous, Arab, middle eastern, Muslims and South Asians because of our ethnicity and religion. We have unjustly endured this dehumanization for too long. We hope you all will stand on the right side of justice and join cities like Portland and San Francisco when they terminated their contracts with them.
Please end this harmful collaboration with federal law enforcement
As a member of an ethnic trade association that represents many of our small businesses in Oakland, we have far too many examples of redundant enforcement of our communities and our businesses. We have witnessed the unnecessary escalation of regulatory license violations turning into charges with federal, national security implications. We need to end the collaboration with federal bodies that aim to entrap and target our Arab, African, Black, and Asian retailers and the communities they serve.
As a longtime Oakland resident, and in my capacity as the executive director of the Arab Resource & Organizing Centre (AROC), I urge our decision makers to move forward with terminating this partnership with the Joint Terrorism Taskforce for the sake of the health wand well being of all communities. Oakland should follow in the footsteps of San Francisco and stop collaborating with the JTTF. OPD's partnership with JTTF intensifies the already violent and harmful surveillance and policing of Arabs, Muslims, Black, Brown, immigrant, poor and working people of Oakland. Across the country calls to demand prioritizing public health and safety over policing have gained traction. This is one step in that direction.
OPD's partnership with JTTF is a danger especially to your Muslim and POC community members. JTTF's involvement must end now for the sake of community safety and wellbeing.
It's time to end OPD's participation in the JTTF.
I am concerned that recent use of federal law enforcement personnel on the streets of United States' cities has highlighted a delamination from community standards of morality, consequent to a structural lack of local accountability. Events of the year have illuminated enduring systemic obstacles to holding power to account for offenses against the kind of decency, humanity, and presumption of innocence that we expect in our homes and neighborhoods. Moreover, unresolved issues persist about how much the federal government knows about us, and how little we know about the practical extent and use of that knowledge. As an Oakland resident, I believe that Oakland should withdraw from partnership with the JTTF.
JTTF racially profiles Muslim communities in Oakland and beyond. We don't need JTTF in our city! Get JTTF out of Oakland.
This partnership is deeply problematic and contributes to a culture of surveillance and criminalization for our Muslim communities and communities of color. Show Oakland that you hear our demands for real change that contributes to safer communities - end this partnership between OPD and the JTTF program.
As a community advocate for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities in Oakland and the broader Bay Area, I have witnessed the harms and dangers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force program. By tapping into the local police force, the JTTF partnership increases the on-the ground force and local knowledge available to the FBI to harass communities of color, especially Black, Arab, Muslim, and immigrant communities.
In 2017, grassroot and civil rights organizations, along with community support, passed a transparency ordinance in Oakland that requires OPD to follow local and state laws and policies when participating in the JTTF, and to submit an annual report on such activities to the city council for oversight purposes.
However, three years after the ordinance was passed, it is clear that accountability and transparency are not enough. Withdrawal from the JTTF is the only option.
Even with transparency and accountability measures in place, the partnership makes it hard to hold OPD officers participating in the JTTF accountable to the local community. The FBI dictates a lot of what OPD can and cannot share with the public and elected officials.
Therefore, it is important for the PSC and the larger Oakland City Council to ensure community safety, and to do that we must terminate the partnership between OPD and the JTTF program. JTTF does not provide community safety, it only endangers our communities. We urge you to listen to your community's needs!
I echo the sentiment in the letter :
Law enforcement policies and practices should respect constitutional limits; employ reasonable evidentiary standards for initiating investigations and collecting intelligence; prohibit racial profiling and immigration enforcement; and be subjected to independent oversight and public accountability.
Federal laws and guidelines governing FBI investigations do not meet these reasonable requirements, and the FBI fails to allow the transparency necessary to assure Oakland police officers assigned to the JTTF comply with state and local laws, ordinances, and policies.
And so I support terminating participation in the JTFF. Thanks!
Please end the partnership with the JTTC this will only lead to more harassment, racial profiling and discrimination in the community...
The Oakland Police Department's partnership with the JTTC has enabled discrimination and harassment of both Muslim and POC communities. It promotes state surveillance and racial profiling and must end now for the safety of our communities
The Oakland Police Department's partnership with the JTTC has enabled discrimination and harassment of both Muslim and POC communities. It promotes state surveillance and racial profiling and must end now for the safety of our communities!
As a resident of Oakland, I strongly urge you to advocate for the safety of our community and for accountability and to vote to end the partnership between OPD and the FBI's JTTF. The JTTF puts greater power in law enforcement entities that continuously abuse and violate the trust of our community while promoting a culture of lack of transparency, accountability, and--frankly--humanity. These entities are not always held accountable to our local and state laws, and participation may violate Oakland's sanctuary laws through JTTF's collaboration with ICE.
In this time of continued criminalization of communities of color--and exceedingly reckless abuses of power on the federal level--we must stand against measures that endanger our most vulnerable neighbors (including Black and Brown communities that face violent targeting by law enforcement, religious and ethnic communities illegally surveilled by the FBI, and immigrant communities made more vulnerable by recent surges in xenophobic cruelty and fascism promoted at the federal level). Particularly given the recent and continued violations of human rights in ICE detention camps, it is as important as ever that we protect our communities from these dangerous entities, rather than providing them with more power to do their bidding.
Thank you for working to protect the safety of our community by ending the partnership between OPD and the JTTF.
This partnership with the JTTC has allowed for disproportionate discrimination and harassment of Muslim and BIPOC communities. It must end now.
This partnership brings harm to our Muslim community who are suffering for unjust reasons. It must end.
I support ending OPD participation in the JTTF, which has for over a decade violated the civil rights of Arab, Muslim and South Asian American communities in particular and terrorized vulnerable populations through a racialized counterterrorism regime. I have researched this issue as a scholar and also spoken to countless community members in Oakland and the Bay Area whose lives have been devastated by this covert program. It must end!