Oakland Police Officer Detains Black Firefighter At Firehouse
By Michael McLaughlin
An African-American firefighter accused a white police officer of racial profiling for detaining him and his two young sons at an Oakland fire house last month.
But the Oakland Police Department on Wednesday released video of the standoff and cleared the cop of wrongdoing. The unnamed officer was “within policy” for the way he stopped off-duty fireman Keith Jones and his children on Aug. 15, according to a statement from the department.
The video was recorded by a camera worn on the officer’s uniform and contains footage from the moment the officer encounters Jones and his 9- and 12-year-old sons at the entrance to the darkened station in East Oakland shortly before 11 p.m.
"Put your hands up. Get your hands up!," the officer says. "Turn around."
Jones, 43, begins explaining that he is an Oakland fireman at another station and was there to shut a door that had been left open. No one else is in the building, according to Jones. One of his sons can be heard crying.
"It’s okay," Jones tells him.
The officer apologizes after checking Jones’ identification.
"You can put your hands down, kids. Sorry bout that," says the officer. "You can relax too."
The Oakland Police said that it shared the video because of “our commitment to transparency.”
Officer found Jones, because the Fire Department alerted the police department that the building might have been left unsecured, according to police statements. KPiX reports a fire crew forgot to lock up when they responded to an emergency call.
Last week, Jones told CBS San Francisco that he felt that his life was in danger because the officer was biased.
“I’m pretty much thinking he was going to shoot me,” Jones told the station. “If we were white, I truly believe he would not have approached my kids that way.”
The officer’s hand was on his gun and he was in a crouched position during the tense moments, Jones said.
HuffPost was unable to reach Jones.