Oakland’s Ex-Cop Runs for City Council Seat, Slams Current Conditions

The former Oakland Police Chief who was fired by Mayor Shen Thao last year announced last week that he was running for the City Council.

LeRonne Armstrong filed paperwork at the Oakland City Clerk’s Office last Wednesday to run for the at-large council seat currently held by Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan.

Speaking to reporters outside of City Hall, Armstrong said he had been mulling a run for several months in light of the “dramatic increases in violence” in the city of Oakland, as well as the increasing homeless population.

When asked why he sought the at-large seat on the city council, Armstrong said he had been encouraged to run by “so many people” who live in different areas of Oakland and he thought it was important to “represent the entire city.”

Armstrong added that he could bring his “leadership to the table,” explaining that as the former chief of police, he had “access to community members across the city.”

Armstrong touted his experience as Oakland Police Chief, noting that during his tenure, he balanced the police department budget for the first time in four decades. He explained that he understood how to make use of the funding the police department received and “how to spend money.”

The former top cop also said his experience with the police gave him the expertise to address Oakland’s crime and homeless crises.

A native of Oakland, Armstrong spent more than 20 years on the police force before being named Chief of Police in 2021.

In February 2023, following a report from the city’s independent police monitor that accused him of mishandling two misconduct cases against the same Oakland Police officer, Armstrong was fired by Mayor Thao.

An administrative judge later rejected the allegations against him.

Earlier this year, Armstrong filed a wrongful termination suit against Mayor Thao and the city.