Ousted Police Chief Makes Bid For Dem City Council Seat, Slams ‘Embarrassing’ Conditions

(Screenshot/YouTube/ KPIX | CBS NEWS BAY AREA)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong announced his bid Wednesday morning for a spot on the Oakland City Council, slamming the current city’s “embarrassing” conditions.

Armstrong, 51, filed his paperwork for the already crowded City Council’s at-large seat to represent the entire city, stating in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that not only was the opening his “opportunity,” but that the current state of Oakland is “unacceptable.” (RELATED: ‘I Can’t Afford To Wait’: Blue City Residents Join Gun Club In Droves For Self-Defense As Crime Rises)

“The public has been very clear that they wanted to see me continue to serve in the city of Oakland,” the former chief said. “This was my opportunity.”

“The way our city looks right now is something that is embarrassing,” he added.

Running up against eight other candidates, Armstrong is seeking to run on public safety while hoping to highlight the city’s budget crisis and skyrocketing homelessness, according to SF Chronicle.

“Those images that are out there about the city don’t fairly represent what Oakland is all about. And really, trying to beautify this city so that the image of it can be what I see, which is a beautiful city that is not like any other in this state,” Armstrong stated to a press pool Wednesday.

The former police chief was fired last February by Democratic Mayor Sheng Thao following an investigation that claimed he allegedly mishandled two cases involving his officers. However, an independent arbitrator later cleared Armstrong of the alleged wrongdoings, allowing him to file a lawsuit against the city for wrongful termination, according to ABC7 News.

While Armstong currently lives in District 7 and does not have prior legislative experience, the former police chief told reporters Wednesday he led one of the largest departments in the city with the largest budget. Supporters of Armstrong have already begun to vocalize their support for the former police chief, including Oakland’s NAACP chapter. Executive committee member of the city’s organization, Robert Harris, stood by Armstrong’s side Wednesday as he told reporters that the city’s problems led back to public safety.

“Businesses are leaving because of public safety. People are afraid to go to out on the street because of public safety,” Harris said. “So, if you look at the overall issue, Chief Armstrong, in my opinion, is clearly best person to be on the city council.”