Five officers with the Oakland Police Department who have been targeted for termination are suing the city and the police commission, claiming that both bodies do not have the legal authority to fire them.
According to KTVU-TV, all the officers were exonerated by six separate investigations following a deadly March 2018 officer-involved shooting of Joshua Pawlik - a homeless man who lay sleeping with a gun in his hand.
Harry Stern—a partner with the law firm Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver—said in a statement, "The court action filed today is a demand for justice. The City of Oakland and its Police Commission abandoned their own rules to unjustly terminate these fine officers. These officers' response to a citizen's call for help regarding an armed suspect in a residential neighborhood was admirable, reasonable and lawful."
The statement continued, "Their actions have been fully investigated and [they have been] unanimously exonerated after over a year of review. The Police Commission ignored the findings of multiple investigations, including their own, and in a blatant display of bias, trampled these officers' rights by unjustly firing them for merely doing their duty. We are going to court to right this wrong."