About 200 officers with the Oakland (CA) Police Department gathered outside police headquarters on Wednesday to say an emotional goodbye to police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, who was fired without cause Thursday night after three years on the job.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Kirkpatrick seemed touched by the outpouring of support on short notice, fighting back tears as officers hugged her and gave her flowers.

"I was told many years ago a true leader will know if they are a leader if they look over their shoulder and someone is standing there," Kirkpatrick said. "And I'm looking over my shoulder today and they are standing here. I didn’t just want to be a Chief. I wanted to be a leader."

Kirkpatrick—who began her job in March 2017—said her firing by the Oakland Police Commission and Mayor Libby Schaaf "will destabilize the Police Department and the community."

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