A federal jury Thursday ruled former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was wrongfully terminated and awarded her $337,675 in damages.
The Oakland Police Commission voted unanimously to fire Kirkpatrick in February 2020. In Kirkpatrick's suit, she alleged that she was fired in retaliation for accusing some Oakland Police Commissioners of abusing their power and authority.
Kirkpatrick alleged that she exposed illegal demands that commissioners made of the police department for personal gain, a commissioner making derogatory remarks publicly toward a black public defender, and the commission directing police staff inappropriately, reports KTVU.
The jury had to answer two questions: whether the city of Oakland unlawfully terminated Kirkpatrick for disclosing to the city conduct she had reasonable cause to believe is unlawful, and whether the city violated her free speech rights by terminating her in retaliation for making reports on a matter of public concern.
The jury answered "yes" to the first, and "no" to the second, Courthouse News reports.