Calif. chief's 'police brutality' spam filter scrutinized

An email regarding an upcoming court case was missed due to a spam setting for messages about 'Occupy Oakland'

By PoliceOne Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland police chief accidentally missed emails about an upcoming court case because he had set a spam filter  redirecting emails with the subjects  “police brutality” and “Occupy Oakland.”

Last month, Chief Howard Jordan appeared in court after police monitor Robert Warsaw sent him an email with the subject: "Disciplinary actions – Occupy Oakland" that went unread, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The correspondence related to the potential federal takeover of the department, which Oakland officials say would be an unprecedented move.

Police have received numerous excessive force accusations since the Occupy protests last year. Two days after one of the most highly publicized encounters,  Jordan had instructed his IT staff to prevent him from reading unsolicited messages from the public, according to a court-ordered city investigation cited by the Guardian.

The redirected messages included any with subjects reading “Occupy Oakland,” “police brutality,” "stop the excessive police force," or “respect the press pass," according to The Independent. 

In December,  the case goes to San Francisco’s federal judge Thelton Henderson, who appointed Warsaw and could remove Jordan as chief.

"It was never my intention to ignore the monitor," Jordan said in his declaration.

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