Ex-Black Panther says Oakland councilwoman assaulted her


Former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown has filed a claim against the City of Oakland alleging that she was assaulted last month by Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks at a restaurant in downtown Oakland.

Brown, 72, said in her claim that Brooks, 54, who has been on the City Council for 13 years, “assaulted me in a dispute arising from city business” at the Everett and Jones Barbeque restaurant near Jack London Square at about 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Brown, who headed the Black Panther Party from 1974 to 1977 and now serves as an aide to Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, said she suffered physical and emotional harm as a result of the incident and is seeking more than $10,000 in damages.

The claim is a precursor to a possible lawsuit.

Brown filed a report about the incident with the Oakland Police Department but police didn’t respond Friday to a request on the status of their investigation into the matter.

Brown and Brooks didn’t respond Friday to requests to comment on the complaint.

On her complaint Brown listed her occupation as chief executive of a non-profit organization but didn’t list a specific organization.

Last year Carson and Brown co-founded Oakland and the World Enterprises Inc., which is seeking to transform a vacant West Oakland lot near the BART tracks into an urban farm and high-rise housing development employing former inmates.

Brooks, who served as an aide to Carson before she was elected to the City Council, isn’t a stranger to controversy.

On March 21, 2013, former City Auditor Courtney Ruby issued a report accusing Brooks and City Councilman Larry Reid of interfering with the bidding process for demolition and remediation of the former Oakland Army Base in West Oakland.

On June 24, 2013, the Alameda County civil grand jury issued a report alleging that the city’s development of a teen center in Brooks’ district in East Oakland was “a complete fiasco.” On July 25, 2013, the Oakland City Council considered a motion by former council president Patricia Kernighan that would have censured Brooks for allegedly interfering with the construction and operation of two city recreation centers in her district but ultimately voted not to censure her.

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