Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Oakland's Police Troubles.......

Oakland Mayor”Schaaf vowed to “root out what is
clearly a toxic, macho, culture” . She has
big a job trying fix the problem.
Nation wide police departments have come under scrutiny . Not as much about the issues of brutality, corruption and  shooting unarmed African -American men . Recently a scandal is just as much brewing that it has attracted national media . For the fourth time in less than two weeks, the police department in Oakland, Calif., is answering to a different leader.The changes have come as the city deals with two investigations involving its officers: a widening sex scandal and a series of racist text messages sent within the department. How this all started . The scandal is a crippling blow to a department that has struggled for decades to win the trust of residents and has been under federal oversight for 13 years in partbecause of failures to adequately hold officers accountable for misdeeds. Dysfunctional police force!??? NO really? How could such a thing happen in this country? After all police departments are such bastions of "good guys" ... so they all adhere to the highest standards of professionalism. Seems the myth is crumbling before our eyes all across this country.The internal affairs investigation revolves around Celeste Guap, who allegedly had sex with more than a dozen police officers starting when she was 16, sources told KPIX5. (1)>>Guap, who is now 18 or 19 and lives in Richmond, California, started revealing details on Facebook suggesting she had illicit encounters with officers – calling the relationships harmless  but insisted that she did not ‘snitch’ on anyone. Not only is that gross. But, then you should call into question every arrest or official document these officers hand their hand in, because during that period they were breaking the law in a serious way. The Oakland Police Department is not the only agency affected by the scandal. An inspector in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office was put on administrative leave in a possible connection, according to ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco.  That prompted (2)>>Mayor Libby Schaaf to mince no words Friday.“As the mayor of Oakland, I am here to run a police department, not a frat house,” she said. “Today continues to be a day where we are sharing disturbing information with you.”Schaaf vowed to “root out what is clearly a toxic, macho, culture” within the city’s (3)>>police department.Racism ? Schaaf also said Friday that the department was close to finishing an investigation into an exchange of racist text messages between officers.The text message inquiry does not involve Figueroa, according to Schaaf , who said that situation was “not as widespread” as the sexual misconduct scandal.According to Schaaf, several African American officers sent and received messages that were “wholly inappropriate and not acceptable from anyone who wears the badge of the Oakland Police Department.” The latest controversy is over racist text messages, such as a text obtained by NBC News that showed a picture of a Ku Klux Klan member on a cereal box. The box message read, “Brad, I heard you got boxes of these in your cupboards” as well as a text using the n-word. Schaaf said that the texting scandal is not widespread throughout the department. Yet racism within the department has been a longstanding issue. Stanford researchers found that during a 13-month period, looking at 28,000 field reports of stops, 17,000 of those stops involved officers halting black people on the street.The department is still under federal oversight after incidents in 2000 where veteran police officers, known as the “Rough Riders,” planted evidence and beat citizens. In 2012, the (4)>>department came under scrutiny from a federal judge for its handling of the Occupy Oakland protests. The department was supposed to engage in a number of reforms since then and had begun to rebuild trust with the public as violent crimes and use-of-force complaints were down, the Mercury News reportedNobody has quite nailed down exactly what caused Oakland’s Police Department to fray. Some, like Ross, blame layoffs in past years, which cut out officers who could have formed the department’s core leadership today. Others blame a recruitment and hiring spree that started under former Mayor Jean Quan — many of the officers currently under investigation were hired between 2012 and 2014, before Schaaf took office. Still others blame the command staff, saying it was too permissive and unwilling to crack down on bad behavior by the rank and file.Some say that macho culture may be an endemic feature of police forces, and that it’s up to city leaders to snuff it out.


(1)>>Guap, who is now 18 or 19. The sex scandal unfurled after the suicide of one of the department’s officers last fall. An 18-year-old woman has since alleged in several media reports that she had sex with that officer and several others from Oakland and other police departments in the area, including some while she was a minor.This is a difficult story to sort out. Certainly the juvenile should not have been involved in prostitution. An even more startling development was that the juvenile's mother was an Oakland police department dispatcher, and that the juvenile apparently started prostitution at age 12. This story has some serious questions. Was the juvenile separated or emancipated from her mother. Why did she have a pimp? Did the police arrest the pimp. Probably the pimp should be a prime target for arrest since they would be involved in sex trafficking. If the police were frequenting a prostitute, they should be held responsible. How closely can police officers be supervised. A police captain may not know all the activities a patrolman is involved in. It may be necessary for some kind of internal affairs investigators to conduct surveillance on the police officers. (2)>>Mayor Libby Schaaf. The Mayor said more :   "As the mayor of Oakland, I'm here to run a police department, not a frat house," Schaaf told a news conference Friday evening.Schaaf said she will not immediately appoint an acting or interim chief. Instead, the command staff will report to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, who will be responsible for personnel and disciplinary decisions."This is the appropriate time to install civilian oversight in this police department," Schaaf told a news conference Friday evening. "I want to assure the citizens of Oakland that we are hell bent on rooting out this disgusting culture."For the past year we have been hearing conservatives cry about how people don't respect the police because they provide such a public service to us. These guys are thugs no better than the criminals they arrest. They give all cops a bad name. Over and over again we see examples of cops shooting people in the back when they are running away. Someone gets it on tape, a grand jury is convened and unbelievably they get off only to have the city pay out millions in damages without admitting any wrong doing. (3)>>police department.Racism?. "Separately, a number of officers have been accused of sending racist texts. The officers in question are black, Reuters reports, and are currently under investigation." Gotta' love it. Were the comments racist about whites? Or Asian-Americans? Or Hispanic-Americans? Or, perhaps, about African-Americans? (4)>>department came under scrutiny from a federal judge.  Oakland has had a checkered past when it comes to human rights violations. Oakland SWAT has been accused of excessive force during the Occupy Oakland protests. They have also been found top employ racially discriminatory tactics. Going back to 2003, Oakland PD has been under the eye of federal authorities stemming from a case of vigilante cops robbing suspects and planting evidence to make cases. Numerous federal reviews have shown that Oakland PD, who was on a kind of “probation”, has not progressed and in recent history has regressed from any developments that may have been on their horizon.

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