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Scandals Force Out Third Oakland Police Department Police Chief in 9 Days

Fri June 24 2016 10:55 pm
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The Oakland Police Department has gone through three police chiefs in nine days because of an underage sex scandal and racist texts. CNN’s Sara Sidner reports.

News from the Office Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; An on Oakland Police Department Matters

OAKLAND – Today, Mayor Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth were informed by Assistant Police Chief Paul Figueroa that he is taking leave from his position effective immediately.
He made the following statement: “I have informed the Mayor and the City Administrator that I cannot fulfill the functions of the Acting Chief of Police for the City of Oakland and I am stepping aside to take leave. When I return, I am exercising my right to return to Captain and I will continue to serve the Oakland Community, the
Community I care deeply for. I thank the City for the opportunity and I am deeply sorry that I was unable to fulfill the functions of Acting Chief of Police.”

Mayor Schaaf and City Administrator Landreth have determined that the most appropriate course of action at this time is for the command staff to report directly to the City Administrator while the City is conducting a national search for a new police chief. The tactical and operational decisions will remain with the OPD commanders as they always have. Administrative and personnel decisions will come directly to the City Administrator.

“This reporting structure will reinforce the importance of civilian oversight of the Police Department, especially given the recent revelations of serious misconduct by officers in the Department,” said City Administrator Sabrina Landreth.

Mayor Schaaf also announced that the City of Oakland is on the verge of closing an investigation that centers on racist text messages sent by police officers. “I will notchoose to say anything today that will undermine the City Of Oakland’s ability to impose the maximum discipline in this case,” said Mayor Schaaf.

“As a Mayor of Oakland I am here to run a police department not a frat house,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

“While these reports of misconduct are disturbing, what is positive is that the measures and structures we have put in place to root out this type of behavior, are working. The new Deputy Chief position to review all cases involving serious allegations of misconduct, as well as my recent Executive Order requiring that criminal misconduct be reported immediately to the District Attorney’s Office, are making an impact.”

“Oakland has made incredible progress in safety and progressive reforms, including a more than 40 percent reduction in shootings and homicides and implementation of our body worn camera program, procedural justice training and implicit bias research. And I am angry that this progress has been marred by this scandal.”

“I know that the vast majority of the men and women of the Oakland Police Department are dedicated public servants whose efforts have moved this department forward and made Oakland safer. Once again I recognize that the recent turmoil in the department has been difficult for our employees and has shaken the public trust, but I
remain firmly committed to ensuring the long-term health, stability and effectiveness of a principled, community-oriented Oakland Police Department.”

“I am determined to root out a culture that tolerates unethical behavior.”

“At a time when communities across the country are questioning police culture, it is critical that our officers operate ethically. This is especially important in a community like Oakland, where trust between the police and the community has been broken in the past.”

“I want the residents in Oakland and communities around the country who are watching what is happening to know that we have zero tolerance for this, and while it’s not easy, we will make the lasting change that is needed and deserved.

“I am cleaning house, bringing in outside agencies to ensure the integrity of our investigations and will be merciless in punishing those who are found guilty.”

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