Police Abuse

Three Oakland Police Chiefs Resign Within Nine Days

The long-corrupt department is reeling from scandals involving teen prostitution and racist text messages.

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Oakland Police Department/Facebook

The California city of Oakland has seen three police chiefs resign in just over one week, as the Oakland Police Department (OPD) reels from scandals involving teen prostitution and racist text messaging.  

The first to go, OPD Chief John Whent, was a two-decade veteran of the department. He resigned June 9 amid an ongoing investigation into at least five OPD officers, who were all accused of paying an 18-year-old woman for sex. The sexual activity allegedly began when she was still underage, and came to light following the suicide of OPD officer Brendan O'Brien, the man who helped her get acquainted with other officers. 

While Chief Whent cited "personal" reasons for his resignation, it coincided with him and the department coming under fire for, at least, being clueless about the situation and potentially helping cover it up. 

After Whent's resignation, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf appointed Ben Fairow as interim OPD Chief. But Fairow was subsequently removed from the position after just six days, without a reason given publicly. Paul Figueroa took over in Fairow's wake… then resigned on Friday himself. 

Figueroa's resignation came as the OPD was rocked by yet another scandal: a cache of racist text messages and emails shared between OPD officers. An internal investigation into the messages is now underway. 

Announcing Figueroa's resignation and the new investigation, Schaaf stated Friday: "I am here to run a police department, not a frat house." She would not give details about the texting investigation except to say that it did not involve Figueroa, that the offending texts were sent by black officers, and that they were "wholly inappropriate and not acceptable for anyone who wears the badge of the Oakland Police Department." She also called the overall environment in the OPD "toxic" and "macho." 

Mayor Schaaf chose not to appoint yet another acting police chief, instead placing the department under civilian oversight. Staff will henceforth report directly to the City Administrator until a new police chief is hired. "The tactical and operational decisions will remain with the OPD commanders as they always have," said Schaaf's office in a statement. "Administrative and personnel decisions will come directly to the City Administrator."

While recent "reports of misconduct are disturbing," Schaaf said Friday, "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." 

"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," she added. 

Long plagued by corruption, the OPD has been under federal oversight since 2003. 

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  1. Hard men are good to find.

  2. into at least five OPD officers, who were all accused of paying an 18-year-old woman for sex.

    I thought that was just a job perk?!

    1. They actually paid? I thought it was put out or go to jail.

      1. I was surprised too. They paid? Since when? I thought it was like the freebies shops “offer” cops.

        The sexual activity allegedly began when she was still underage

        This was probably more the problem.

    2. Celeste Guap isn’t free.

      1. (Not her real name)

        You don’t say.

    3. On the local news they keep saying that the cops “had sex with a teenage girl.” Obviously, a big difference than paying an adult for sex, but narratives gotta narrative.

      Again, imagine if they had referred to an 18-year-old woman as a ‘girl’ or a ‘teenager’ in any of their other stories, and the Berkeleyites would be picketing the station for their egregious mistake.

      1. “who were all accused of paying an 18-year-old woman for sex. The sexual activity allegedly began when she was still underage”

        It blows my mind that there are people out there capable of fluently typing in English, who apparently are incapable of reading English. It should be logically impossible that such people exist, but I see plenty of evidence that they actually do exist!!

        1. your mistake is in assuming those people read, and understand, the very text they just wrote. they don’t. conundrum solved.

          1. (my mistake is in not reading my posts until after i post them, leading to posts like these appending a thought i left off.)

    4. According to local reports, there does not seem to have been any actual money exchanged but she was undoubtedly “paid” (for example, the woman allegedly has text messages warning her of sting operations).

  3. It’ll be OK. I’m sure a bunch of racist cops won’t use race as a pretext for unreasonable stops leading to unreasonable searches. The Supreme Court seems to think so.

  4. The long-corrupt department is reeling from scandals involving teen prostitution and racist text messages.

    What’s funny (or sad, really) is most people can look past the teenage prostitution, but the racist text messages are the only thing I’ve seen that can actually get an officer fired.

    Shot an unarmed civilian in the back while he was prostrate upon the ground? The video doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Send a racially insensitive text? Fired.

    1. One of these things everywhere and always shows of forethought (even where none was intended), one of them is a very nuanced and volatile situation in which on-the-ground decisions made within seconds cannot ever be second-guessed, whatever the officer’s intentions.

      1. ^shows malice of forethought

          1. For all intensive porpoises, maybe.

            1. This is what I get for trying to say things to people.

  5. “following the suicide of OPD officer Brendan O’Brien, the man who helped her get acquainted with other officers. ”

    It’s not called trafficking when a cop does it?

    1. The girl is the daughter of someone who works OPD dispatch. Thin blue line indeed.

      1. Just helping a working girl make ends meet.

        Not a pimp. Not a pimp at all.

  6. “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,” she added.

    Someone needs to acquaint herself with the union contract.

    1. By “merciless” she means suspended with pay.

      1. By which anyone else means “paid vacation”.

      2. By which anyone else means “paid vacation”.

  7. “I am here to run a police department, not a frat house.”

    Clearly, we still aren’t Title IX-ing hard enough.

  8. She also called the overall environment in the OPD “toxic” and “macho.”

    Moxic? Tacho?

    I assume there were plenty of text messages that included some variation of ” Libby Schaaf” and “would,” and I find that behavior absolutely appalling.

    Grow up! “Boys will be boys” is no longer a legitimate excuse!

    1. “Boys will be boys girls” is no longer a legitimate excuse!

      FIFY

    2. This is a ‘would’ I can agree with you on.

  9. And all of this going on under the watchful eyes of the feds. tsk tsk

    1. Maybe they were being overseen by the Secret Service.

      1. We need some watcher watcher watchers to watch the watcher watchers.

  10. So, what’s the retirement package for a Chief? I’m willing to do the job for a few days.

  11. RE: Oakland Police Chiefs Resign Within Nine Days

    Is this what they mean by Oakland’s finest?

    1. Celeste Guap is Oakland’s finest.

      1. Googles and reviews some images.

        God! The frightful tatoos; the vacuous expression; the vibe that she carries about 15 different forms of VD including electro-gonorrhea (aka the noisy killer).

        If that’s Oakland’s finest, I imagine Oaklandites find the women of Britain to be all gorgeous!

        1. She looks like the type of woman a group of stupid, racist cops would pay to have sex with. Of course, this should not be about her looks.

          1. *looks around*

            Then what should it be about?

            1. Hypocrisy, corruption, and love, and necessarily in that exact order.

              1. Hypocrisy, corruption, and love, A SugarFree Anthology

                On Shelves This Fall!

      2. I stand corrected.

  12. “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,” she added.”

    To believed when seen.

    1. To be believed when seen.

      I blame soccer.

      1. Sort of related – when soccer becomes a serious sport in America, it will be time for me to make my exit from this world.

    2. will be merciless in punishing those who are found guilty

      Merciless to the no one who will be found guilty.

      Sounds good though, don’t it?

  13. What’s apparent to me is that the only solution politicians have to police scandals is forcing whoever is in charge at the time to resign. This seems to be very common in the bureaucracy, as well. At what point do the resignations reflect poorly on the person doing the hiring? How does a guy who just got the job a few days prior have any responsibility for whatever new scandal boils to the surface?

    And cops are civilians. I know they like to pretend otherwise, but the only government employees who aren’t citizens are soldiers and that’s because they given up rights while serving and have the UCMJ. Fuck these scum.

    1. How does a guy who just got the job a few days prior have any responsibility for whatever new scandal boils to the surface?

      I’m guessing these internal promotions turned out to be guys who were actually implicated in the scandals.

      1. It says above that the racist messages didn’t involve the new guy. Even if they were involved, I refer people back to “at what point do the resignations reflect poorly on the person doing the hiring?”

        1. “at what point do the resignations reflect poorly on the person doing the hiring?

          I would suggest that it goes even further: Those who created the standards for the job, and those who ratified the standards. For sure, it does come back on those who have say-so in the hiring process, but they are going by some sort of written guideline.

    2. Don’t fuck them. Celeste has been fucking them, and you don’t know what they’ve caught from her (or, for that matter given to her).

  14. The sexual activity allegedly began when she was still underage, and came to light following the suicide of OPD officer Brendan O’Brien…

    Now he’s a good cop…

  15. Long plagued by corruption, the OPD has been under federal oversight since 2003.

    13 fucking years of oversight, and sex trafficking was happening under their watch. When was the last time the feds didn’t fuck something up?

    1. I’m just going to guess that federal oversight means they have to file some extra paperwork every year.

      1. And a couple more union jobs for overseers, then one or two for the liaison to the overseers.

    2. That just means the people in charge of oversight need someone overseeing them!

      1. It’s overseers all the way down.

  16. “Long plagued by corruption, the OPD has been under federal oversight since 2003.”

    Was not Gov. Jerry Brown mayor of Oakland from 1999-2007? I am sure he did everything he could then clean up the corruption.

  17. “Long plagued by corruption, the OPD has been under federal oversight since 2003.”

    Was not Gov. Jerry Brown mayor of Oakland from 1999-2007? I am sure he did everything he could then clean up the corruption.

    1. In my former job I had to attend a meeting with the Oakland Police Chief on a quarterly basis. Virtually every quarter, even during Brown’s tenure, it was a different Chief. They change them all the time, just usually not three in one week, that’s a bit excessive for them.

      1. Virtually every quarter, even during Brown’s tenure, it was a different Chief.

        Perhaps the OPD is actually set up as an anarcho syndicalist commune, and they take turns acting as a chief executive of the week.

        1. I was hoping for the Boondocks prison riot scene, but should have paid attention to the moistened bint offered in response instead.

    2. 2007 is ancient history. No one cares about what happened that long ago.

  18. “In the Oakland Police Department (OPD) reels from scandals involving teen prostitution and racist text messaging.”

    Notice, when the police department isn’t the subject of the story, the preferred terms is “sex workers”. When a cop is involved, it’s “teen prostitution”.

    Oh, and am I to understand the “teen prostitution” in question involved a woman who was over 18 years old?

    Somebody help me get the nomenclature down.

    When the police are involved, it’s “teen prostitution” if the woman is 18 or 19 years-old. I suppose that means we aren’t talking about a child unless we see the signal “child prostitution”–and that’s still only when the cops are involved.

    When the cops aren’t involved, they’re all “sex workers”–no matter their age?

    Do I have all that right?

    And I thought word games were just for progressives.

    Call them whatever you want. I think I’ll start calling them Virgin Marys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqVdKRa0g2s

    Virgin Mary was tired

    1. am I to understand the “teen prostitution” in question involved a woman who was over 18 years old?

      I assume it has something to do with the fact that the sex started when she was still underage. FTA:

      The sexual activity allegedly began when she was still underage…

      I know, only fagz read the articles.

      1. Yeah I don’t get the ignorance about that, the underage part has been getting big mentions in every report on this.

      2. I know, only fagz read the articles.

        Someone just emerged from the commenter closet.

    2. “I’ll start calling them Virgin Marys.”

      You want to be insulting?

      How about this: SouthPark and Game of Thrones both suck and their fans suck, too.

      1. Actually, it was a reference to the Bauhaus song I linked.
        (They’re covering John Cale).

        Virgin Mary was tired
        So tired
        Tired of listening to gossip
        Gossip and complaints

        They came from next door

        And a bewildered stream of chatter
        From all sorts of
        All sorts of
        Untidy whores

        Came from next door
        Came from next door

        But some men are chosen from the rest
        But their disappointment runs with their guests
        Never would be invited to the funeral rosegarden

        But their choice don’t seem to matter
        They got swollen breasts and lips that putter
        And their choice of matter and their scream of chatter
        Is just a little parasitic scream of whores

        Screaming whores
        In the rosegarden funeral of sores

        Virgin mary was tired
        So tired of listening to gossip
        Gossip and complaints
        In the
        In the
        Rosegarden
        Rosegarden funeral of sores

        http://tinyurl.com/jk6k5vu

        1. Okay, but before I do, just wanted to be clear that the point was supposed to be irony.

          If she’s gonna play word games, I can make up absurd names for things, too.

          1. Or rather John Cale can.

            1. Too deep for me…if I was oversensitive I apologize.

    3. Wow!! Two people who can type English and cannot read it in one comment thread!! That’s!! Actually remarkably common…

      1. “The first to go, OPD Chief John Whent, was a two-decade veteran of the department. He resigned June 9 amid an ongoing investigation into at least five OPD officers, who were all accused of paying an 18-year-old woman for sex.”

        So the problem isn’t that they paid an 18-year-old woman for sex?

        And the problem isn’t that she was a “teen”; it’s that she was a child?

        All of them paid a child for sex? One of them paid a child for sex? Some of them paid for sex when she was over 18 only–and hence she’s a “teen prostitute”?

        Cops shouldn’t consort with prostitutes, but that isn’t really the issue, is it.

        Paying an 18-year old woman for sex isn’t the coolest thing you can do, either, and it’s illegal. But that isn’t the issue here, is it. Why are we talking about the woman being 18?

        1. goalpost re-positioning, 10yd penalty.

          1. No repositioning.

            I read that they were accused of paying an 18 year old for sex–and while paying someone so young for sex won’t win you a humanitarian award from me, I’m not sure that should be illegal.

            I missed the next line about how the relationship allegedly began before she was 18.

            No question about that.

            That’s a big allegedly. The only quotes I’ve seen about that part haven’t been substantiated yet.

        2. Cops shouldn’t consort with prostitutes, but that isn’t really the issue, is it.

          You know who else consorted with prostitutes?

    4. Oh, and am I to understand the “teen prostitution” in question involved a woman who was over 18 years old?

      Article said she was underage at the time. I concluded that meant under 18 at the time.

  19. Wrath of Preet

    Corruption probe nets NYC police officers, businessman

    A criminal complaint said Reichberg, 42, and a real estate investor, Jona Rechnitz, provided lavish benefits to top New York Police Department officials, including Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant.

    In exchange, prosecutors said, Reichberg and Rechnitz had Grant, 43, and Harrington, 50, on call to provide police escorts, special access to parades, the ability to get out of tickets and help with gun license applications.

    “They got, in effect, a private police force for themselves and their friends,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a news conference on Monday.

    ….The case stemmed from one of several overlapping state and federal investigations that have led to about a dozen police officers being disciplined and to scrutiny of De Blasio’s fundraising.

    Basically, lift a rock?, and SHOCKER lots of things are crawling around underneath.

    1. Bribing the cops for a gun license is like bribing the censor for a license to print your pamphlet.

      1. You may as well prosecute people for applying for gun licenses in the first place, since that’s just as illegal and extortionate.

    2. I don’t believe anything coming out of Preet Bahra’s office.

      He’s been so willfully dishonest and disingenuous–I can’t even root for him when he’s doing something I like.

      His latest response to the Ulbricht appeal was so pathetic, it’s hard to take anything he says or does seriously anymore.

      Watching Preet Bahara go after corrupt police officials is like watching Apartheid era South Africa fight a war against the gulag era Cubans in Angola. I’m not rooting for anybody.

      A pox on both their houses.

      1. I don’t believe anything coming out of Preet Bahra’s office.

        I believe everything that comes out of that office, which is full of good, honest, physically attractive people who are following the example that Super Beefcake Preet has set.

    3. One of them fornicated with a prostitute on a private jet to and from Vegas.

      1. Is the Mile High Club illegal now?

      2. One of them fornicated with a prostitute

        What else are you supposed to do with em?

        1. Maybe she can play the piano.

          Have an intellectual conversation about Proust.

          1. You’d be surprised to learn how many sex workers have degrees in just about every field these days. Many women use their earnings in sex work to put themselves through school so they don’t end up with student loans that take forever to repay.

            Many of my colleagues not only play the piano, they also make films (and not porno, either), write books, create art, sculpt, etc. We even read Reason… and vote libertarian.

            1. If you’re *the* Norma Jean Almodovar…the situation you describe indicates that the feds should reconsider their whole policy of underwriting dubious educational choices by pushing millions of young people into college and debt bondage for little clear benefit.

              They might also consider legalizing employment skills testing – legalizing it so unambiguously that nobody will be able to find any excuse to call it racist unless a racist *motive* can actually be proved.

            2. When somebody makes a sarcastic remark about what somebody might do with a sex worker in a private jet, it really shouldn’t offend anybody to see a sarcastic response.

              I can tell you take this issue very seriously. As libertarians, we’re used to being kicked around, and you’ll find a particular brand of gallows humor fairly common around here. Sometimes it gets out of hand, and it certainly isn’t intended to offend anyone–and if I offended you or someone you know, I apologize.

              I should say. . . except for Tony. We are trying to offend Tony, but you probably don’t know him.

              Anyway, you’ll also find that almost all of us are very serious about wanting to see sex work legalized and the rights of sex workers protected rather than abused–by everyone from the black market to the police.

              1. “Anyway, you’ll also find that almost all of us are very serious about wanting to see sex work legalized and the rights of sex workers protected rather than abused–by everyone from the black market to the police.”

                That being said, I’m not sure these officers are guilty of what they’re being accused of. I’ve seen scant evidence that they knew the sex worker was underage, and to my mind, sex work shouldn’t be illegal, so the really serious charge to me is that this sex worker was underage.

                In a better world where sex work was legal and sex workers’ rights were protected, I don’t suppose a cop having a relationship with a sex worker while he was off duty would be any more serious than him (or her) having a beer.

    4. I love the story about the Bronx cops who protested when some of their brethren were busted for fixing tickets. They considered it a job perk, and were outraged that it would be taken from them.

  20. Being chief of the OPD is considered a dead-end utterly thankless job in the Bay Area. The corruption is so entrenched that even if you wanted to do “good” it would be utterly impossible and the corrupt bureaucracy would push you out in no time.

    Putting it under the direct oversight of another agency is probably the best option at this point.

    1. The Alameda County Sheriff’s office?

      They were implicated in the scandal too.

  21. “Nothing to see…there is no there there”

    (apologies to Gertrude Stein)

  22. Wait a minute… you’re saying there is corruption in Oaktown? Get the fuck out!

  23. “…But Fairow was subsequently removed from the position after just six days, without a reason given publicly…”

    Rumor says he had an affair. You know, what Bubba did more times than Hillary can count.

    1. In Bill’s defense, Eleanor Mondale was quite the sultry vixen.

  24. Speaking of the “Racist Tweets”….

    why is it when a private citizen says something untoward, its re-printed ad nauseum, but when cops do it, you can’t find anyone to quote the actual comments?

    And another thing – these were private communications… text-messages between co-workers; is the idea that everything people say in private is subject to oversight by the Mayor?

    Some of the officers being investigated were “engaging in hate speech,” and others were “tolerating it” by receiving offensive messagesand not reporting them , Schaaf said

    Even better! you’re equally guilty if someone other than you commits a thought crime, and you fail to report them.

    One text obtained by NBC news showed an image of a Ku Klux Klan member on a cereal box with the message, “Brad, I heard you got boxes of these in your cupboards.” Another text appeared to show the word, “N?.”

    “words we can’t say!” – except when we can.

    Why is this a scandal? Its a scandal because we have empowered “selective outrage”.

  25. “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,” she added.

    Translation: I’m here to pay lip service to all of the people hat have been fucked over. And I’ll be sure the union knows every,single detail of everything I’m looking into,so they can make,sure these officers have a chance to get their stories straight when they speak to people from other agencies. And would love.to see them punished but I will still allow as many officers to pack courtrooms in uniform when their brothers are on trial.

  26. I had this friend in Redondo. When he was in high school, there was this girl he had a big crush on. He used to pick her up in his hot rod and give her a ride to school everyday. He kept trying to get the courage up to make a move.

    Then it came out that she was doing pr0n. Yeah, it was Traci Lords. He had been too shy to make a move on Traci Lords. Can you imagine how frustrating that is? She’s banging strangers on film, and you’re stuck in her friend zone.

    I believe Traci had a fake ID. They were easy to get back then. You just showed up at the DMV with a birth certificate. Any birth certificate would do. How were the guys in the film supposed to know her true age?

    I bet these cops didn’t bang this “sex worker” specifically because she was under 18. I bet they didn’t know. This one’s legal, that one’s jail bait? How do you know? You ask them. They say they’re 18. What are you supposed to do?

    You shouldn’t be anywhere near a prostitute unless you’re booking her if you’re a cop, that’s what you’re supposed to do, but I think cops are around prostitutes a lot more than the average person. I suppose it’s natural that people talk business. Why are there so many hookers around airports? Part of it has to do with opportunity. Guys are on business trips. They have opportunity.

    We might be reading a story about unfair this all is if this weren’t about a cop–and they were being put on the sex offender registry.

    1. “I had this friend in Redondo.”

      Just to be clear, I don’t mean I knew anybody in the subject of this story.

      I mean, I had a friend in Redondo Beach.

      I meant “this friend” as in “This guy” walks into a bar with a Mexican lesbian and a parrot”.

      1. You don’t believe that this cop mistook a two year old for someone over 18, do you? http://www.theledger.com/artic…..=hootsuite

        1. Yes, that’s exactly what my post says.

          It’s says that cops couldn’t tell the difference between a two year-old and an 18 year-old.

          It’s all there in black and white.

    2. Yes, they did know she was a minor. She told them. And cops frequently have sex with minors… including the Explorer Scouts (male and female). Many cops like very young children. A list of pedophile cops can be found on policeprostitutionandpolitics.com under http://policeprostitutionandpo…..&Itemid=50 “

      1. Where does it say they knew she was a minor?

        From the linked LA TImes article, it only says:

        “The Oakland department is currently reeling from allegations that officers were having inappropriate relationships with a teenage sex worker, possibly while she was underage.”

        That’s all I see.

        Nowhere does it say she told them she was a minor.

        If you have a link stating otherwise, I’d love force myself to look at it.

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