Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Wednesday that four officers will be terminated and seven will face suspension over their alleged involvement in a sexual misconduct scandal that made national headlines earlier this year, reports The Los Angeles Times.
“I want to send a clear message to the victims of sexual abuse and exploitation living in our city. We see you. We hear you, and we are here to help you,” Schaaf said during a news conference. “And to those who exploit these victims and profit or take pleasure in their pain, we see you too.”
Two of the officers resigned and three others were placed on administrative leave when the scandal broke, writes the news outlet.
In June, a 19-year-old who goes by the name Celeste Guap alleged in a televised interview that she engaged in sexual acts with a dozen police officers in the Oakland Police Department. She claims that some of the encounters occurred while she was underage, and that she had sex on several occasions in exchange for information regarding prostitution raids. Guap reportedly told authorities that she also had sex with officers from neighboring police departments.
According to The Times, the Oakland officers were found guilty of the following: administrative charges of attempted sexual assault, engaging in lewd conduct, assisting in the crime of prostitution and accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain, and a slew of other offenses.
The seven suspended officers failed to report ongoing sexual misconduct and other crimes. An eighth officer was ordered to attend counseling and training. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the officers can appeal the charges through grievance procedures.
Schaff’s announcement comes after the findings of a year-long internal investigation. She refused to name any of the involved; state law protects identifying officers if they are implicated in internal disciplinary hearings. The Alameda County district attorney’s office is expected to complete a criminal investigation “relatively soon,” Schaff said.
According to the Times, Guap was sent to a Florida rehab facility funded by the OPD. She faced many challenges and was charged with attacking a security guard at the rehab facility. The police department fielded questions surrounding Guap’s departure, as she is a key witness in a major investigation.
The department has seen several shakeups in the past few months; three police chiefs have departed, including Sean Whent, who was credited for improving the Oakland Police Department. After the third departure, Schaff placed the department under the watch of City Administrator Sabrina Landre.
According to The Times:
Oakland’s Police Department was placed under a federal consent decree in 2003 in order to settle a lawsuit that involved allegations of rampant abuse and biased enforcement by city officers.
Oakland Police To Fire 4 Officers, Suspend 7 Involved In Sex Scandal was originally published on newsone.com