Oakland, California has gone through three police chiefs in nine days as the city’s force suffers a maelstrom of scandals in recent weeks.
Oakland Police Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa, the city’s third chief in just over a week, lasted just two days before stepping down. Mayor Libby Schaaf elected Friday to not appoint another acting chief, likening the department to a “frat house.”
Last month, the Oakland Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving officers.
The Police Department did not give many details in a press release. It would later surface that a young woman slept with at least 14 officers from the Oakland Police Department, as well as four other area agencies. Three of them, she claims, she slept with before the age of 18.
The story went public after an Oakland police officer killed his wife, and fellow officers covered his tracks.
The wife’s death was ruled a suicide. Her husband, the police officer, then committed suicide. He revealed in a suicide note that he and other officers had raped and trafficked an underage Latina.
Once the child turned 18, Oakland police officers, and at least one federal officer, paid her for sex, effectively trafficking her. The acts sometimes even took place in the Oakland PD parking lot.
Multiple officers corroborate the story, and text messages exist between the girl and officers. Some shared classified information with her, such as details about forthcoming undercover operations so she wouldn’t get arrested. According to reports, the victim’s mother is a police dispatcher.
Oakland’s Police Department has been under federal oversight since 2003. The oversight was due to come to an end in the coming months.
As the sex trafficking scandal broke, racist text messages between officers surfaced, further underscoring the crisis in the East Bay.