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Comment Archives: Last 30 Days

Re: “How the Oakland Police Underage-Sex Scandal Made Its Way onto Facebook and Instagram

Having just listened to the Mayor's press conference, I offer the following follow-up/leads in your reporting:

1) Mayor Schaaf says tonight that the sex scandal investigation is almost over....Not so's not all about the officers involved with Ms. plain sight, an obviously frustrated Councilman Gallo has made repeated public references (latest at 6/14 Council public safety ctee hearing) to service workers finding condums, often, in cop cars brought in for service/cleaning at International Blvd. car shops on International Blvd. This stuff has been going on with more than one sex worker. Dig for facts that would require the City to keep investigating.....because I'd say there's a 90% chance there's more, much more...

2) Mayor Schaaf also says that putting City Administrator in direct charge of OPD is "civilian oversight "of OPD. It's not---it's just more direct, temporary City Administration oversight of OPD, the status quo.....the CA already oversees OPD. Real, independent oversight is in a proposed Charter Amendment approved by Council Public Safety Committee.......

3) Throughout the last few weeks, the Mayor has been bemoaning how little she can say about personnel changes and investigationsdue to the Police Officers Bill of Rts, as expanded by CA Supreme Court in Copley v. Superior Court.....But our City leaders did nothing to support a bill changing that law (SB 1286, Leno) and the bill was quietly killed by Senate leaders on May 27 for political/election reasons. As a result our State and local government remains under the thump of police unions and they, are stiffled in holding police accountable and the public has no idea what police managers and city officials are doing, not doing. The Mayor can be frustrated about existing law, she should be embarrassed for doing nothing to support the Leno bill. I can only assume that the silence on SB 1286 is directly related to keep on good terms with the 800 llb. politicl gorilla of Oakland politics, the OPOA.....

4) Your story above about the officer who was relating to sex workers while heading up OPD's "special victims unit".....exhibit 1 of the wrong cop to be heading an SVU. Who's choosing/managing these people----the OPOA? their corrupt power subordinates? Time to circle back to your May (? ) 205 sexual assaul victim mistreatnebt by OPD story. (A little of the same happened in recent drunk home invasion cop case, too, when responding police supervisor reportedly asked one of the victims if she really wanted to pursue charges.) The 2015 Express story was about a sexual assault victim who was denied an investigation by OPD, discouraged by OPD for pressing for an investigation and ultimately filed a complaint with CPRB. Mayor says she first learned of the 2015 case situation from the EXpress and caused reforms to the OPD's procedures for handling such cases. Did she? How many sexual assault and domestic violence victims have had their cases mishandled by OPD since? How good were those new protocols when you have a toxic cop in charge of the OPD's SVU? Are those policies being violated, too?

5) How about some less generic and more pointed appreciation for female police officers following the rules and trying to do their jobs in a toxic, sexist , discriminatory work work environment????

6) After the quick and seamless Jordan to Torribio to Whent Chief change, which the Court Monitors owned and directed...compared to what's gone on this month at OPD, you need to dig further as to how closely the current Mayor consulted with Compliance Director Warshaw. This , weeks changes have come fast, chaotically and almost schizophrenically , each change in response to new scandal facts. We know that Mayor Quan, whatever her failings, formed a deep.respectful an complete collaboration with the Court Monitors regarding NSA compliance. We know the current Mayor is capable of free-lancing (her unilateral change of the Court-ordered OPD crowd control policy). The non-deliberative, rushed, chaotic series of changes just don't look or feel like changes made with an appropriate level of advance consult with the Federal Monitors. Please dig deep on this issue, too. I can believe that former Chief Whent lost the confidence of the Court Monitor----I can't see the Monitor going for first Interim choice, Farrow, when he had been in IA for years and the Court Monitors had had so many criticisms of IA's work product.

Mary Vail
Oakland, CA
Call or write--your Editors have my phone and email....

Posted by Mary Vail on 06/17/2016 at 8:34 PM

Re: “Veteran Oakland Homicide Investigator Mishandled Evidence in Ongoing Murder Case

Most of the problems that the City of Oakland has to deal with, the police department, potholes, not enough school, not enough shopping centers, not enough affordable housing, and a dysfunctional city council can all be traced directly back to Jerry Brown's term as Mayor of Oakland...
I live in the Maxwell park area around the corner from where Ms. Salamon was shot...
Read my Facebook pages,
"Real Estate Crisis or Government Sanctioned Racketeering?
Regards, Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 06/17/2016 at 8:11 PM

Re: “New: Oakland Fires Yet Another Police Chief (Third in a Week!)

Schaaf, as ever, has really got her shit together.

Some of us remember her campaign promise to come up with a comprehensive public safety plan.

That never congealed either.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 06/17/2016 at 7:08 PM

Re: “Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager

What's sad is that this blemishes the many actually good and caring officers in the department.

So I too am for an overhaul and I think Mayor Schaaf kicked off the fixing of this by putting the right leadership in.

Posted by Carol Wyatt on 06/17/2016 at 6:47 PM

Re: “Oakland Debates Best Way to Watch Over Its Police Department

Current members of the OPD civilian oversight board have relevant experience, such as advanced degrees in law and social work. It's not just random civilians

Posted by Arkady Wroclawskie on 06/17/2016 at 1:52 PM

Re: “ACLU California Announces Support of Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure

The AUMA is a disaster. And, people are mistaken in the claims it will "let you grow your own", when it will really permit local governments to flat out ban outdoor grows, and will permit "reasonable regulation" of your indoor grow (and we all know what THAT will mean - besides, most folks cannot grow indoors for many reasons).

This thing is a huge conglomeration of give-aways of power to storefronts and big farms, as well as litigation-ready employment for cops and lawyers. We can't let the crappy be the enemy of the decent law we know is out there. The trick seems to be convincing some moneybag like Parker to back something worthwhile, and to convince the "pro pot lobby" to demonstrate a modicum of selectivity with their endorsements.

The incremental "is it ANY better than what we have now?" (somewhat subjective, I might add) is threadbare at best, and probably harmful.

We are not beggars. Demographics are shifting fast. We don't need to settle
for a crap sandwich.…………

Posted by Harry Bellafonte on 06/17/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Veteran Oakland Homicide Investigator Mishandled Evidence in Ongoing Murder Case

Holy smokes!! I'll be the first to admit I'm "pro-law enforcement" but DAMN, from all indications, OPD is out of control!! They absolutely need a new Chief from outside the Department. The culture there is rotten to the core. Attitude and behavior are a reflection of leadership. Oh, and btw...what do these last two scandals have in common?...WOMEN!! The downfall of men since the beginning!!!

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 06/17/2016 at 12:59 PM

Re: “Microsoft Becomes Biggest Company To Enter Cannabis Game

Big monopoly corporate interest in pot seems to me to be an indicator of social and economic exploitation of poor public policy.

Current corporate benefit from the the war on drugs include the corporate prison system and the corporations which supply arms and ammo to our military, our militarized police and foreign militaries involved with much of the wholesale murder that goes on south of the border.

Pot is easy to grow almost everywhere. It's an enjoyable recreational drug for many people and a useful drug for many others. It's not proven to be especially harmful, unlike alcohol.

Pot should simply be decriminalized, period. Corporate or justice system or militaristic involvement is purely destructive.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 06/17/2016 at 9:00 AM

Re: “Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager

If you truly want to see effective change in police policy, training,internal investigations, and transparency you need to go to the only authority the police have;the State Attorney General is their "boss". State and federal agencies can make recommendations for reform, but they lack any and all power to enact them. The only one that can order state, county, and municipal officers to comply with reforms, change/update policy and follow these guidelines, are your duly elected states attorney general. Call, email, write your AG and ask them why he/she has not yet eforced these recommendations, changes in policy, training, etc. The attorney general is both the "top cop" and the leading lawyer of the state, this is not only a conflict of interest, it promotes collusion and abuse of power on all could they not see this coming.

Posted by Margot Stemen on 06/17/2016 at 8:07 AM

Re: “Alameda County DA Seeks Controversial Surveillance Device

The Harris "Triggerfish" is outdated equipment.
Easiest way to stop this is in court. Recently a judge told a DA and the FBI(paraphrasing) "You signed a non-disclosure agreement with Harris and others but NOT with The People of the United States, you didn't realize we're not subject or bound by such an agreement, let's have the info or dismiss."
The case was dismissed.
This is a joke because all the defendants in IMSI-catcher cases need to do is keep demanding the Stingray evidence and the DoJ will come in and quietly DROP THE CASE when challenged. Don't believe me? Look it up.. they'd rather let a drug thug go free before the cough up info on the equipment.
(Which ironically has been leaked by Harris insiders online including the softwares.)

Posted by Mario Pass on 06/17/2016 at 1:26 AM

Re: “Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager

This is vile. I'm tired of these all-american guys destroing women's lives. Read a great post about the psyche of these people

Posted by Ivy Jade on 06/16/2016 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Oakland Housing Emergency

Thank for this the cast of living continue to go up but we're paid nothing in Oakland. I been in my apartment since 2009 and my rent has increased more then 10% each time now this time it's totally out of and all they can say it's the market price. I can't afford to pay mortgage prices in a 2 bedroom apartment in Oakland at this time. I cannot afford to buy a house in this market I have health issues and I need surgery and yet I have to maintain my job to take care of my children but I also have to worry about being homeless because my rent keeps going up.

Posted by Terry Edogun on 06/16/2016 at 3:56 PM

Re: “An East Bay Queer Artist-of-Color on Orlando's Horrific Nightclub Shooting

"Then there were the politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, who used this opportunity to blame an entire religion for a homophobic man's actions. There was a sense of relief to know that many of my fellow queers know better than this. We were quick to warn the rest of our community not to convert this act of homophobia into acts of Islamophobia."

Contrary viewpoint from Sunni Muslims conference speaker Fahad Qureshi…

Posted by Laura Menard on 06/16/2016 at 2:57 PM

Re: “It's Time To Overturn the State Ban on Rent Control

In regards to the amount of existing housing units in Oakland and the myth that more housing needs to be built-
According to the last US Census and data from the City of Oakland, the number of vacant, habitable Oakland housing units being purposefully held off of the rental and sale market by the owner is 6.2 per every unsheltered person in Oakland.
The housing crisis in Oakland is not about a lack of housing units, it is about a lack of access to the existing housing. Access to housing is blocked not only by sky rocketing prices, it is also blocked by the city's and the state's policy of allowing housing to sit vacant in the midst of a housing crisis of historic proportions. Oakland citizens die on the streets while our elected officials allow speculator property owners to hold housing units vacant thus decreasing the supply in a time of extremely high demand. Consequently the lack of supply drives the rental prices and thus property values unattainably high.

Posted by Kelly Jewett 1 on 06/16/2016 at 12:20 PM

Re: “Noodles Fresh: The Intra-National House of Noodles

Go again, Michael. Every restaurant, as you mention, takes a couple months to hit its stride. It's coming up on a year now and the service and most of the food offerings are wonderful. I go all the time and take all my friends. We love it. Don't miss the amazing garlic cucumbers, but don't eat them before a date...unless your date is going to eat them, too!

Posted by Jessie West on 06/16/2016 at 11:15 AM

Re: “Berkeley City Council Approves Ballot Measure to Tax Landlords and Create Affordable Housing Fund

Everybody knows it's dog eat dog and wealth never trickles down to the poor. So thank you, city council, for at least trying to fix a market failure.

Posted by Jane Christmas on 06/16/2016 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Attorneys Burris and Chanin Want Feds to Take Over Oakland Police Recruitment and Training

Can Darwin or someone else file FOIA an get the requirements for being an OPD cop? What sort of things have disqualified people in the last 3-4 years?

I'd rather them hire a local man/woman with a minor arrest for something stupid like marijuana...over hiring a bunch of PTSD meatheads that served in Iraq that treat the city like Fallujah.

This part of the story is just the skin of a very rotten apple.

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 06/16/2016 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Attorneys Burris and Chanin Want Feds to Take Over Oakland Police Recruitment and Training

In last couple of years OPD company line has been that we now have a whole new improved OPD culture because high percentage of the old timers have been replaced by young people. My hunch is that the only thing new re exploitation of prostitutes by police is that they text about it.

Posted by Len Raphael on 06/16/2016 at 8:55 AM

Re: “Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager

I second the comments of others – terrific reporting, East Bay Express! Thank you for exposing this, and for including the comments from Katherine Koster of Sex Workers Outreach Project telling it like it is.

Among many infuriating details, one that stands out is the retired officer who asked you not to publish his name for medical reasons because he has a heart condition.

When he traumatized people by arresting them for committing victimless "crimes" like prostitution, do you think he ever stopped to ask whether they might have any medical condition that could be aggravated by being taken to jail and dragged through the criminal justice system?

But he's special and deserves to be treated more gently, because he's only a police officer! His heart can't take the stress!

P.S. to the editors - Starchild is my actual name; please do not remove this comment.

Posted by Starchild on 06/16/2016 at 2:17 AM

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