Chief of Police Paul Figueroa, is the newest causality of the growing scandals within the department.
The embattled Oakland Police department was already reeling from the loss of two other Chiefs who abruptly resigned is now in a panic mode as they search for a permanent replacement.
Mayor Libby Schaaf stated “Figueroa’s departure was not related to the two scandals”, she continued “the department’s toxic, macho culture” and vowing “to root out the bad apples”.
Prior Figueroa’s departure Interim Chief Ben Fairow held the position for six days before Mayor Schaaf stated she became aware of disturbing information, which made her loss confidence in his ability to lead the department.
“As the mayor of Oakland, I’m here to run a police department, not a frat house.”
Oakland Police Department has been engulfed in two growing scandals which are slowly disemboweling the entire department, and has city officials calling for a yet another federal investigation into the new scandals.
The first scandal appeared after an underage sex worker claimed to have sex with several officers while on duty, while the other is regarding racially charged texts sent between officers.
Allegations that officers had sex with underage sex worker are radiating into an ever widening sex scandal, which has engulfed the top ranking officials within the department.
An underage sex worker went on to provide details regarding multiple bay area police departments.
Chief Sean Whent resigned immediately after it was revealed he had sent and received inappropriate text messages to an underage sex worker.
Details surrounding the sex scandal are scant, but what is known is the investigation began after Officer Brendan O’Brien killed himself this May.
Two officers resigned quickly after his death, while three other officers remain on paid administrative leave.
O’Brien’s wife Irma Huerta-Lopez had killed herself a little more than a year before him, spurring an investigation into whether officers had committed sexual misconduct with a minor.
Police ruled her death a suicide, but found themselves defending that ruling too, when it was revealed that Huerta-Lopez had unusually fired two shots to kill herself.
Oakland Police Department Has Been Under Federal Oversight Since 2003
Allen v. City of Oakland was settled in 2003 leading to federal involvement in the Bay Area city’s law enforcement.
In the Allen case, a rookie officer after only 10 days on the force resigned.
He then reported his fellow Oakland police officers, known as “the Oakland Riders”, for police brutality and racial profiling.
The city of Oakland’s taxpayers also settled with the 119 complainants for nearly $11 million back then.
A mounting number of superiors who are leaving may not sit well with the remaining officers, because the dependency on existing relationships to reduce and impose punishment is not a given with an outsider.
An uneasy feeling of an unfamiliar face of the command staff has to deeply affect the morale of officers, which may lead to more defections among both the ranking and non-ranking officers.
Between the scandals, together have claimed the careers of at least 14 officers, and that number may grow as the investigation continues.
The brazen actions of the officers who have sent and received racially charged texts or sent messages to underage sex workers, using department issued cellphones is beyond pale.
Police officers function with immunity, remorse for their actions, or respect for the rule of law.
The rule of law matters little, when you are tasked with enforcing it and do not demand the same respect of the law to yourself or the thin blue line.
It shows the disparity between being average Joe Citizen and being part of the blue mafia, and having a powerful police union to protect you.