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Oakland Police Chief Steps Down, Is Third Leader Gone in 9-Day Period

Image: Oakland Police Chief Steps Down, Is Third Leader Gone in 9-Day Period
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf gestures toward reporters at the end of a news conference at City Hall Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Schaaf removed the interim police chief Wednesday after appointing him less than a week ago amid a widening sex scandal involving several officers. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

By    |   Monday, 20 Jun 2016 11:07 AM

Oakland's police chief stepped down Friday, the third chief to leave the position in just over a week as the department continues to be roiled by two scandals concerning teen sex trafficking and racist text messages.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Police Department is currently being run by city administrator Sabrina Landreth after acting police chief Paul Figueroa took leave Friday. He was expected to return as a captain, Mayor Libby Schaaf said in news conference, according to the Chronicle.

Last Wednesday, Figueroa replaced interim chief Ben Fairow when Schaaf said, according to the Los Angeles Times, that she received information that made her doubt Fairow's leadership in the department. Six days earlier, Fairow had replaced chief Sean Whent, who resigned during a burgeoning sexual misconduct scandal in the department.

The Times wrote that two Oakland officers have resigned and three were placed on administrative leave in connection with the sex scandal so far. The scandal could involve more than dozen officers.

"As the mayor of Oakland I am here to run a police department, not a frat house," Schaaf said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Today continues to be a day where we are sharing disturbing information with you."

Schaaf said that she was determined to "root out what is clearly a toxic, macho, culture" in the Oakland Police Department.

The mayor has been dealing with a growing scandal connecting some officers with a reportedly sexually exploited teenage prostitute, wrote the Chronicle. The case has grown to include law enforcement personnel outside the department and a Defense Department employee, the Chronicle stated.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the text message scandal involved several African-American officers sending and receiving messages that were "wholly inappropriate and not acceptable from anyone who wears the badge of the Oakland Police Department," stated Schaaf.

Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Whent, who officially resigned on June 9, left over what was seen has his mishandling of the department's sex scandal. The Times wrote that Figueroa voluntarily went on leave after resigning as chief and Schaaf said he was not involved in the text scandal.

Oakland Police have been under direct control of a federal judge and court monitor since 2012, stemming from a 2003 settlement connected with accused beatings and corruption by a group of officers in West Oakland.

"Most people who live in Oakland know that there are real cultural and leadership problems with the police department, and mayor Schaaf tried to change them," Jim Ross, an Oakland political consultant, told the Chronicle. "And what's frustrating is it's much harder for her to do that than we will ever know."

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Oakland's police chief stepped down Friday, the third chief to leave the position in just over a week as the department continues to be roiled by two scandals concerning teen sex trafficking and racist text messages.
oakland, police, chief, steps down, schaaf, figueroa
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2016-07-20
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 11:07 AM
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