Target: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Goal: Applaud the firing of four police officers and the suspension of seven more in connection to the alleged sexual exploitation and trafficking of a minor.
Four Oakland police officers have been fired and seven more suspended for their involvement in the sexual exploitation and trafficking of a minor and, later, a cover-up of their alleged crimes. This scandal unfolded after an officer took his own life, leaving a confession in his suicide note that implicated several other officers. The ensuing crisis led to the Oakland Police Department losing three chiefs of police in a single week.
The victim of the officers’ alleged crimes is now an adult, but has stated she was a minor when some of the officers exploited her. Under California law, this would make their actions statutory rape. In addition to the firings and suspensions, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has announced plans to reform police training to make officers better at identifying and responding appropriately to sexual abuse.
These moves come after national outrage as details of the abuse emerged and political pressure from a number of organizations as well as petitions such as this Force Change petition. While firings and suspensions are a step in the right direction, given the severity of the crimes involved, it is unclear why no officers as of yet face charges. Sign our petition and applaud the dismissal of these officers and demand charges for those who allegedly broke the law.
Dear Mayor Schaaf,
I was pleased to see that the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Oakland police officers has resulted in real, material action by the city. The dismissal of four officers and suspension of seven more is a step toward holding officers accountable for their actions. It was also encouraging to hear of plans to reform police training and protocol to promote the protection of victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
However, given the severity of the allegations against the officers, the lack of charges in this case sends a worrying message. As you well know, the findings of the investigation provide adequate basis for a number of criminal charges. The lack of charges in this case undermines any attempts to increase police accountability. Law enforcement must be held to a higher standard; these officers must face charges.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dave Conner