9 OPD agents sanctioned for “sexist and racist” social networks
The city of Oakland announced Friday that it was penalizing nine police officers for their misuse of social media, and that the department had discovered the identity of the person who created an Instagram account spreading misogynistic, racist and insubordinate content. But the person is a former officer who created the account shortly after being terminated by the Oakland Police Department for other misconduct.
The Oaklandside exposed the Instagram account last January after hearing about it from sources close to the OPD. Dubbed the “crimereductionteam,” the account featured memes and pictures that joked about police brutality. Some posts included rape jokes while others called for undermining police constitutional reforms.
In response to reports on the Instagram account, the city opened an investigation that included the confiscation of 140 OPD work phones. “Investigators have retrieved the content and online histories of all of these phones,” the city said in a press release.
An external third-party investigator was hired to lead the OPD investigation, and the city’s Community Police Review Agency also conducted a parallel investigation.
âThis broad and in-depth investigation revealed violations of OPD policy related to the offending Instagram page, as well as several other unrelated violations,â the city said.
According to the city, investigators found that officers accessed inappropriate material on their phones, engaged in “conduct that discredits the OPD”, that some officers engaged in “sexual harassment or harassment. ‘other behavior in violation of Oakland workplace standards’, and officers failed to perform their duties and report violations committed by other officers. Not all of the faults were directly related to the âcrimereductionteamâ Instagram account.
“The nine officers who were found to have violated department policy ranged from officer to lieutenant,” according to the town’s press release. “The sanction imposed on them ranged from a 3-day unpaid suspension to a 25-day unpaid suspension.”
According to the city, âof the nine officers accused of violating departmental policies, two have since taken positions with other law enforcement agencies. Oakland has informed these two agencies of the findings of the investigation.
The OPD has been under federal court watch since 2003 due to the Riders scandal, in which a West Oakland cop squad beat up and planted drugs on suspects. The outcome of the social media investigation will determine whether or not the Oakland Police Department can move forward with its reforms under this 18-year-old court settlement agreement.
Last month, two civil rights lawyers who are part of the reform program, wrote in a judicial brief that they believe the OPD has made significant progress and is one of the best police services in the country, but that the department must prove that it can stand. responsible and pursue a culture change.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick mentioned the social media scandal earlier this month during a hearing in the reform case and said he would review the investigation and determine whether any part of it this may be publicly disclosed.
âSexist and racist behavior is far too prevalent in our culture and has no place in our public safety institutions,â Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a press release. âI wholeheartedly and strongly condemn any behavior, including online communications, that supports or engages with sexist or racist tropes. I am encouraged by the unprecedented size, scope and thoroughness of this independent investigation, which has held officers accountable and created new policies that raise our standards and expectations.