Federal Monitor: OPD Making Progress, Still Struggling With Racial Profiling
OAKLAND (KCBS)— Oakland Police Department’s federal monitor released a report that says it has to comply with just six of the 51 original reform goals that were imposed over 10 years ago.
In his bi-monthly progress report, the monitor, Robert Warshaw, said the department still has a lot of work to do to improve accountability and to prevent discriminatory policing, but he also noted significant progress this year.
The federal oversight was sanctioned as part of the settlement from 2003’s Riders police brutality scandal.
According to the report, between April and November of 2013, African-Americans accounted for 62 percent of police stops even though they make up 28 percent of the city’s population. They are also more likely to be searched, even though those searches were no more likely to uncover guns or drugs.
Police Chief Sean Whent said at the time the department was focusing on the city’s most violent neighborhoods. Whent wrote to the Oakland Tribune that “biased-based policing remains an issue that we must continue to address.”
The report says judicial oversight will likely continue for some time.
Robert Weisberg from Stanford’s Criminal Justice Center said it shouldn’t be viewed as an insult for Oakland to continue to have someone looking over their shoulder.
“It’s a difficult legal issue, because obviously the court can’t maintain control of the city or a major city department forever and it has to set a goal on the other hand. The moment it ends an injunction there’s a risk of some kind of backsliding,” he said.