OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An angry Mayor Libby Schaaf on Friday night promised to hold Oakland police officers accountable in the wake of an underage sex scandal involving multiple members of the department.
As KPIX 5 reported Thursday, internal affairs and criminal investigations are underway focusing on several Oakland police officers who allegedly had sex with an underage girl.
Sources said the internal affairs investigation centers around a young woman who calls herself Celeste Guap, who was underage at the time. She recently began revealing details of her relationships with officers on her Facebook page.
Schaaf, along with Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent spoke Oakland police headquarters on the scandal.
“We value and respect the public’s right to know what is going on with this investigation, as well as how our officers conduct themselves both off and on duty” said Schaaf.
Schaaf also said that residents should be able to expect officers to be held to the highest standards. In addition to the internal investigation, Schaaf said that as of Friday, the Alameda County District Attorney is conducting an “independent and parallel investigation.”
Whent admitted that there had been “an unfortunate series of off-duty incidents” for Oakland police officers.
“We want to ensure that our employees are of the highest moral character,” said Whent.
“Going forward, we are committed to putting additional safeguards in place to avoid any questions about the standards with which we hold our employees to,” said Schaaf.
The scandal started to unfold in the fall of 2015 when officers walked into an Oakland apartment and found fellow Officer Brendan O’Brien dead.
There, they found the suicide note.
A source close to the investigation said O’Brien wrote he had sent inappropriate texts with a woman and that — even though he claimed he never slept with her — the woman was blackmailing him and had caused trouble with his wife.
Sources say he named Guap as the woman, but he also used her given name, Jasmine.
Guap posted on Facebook that the only officer she messed with while underage is sadly gone and that she had “harmless friendships” within the police department.
But sources say that O’Brien’s suicide note also named three fellow officers, including a sergeant that O’Brien said did have sex with her.
A federal court monitor is investigating multiple officers and their relationship with Guap, who sources say have admitted to lying during an initial internal affairs investigation.
One of those officers admitted to knowing she was underage at the time.
Guap’s mother works with the police officers as a dispatcher with the Oakland Police Department.
In addition to the internal investigation, there is an ongoing criminal investigation happening in connection with the activities of the officers.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF MAYOR LIBBY SCHAAF (Released May 13, 2016):
Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth and Police Chief Sean Whent announced a series of actions to reinforce the integrity of police investigations into misconduct, and ensure that officer conduct meets the highest professional and ethical standards.
“When the actions of our officers are called into question, the public needs total confidence that allegations are taken seriously, investigations are thorough and fair, and offenders are held accountable,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Mayor Schaaf stated that three officers have been placed on administrative leave as a result of this ongoing investigation. Additionally, Mayor Schaaf announced that she has taken the following actions regarding the recent allegations:
1. As of today, due to Mayor’s Schaaf’s request, the District Attorney’s Office is conducting a parallel and independent investigation of allegations of possible criminal misconduct. The District Attorney’s Office is also conducting a review of two earlier closed suicide cases to provide additional, outside review of the investigation.
To further safeguard the independence of the District Attorney’s investigation, only DA personnel who have not previously worked for the Oakland Police Department will be assigned to this investigatory team, and the DA’s team will examine investigatory procedure in all of the above cases.
2. Mayor Schaaf also issued a new executive order on investigative integrity. Effective immediately, any allegations of criminal misconduct by an employee of the Oakland Police Department, on or off duty, will be immediately reported to the district attorney in the county where the incident is alleged to have occurred.
This is separate and apart from any internal investigation or handling of the matter.
In addition, Chief Whent called for a joint audit by the City Auditor Brenda Roberts and the OPD Inspector General to examine OPD recruitment and early warning systems for any practices or patterns that would identify unsuitable candidates from the applicant pool, and ensure the continued suitability of current officers to be on the force.
“I know that the vast majority of the men and women who serve as members of our Police Department are passionate guardians of this community committed to doing principled community policing,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “I want to reiterate our shared commitment to ensuring the integrity of this investigation, and our continued dedication to the ongoing and nationally-recognized strides the Oakland Police Department has been making to implement modern and progressive police training, policy and procedures and practices.”