Offensive photos of a federal judge and a city official – reported to be Oakland Mayor Jean Quan – were discovered by an employee posted on a bulletin board inside the Oakland Police headquarters, a federal monitor’s report has revealed.
On the brink of being placed under federal control, OPD’s behavior and procedures are under the watchful of federal monitor Robert Warshaw, who issued a quarterly report on Monday.
While Warshaw noted Oakland police did make slight progress over the first three months of this year implementing court-ordered reforms, but still questioned the agency’s willingness to reform itself.
Of particular concern were photos reportedly depicting -- according to the Contra Costa Times -- Quan and Federal Judge Thelton Henderson, who will decide if the police force is placed under federal control.
According to Warshaw’s report, the photos were observed by an employee outside the patrol line-up room at OPD headquarters. The photos “had been defaced in a manner that IAD found to be racist, insulting, and inappropriate,” according to the report.
The employee reported the photos to a lieutenant and they were removed within two days. However, according to the report, the whistleblowing employee alleged that his “building access card had been cancelled” to the OPD headquarters.
The report also found that “in addition to the lieutenant to whom the employee complained, eight other lieutenants used the line-up room around the time of the alleged posting, and all eight claimed that they did not see it.”
“Either they were incompetent and did not know what was going on in their commands; or they knew, failed to act, and then lied. The lieutenant failed to manage his command, and OPD failed to hold him accountable,” the report found.
The Oakland police have not commented on the report.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.