OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The sexual misconduct and corruption scandal involving a growing number of Oakland police officers along with other East Bay law enforcement agencies, and a teenage sex worker who claims to have had sex with some of the officers when she was a minor, is leaving many people questioning their faith in Oakland Police, especially with the rapidly changing leadership.
Oakland's crown jewel— Lake Merritt on a picture perfect June day, is a source of pride. But some say that glow of city pride is now tarnished.
"I believe in Oakland. I want to feel safe here," said Tracy Arrowsmith, a divorced mother raising a 7-year-old daughter. “I want my daughter to feel safe here. I want her to grow up here and be proud of the city like I am, but it's hard when you don't trust the authority.”
Inside Lucky's Barber Shop, not far from police headquarters, there is a mood of distrust.
"There's always something behind the scenes they're not telling us," said Montonio Robinson, a barber.
"I'm very disappointed because they're supposed to be the one to set the example and apparently they're not doing it."
The 23-year-old says he sees hyprocrisy. Officers take an oath to uphold the law, but instead, some have chosen to abuse the power of their uniform and badge.
"I'm pretty sure it's not all cops. Some of them actually take their job very seriously, but some of them specifically do it for the power," said Robinson.
In East Oakland, Chanda May with East Bay Asian Youth Center, works with at risk youth, including young girls who are in danger of being kidnapped and sold into prostitution.
"I don't know if they're really concerned about the community, about our kids or anything like that, because Oakland is just crazy. I just don't know how they're going to help us when the department is all crazy and corrupted," said May.
Back at Lake Merritt, a 19-year-old says she empathizes with the teenage girl exploited by the officers.
"She's in a vulnerable position. They're in a position of power. That really does reflect badly on the police department," says Juliette Lucas, an Oakland native.
But the college student says her experience with Oakland Police when there was an attempted break in at her home was positive.
"My faith is slightly shaken, but I would still definitely call the police if I have a problem," said Lucas.
Some people are questioning if more Oakland police officers are involved in the scandal
"To me, it feels more widespread than that. I hope it's a few bad apples, but I'm not sure. I don't know. I don't have confidence," said Arrowsmith.
People also said all the changes in the police chief position in less than a week make Oakland look bad.