Oakland officer's suicide leads to sexual misconduct probe

The Oakland Police Department is the subject of an internal investigation involving officers accused of sexual misconduct and a girl who may have been underage.

The case has also angered a federal judge who is overseeing department reforms.

According to sources, the girl is the daughter of a civilian employee at the Oakland Police Department. It’s unclear how old she was at the time of the incidents, but those close to the investigation say a key part of the inquiry is whether she was underage and whether this is a case of statutory rape.

“It’s really damaging and we have a lot of explaining to do,” said Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo.

The investigation began last fall after an OPD officer shot and killed himself.

The coroner’s report says the officer left a note, which referred to the fact that he was despondent after his wife reportedly, killed herself more than a year earlier.

A police investigation then uncovered allegations that officers may have had improper sexual contact with the daughter of the civilian employee, sources say.

Oakland police would not discuss the case on camera, saying it cannot comment on active internal affairs investigations.

Instead, police released a statement saying, “The Oakland Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct involving our employees seriously. Ensuring internal investigations are swift, fair and objective is our priority.”

But the case has angered Federal Judge Thelton Henderson, who has been overseeing a settlement agreement and ongoing department reforms since the 2000 “Riders” officers’ misconduct scandal.

In March, the judge wrote that he learned of “irregularities and potential violations” of the agreement based on the way this latest case was being investigated.

He wrote, “This case raises the most serious concerns that may well impact defendants’ ability to demonstrate their commitment to accountability and sustainability— both of which are key to ending court oversight.”

The newest investigation comes after an Oakland officer was charged with showing up drunk at the wrong house and scuffling with a couple who lived there. Another allegedly pointed a gun at a man painting his Emeryville apartment door.

Councilman Gallo says these cases erode the public’s trust in the police department.

“To see the behavior by some of our officers, at this level…I’m over here advocating to do away with violating young ladies, women, prostitution, and human trafficking,” he said. “For me as a father, as an elected official, it’s really inexcusable and so it’s really sad.”