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Oakland Police Department begins probationary period to end federal oversight

Oakland Police officers dressed in anti-riot gear
Thomas Hawk
Flickr / Creative Commons
Oakland Police officers dressed in anti-riot gear

The shift comes after U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled that Oakland police had achieved "substantial compliance" with more than 50 new rules. The added reforms were implemented in 2003 after a police misconduct case involving four corrupt police officers.

The four officers – known as the Riders – allegedly planted drugs, falsely arrested suspects, and falsified police reports. The city agreed to pay 10 million dollars in civil rights claims to more than 100 victims. None of the officers were convicted of criminal charges, but all four have since left the department. One fled the country before trial.

As part of the settlement, the department has had to stay under federal oversight through the end of May 2023.

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong says the probationary period will allow the department to show it has reformed.

During the yearlong period, the federal authorities will gradually reduce their oversight and supervision of the department.