© 2023 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Crosscurrents logo 2021

Uncovering the Oakland Police Department's alleged sex-crime, trafficking scandal

Oakland Police O25 Occupy Oakland Oscar Grant Plaza, Steve Rhodes, used under CC license, cropped and resized

Update: The headline has been changed to reflect that fact that the allegations include statutory rape and human trafficking.

Up until recently, the Oakland Police Department appeared to be moving past the racial profiling scandals and police brutality charges that plagued the department. 

Violent crime was on the decline, use of force was edging downward, and there was talk that the federal monitor that watched over the department might be lifted. Now, all that’s changed. 

A sex scandal, involving a trafficked teenager and more than 20 officers in at least three different police agencies has once again cast an unwanted spotlight on the Oakland Police Department. Former Police Chief Sean Whent resigned, and just six days after being appointed, interim police chief Ben Fairow was fired. And then, acting police chief Paul Figueroa stepped down, too.

Now the department is under civilian control. KALW’s Hana Baba spoke with East Bay Express reporters Darwin Bond Graham and Ali Winston, whose investigation revealed that the sex scandal goes beyond Oakland police, and raises serious questions about the department’s commitment to combating sex trafficking.


DARWIN BONDGRAHAM: It says a lot that Libby Schaaf could not find a replacement in the command staff that did not have some sort of scandal in their closet.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview. 

Read BondGraham and Winston’s full investigation here