Oakland Police Department’s “Brutality, Corruption and Cover Up” and Long Road toward Reform

at 9:00 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After 119 citizens in Oakland joined a class action lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department for vicious and sadistic beatings,  evidence tampering, and other abuses by a  notorious group of officers known as the Riders, the department was placed under a federally mandated consent decree in 2003. Now, two decades later, Oakland is finally nearing the end of federal oversight and meeting mandated reforms . “A half dozen police chiefs have come and gone. The reform program has outlasted four mayors, two judges, and two monitoring teams,” write  reporters Darwin Bondgraham and Ali Winston in their extensive history of the Oakland police department and the efforts to fix it. “More has been done to reform the Oakland Police Department than any other police force in the United States,” they write.  We talk with Bondgraham and Winston about why police reform, in Oakland and across the county, is so difficult and so often fails, and their book, “The Riders Come Out at Night: Brutality, Corruption, and Coverup in Oakland.”


Ali Winston, Independent journalist covering law enforcement and criminal justice

Darwin BondGraham, news editor, Oaklandside