The Oakland Police Department is in the midst of a crisis that could mark one of the most trying periods for the force under federal oversight in the past 13 years, according to a recent report filed by court-appointed independent monitor Robert Warshaw.
Warshaw wrote that the monthly status report due in June had been delayed by "disturbing circumstances," noting that "local, national and international media have been full of reports of the sometimes salacious and often shocking details of this ever burgeoning matter" involving a questionable internal affairs investigation and the following resignation of three police chiefs last month.
Former Chief Sean Whent's resignation is reportedly linked to the discovery that several OPD officers allegedly sexually exploited the teenage daughter of a police dispatcher.
The woman, who uses the pseudonym Celeste Guap, told reporters last month that she slept with more than a dozen Oakland police officers, and many more from other agencies. She said she had sex with some OPD officers when she was a minor, including Brendan O'Brien, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in September.
According to the East Bay Express, O'Brien's death and the suicide note he left sparked the internal investigation that U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote in a March order had "inconsistencies" and potentially violated Oakland's agreement with the court. Henderson oversees the settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the Riders case, in which Oakland police officers were found to have abused suspects and violated their civil rights.