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Richmond Officer Found to Have Engaged in ‘Predatory Behavior’ Won Job Back on Appeal, Records Show

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 (Alex Emslie/KQED)

A Richmond police officer who a former city official found engaged in “predatory behavior” with a then 18-year-old woman at the center of massive police sexual exploitation case was nevertheless allowed to keep his job, new internal documents released Friday afternoon show.

The case is just one piece of a widespread scandal hitting Richmond police and other Bay Area departments in 2016. Richmond investigated 11 officers and eventually moved to discipline nine, including firing three.

Officer Terrance Jackson first met the woman known as Celeste Guap when she was a student at De Anza High School and he was a school resource officer, according to the records.

She reached out to Jackson via Facebook in April 2016, the documents show, and after some back-and-forth, he went to Guap’s home while he was on duty early in the morning on April 14. She showed Jackson her breasts and asked him to touch her “under her underwear.”

“That was the stupidest thing I could ever do, but I did,” Jackson told investigators, according to the documents.

Jackson admitted that Guap “touched his penis over his clothing and he reached out and fondled her vagina area, under her clothing,” the report says. “Officer Jackson confirmed he was on-duty at the time.”

Then-City Manager Bill Lindsay overruled the Police Department’s initial recommendation to suspend Jackson for 80 hours in October 2016, finding the discipline was “insufficient to address the very serious and inappropriate behavior that Officer Jackson engaged in with an 18-year-old at-risk youth.”

“I find his lack of judgement, and his predatory behavior toward [Guap] cannot be properly addressed with a suspension,” Lindsay wrote. “The appropriate level of discipline should be termination.”


Jackson invoked his right to appeal his firing and city Fire Chief Adrian Sheppard presided over a hearing in December 2016, the documents show.

At the hearing, Jackson’s attorney Michael Rains argued that Lindsay had “lied” and that 18-year-old Guap was the one who was “predatory.”

Lindsay did not return a call for comment.

Sheppard agreed that Jackson was less culpable because the young woman had initiated contact with him. But he found that as a school resource officer in the Police Department’s Youth Services Division, Jackson had a duty to protect Guap.

Sheppard noted that Jackson had “sexual contact with her while he was on-duty, in uniform, standing next to his marked police car — and all before he verified that she was 18 years old.”

Jackson was emotional at the hearing, repeatedly apologized and “described that his conduct had ruined his family life,” according to the documents.

Sheppard found Jackson’s unblemished 13 years as a Richmond police officer, his cooperation during the investigation and his remorse were all factors that should reduce his punishment.

“I believe that Officer Jackson has learned a very painful lesson and may retain some utility as an employee for Richmond Police Department,” Sheppard wrote.

Jackson agreed to a 160-hour suspension and dropped his appeal, the documents show. He is still a Richmond officer today.

He was one of three Richmond officers who shot and killed Luc Ciel in April of this year after Ciel allegedly broke into a home and stabbed two people, including his son.

Sexual exploitation in the Police

Jackson received a commendation in 2015 for helping a survivor of domestic violence change the locks on her house fearful that her abuser would come back to hurt her or her children, according to a Police Department Facebook post.

His return to Richmond police happened quietly. According to a police department source, Jackson showed up in uniform at an overnight shift to the surprise of his commanders. Lt. Andre Hill, the highest ranking police official in the Guap investigations, is still fighting to get his job back. Officer Jerrod Tong, who was fired, has not returned.

Guap has said she had relationships with two other Richmond cops: former sergeants Mike Rood and Armando Moreno, who now hold the rank of officer.

Sukey Lewis of KQED News contributed to this report.

This story was produced as part of the California Reporting Project, a collaboration of over 30 newsrooms across the state to obtain and report on police misconduct and serious use-of-force records unsealed in 2019.

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