Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced that she plans to charge five members of Oakland police department one member of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, and one member of the Livermore Police Department. Three of the officers are facing felonies. Charges rage from engaging in prostitution, to lewdness and also obstruction of justice.
According to Jim Dalrymple II of Buzzfeed News:
“The case began last year when an Oakland police officer killed himself and left behind a suicide note stating he had been involved with a teenage prostitute. The note also named several other officers who allegedly had contact with the girl, prompting a multi-agency investigation.”
The now 19-year-old woman has said she had sex with more than a dozen officers in exchange for money and tips on when police planned to conduct prostitution raids.
According to the teen, who goes by the name “Celeste Guap” on social media, she has had multiple relationships with officers all over the state of California. She claims to have had sexual relationships with 14 Oakland police officers — including three while she was a minor — five Richmond police officers, three San Francisco police officers, one Stockton police officer, one Livermore police officer, four Alameda County deputies, and three Contra Costa County deputies.
She then recanted on a facebook saying: “The only officer I ever messed with underage is sadly gone now,” Guap wrote last month on Facebook. “So I don’t know why this is still being brought up.”
It is something to note, that both her mother and her step father are in law enforcement.
Law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Guap was personally connected with police departments in the Bay Area. Her mother is a dispatcher for the Oakland Police Department. Her stepfather also works as a dispatcher, although it was not immediately clear for what agency.
The scandal has prompted a cascade of resignations and firings. In June, three Oakland police chiefs lost their jobs in one week. Wednesday, four Oakland police officers were fired, and Thursday a Livermore officer resigned.
O’Malley’s announcement Friday states that she has also declined to charge other officers. She described the investigation as “labor intensive and extremely time consuming, and all necessary resources were expended.”
“We left no stone unturned in regards to the evidence.” O’Malley told reporters Friday.
Guap has told reporters that she has involved herself with other officers in part to avoid going to jail. I find it interesting that after having exposed other officers for relations with her that were essentially statutory rape incidents- she has since recanted, and internal investigations have turned up nothing and the one officer who had admitted wrong doing has taken his own life.
While the debate on whether or not sex work should be decriminalized is ongoing , morals aside, these officers were hired to do one job- and it is to enforce laws. They broke the laws, they took advantage of a young girl who got in much over her head who in the end just wanted to avoid going to jail. Instead of encouraging Guap to come forward to expose other dirty cops and to get out of sex work, officers used their authority to intimidate and pressure her to keep quiet in order to take advantage of her.
Internal investigations are notorious for being lenient, and letting officers off the hook. In order for officers to ever face consequences for breaking the law they must be investigated by outside agencies. Until then, dirty cops will continue to be able get off scot-free and scandals like will persist.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)
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