Oakland mayor denies firing police chief over officers who statutorily raped teen sex-worker


#1

[Read the post]


#2

If you retire, do you still get your pension? Vs. being fired, where I assume you wouldn’t.


#3

(Better link to the first East Bay Express story’s full text)

OPD’s problems with corruption and police violence long predate Schaaf’s administration. She’s been mayor for only a year and a half and did the right thing here reasonably quickly, unlike a certain other mayor in the same region.

I don’t know for sure what’s behind the “resigned for personal reasons” bullshit but I can guess: OPD is a rogue agency only nominally under control of the city administration. Openly firing the chief for this would provoke the rank & file into the kind of rebellion we’ve already seen modeled by the NYPD against de Blasio. They’d stop doing their jobs, crime would rise, the mayor would be blamed. So she cut a deal letting him leave with his pension intact to avoid all that.

Come to think of it, didn’t something vaguely like that happen in Robocop 2?


#4

I don’t have too big of a problem with the concept of prostitution, but it IS illegal and thus 1) cops shouldn’t be doing it and 2) they certainly shouldn’t be doing it on the clock. WTF?


#5

So if I’m a person with predilections toward illegal drugs, prostitution and physical violence and I have half a brain, I have two choices: Do drugs, get in fights and sleep with prostitutes as a private citizen and get away with it for as long as I can before I go to prison for an extended period of time and have all my rights stripped away. OR, become a police officer and do these things as long as I can (much longer, probably, and at a deep discount) before I get paid early retirement. And they say the state doesn’t take care of people…


#6

…and then there’s that underage thing…


#7

…And that abuse-of-power-probably-didn’t-even-pay-up thing…


#8

You know, I… I dunno.

I mean, assuming she wasn’t forced to it and of sound mind, does that really matter?

If your moral compass says it is ok to pay for sex, then why would someone who is 1 year under the arbitrary line society has drawn suddenly be a deal breaker? She is 18 now, I assume, so paying her to have sex with you is now not a horrible act and sorta socially acceptable?

I bet they paid. There is all that money they confiscate from people who travel with cash.


#9

Oakland is a known child prostitution/slavery hub of the Western hemisphere. That this happened is of no surprise.


#10

Did not know that…


#11

My friend, it is an “epidemic” there, and it seems no one has any workable solution. Truly disturbing.


#12

Legalization and entities set up for health care and abuse reporting and the ability to legally network and arrange work?

I recall reading about a website that was run in CA (I think it was San Francisco) where they had a quasi-legal website that networked prostitutes and johns and resulted in safer transactions, a rating and feed back system (for both parties) and actually increase the pay out to women who had specialties and negotiated with others with the same talent to set a price point. It greatly reduced street walking and the associated dangers.

And the gov shot it down and it all went back to shit.


#13

It’s a thorny issue, for sure. People who are under the age of 18 are sexual, and they certainly can be sexual with each other. But statutory rape laws exist because the presumption is that a person who is older than 18 is exerting inappropriate influence over a minor to get them to have sex. And the criminal justice system (generally) treats people under the age of 18 differently because the presumption is that they cannot fully appreciate the consequences of their decisions. Studies have shown that the brain is still developing at 18, and that the more appropriate age for full responsibility should be 20 or 21. It’s also worth noting that most of the state of Nevada (the only state where prostitution is legal) requires sex workers to be at least 21 years old.

So taken together, it seems society generally thinks that people under the age of 18 can’t understand the consequences of their actions, and are too susceptible to influence. The fact that it’s police exerting the influence, and possibly using money and other incentives (like not being arrested) only makes it more clear that it was an abuse of power.


#14

Long story, s h o r t…

I lived in Oakland, in a 100 year old firehouse. It was my lifelong dream to reside in a firehouse. It was glorious beyond my wildest dreams. Would take me days to properly narrate it here. But, it was smack in the middle of “child prostitute” capital. I quickly learned what comes with that moniker, and the lack of general interest the OPD had toward it. I stayed 6 months and left with my good memories of that 100 year old firehouse. Have a great day, and a better weekend.


#15

I agree with pretty much everything you said. Of course age isn’t a magical number either. Maturity greatly varies. I know 17 year olds who got emancipated from their parents and were living and working on their own. And there are 20 somethings still acting like teenagers.

And as for thorny issues, the concept of prostitution is a huge one.

I am fine with the concept of it and as well as porn and strippers, etc. Ideally it would all be strong women using their bodies and talents willingly to make good money. Everybody happy. But the reality is that a lot of these people are preyed on manipulated and abused. And because it isn’t legal, they are ripe targets for even more abuse because it is like stealing drugs from a drug dealer, who are you going to call? IMHO, legalization would allow for a lot of these bad things to be reduced.

And to reiterate, yeah, cops shouldn’t be doing that.


#16

Like as a fireman, or was it converted to lofts? Did you slide down the pole?

Was this a documentary?


#17

The pole was the only missing component. Everything else was intact, what fun it was. I had the run of the entire place, main room was 40 x 40, the kitchen was bigger than most apartments, and the 90 foot hose tower had a view of all 3 Bay Area bridges with a crow’s nest at the top. Awesome!


#18

There’s no prostitution under consideration here. It’s rape. “Child prostitution” is not a thing.


#19

I’m on record as saying I think the age of consent should be set at the Federal level or at least standardized across the States. I would say when someone turns 17 is when they should have the right to consent to sex with someone more than three years older than them, but I would want actual legislation to be based on scientific studies, not just my opinion. That, however, is a separate, albeit intersectional, issue from this story.

Sex work should be both legal and regulated as a practical matter. Prohibition, whether of drugs, alcohol, sex or anything else where both parties are willing participants, cannot succeed, and creates black markets every single time. Regulation provides a means for government to enforce some standards that can actually serve to protect people. Prohibition is a gift to child sex traffickers, the criminals most invested in prostitution never being regulated.

Age of consent and safe working conditions are two different, though again intersectional, issues. Seamstress should be a legal profession. Sweat shop labor should not. Child labor should not. Adults can and do get exploited in labor forces, skilled and unskilled. Regulation is the most effective instrument to combat worker exploitation. Workers rights advocates have known this for centuries and have fought throughout the Western world for child labor restrictions, worker safety standards, avenues for safely reporting unsafe, unfair and slave labor practices without those who are exploited being arrested and charged with criminal conduct, as well as the right to unionize and demand, among other things, worker healthcare. Sex worker rights advocates, like other worker rights advocates, have understood and fought for the same. As with workers rights advocates, sex workers rights advocates have more often than not been workers in the industry seeking their own rights. But unlike other industries, the stigmatization of sex work, even when it’s semi-legal as in the case of stripping, and the wider tolerance and acceptance of rape culture and slut-shaming misogyny, has ensured that most powerful allies have instead sided with prohibitionists, religious zealots and exploitative law enforcement agencies, and array their money and influence against rights for sex workers.

Consider the risk incurred by the legal job of stripping. Though somewhat legal in many states, strippers are denied many of the rights we rightly expect to be recognized for non-sex workers, and their job is routinely used as a character-assassination weapon against them in courts regarding everything from child custody battles to conviction and sentencing for crimes they may not even have committed, since a judge or jury will almost always take the word of a cop over the word or any sex worker, even when that sex work is legal.

Misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, slut-shaming and rape culture are all contributing factors to the abysmal treatment of sex workers. If you’re a minority and a sex worker, society and the legal system will treat you like the lowest scum, even if you operate within the bounds of the law. Consider issues like same-sex marriage, trans-rights, immigrant rights, marijuana legalization and even homeless rights. Until relatively recently in America anything other than taking a hard-line stance against any of these issues was political suicide and toxic for advocacy groups. Because society still embraces rape culture and slut-shaming, and because it’s still widely acceptable to treat sex workers, legal or otherwise, as second-class citizens, sex worker activists are almost all sex workers, lack the allies of other rights advocates, and are targeted with impunity by politicians, law enforcement, religious zealots and the slave traffickers who profit from sex workers’ lack of rights.

As with abortion opponents who demonstrate no concern for what happens to fetuses or mothers following birth, most prohibitionists have absolutely zero concern for how sex workers can earn a living without sex work. Their priority is enforcing their morality on other people, not protecting anyone from exploitation.

Finally, and most pertinent in this case, because of the situation described above, law enforcement is better suited than anyone to exploit sex workers and to traffic in child sex slaves. And they do. You can be confident that this girl was being pimped by a cop. Just as undocumented immigrants are wise to fear law enforcement above all others, so are sex workers.

There is no scenario where a cop can pay for sex work (again, legal or otherwise) without it being exploitative. Even a cop frequenting a strip club is exploitation. Heck, even a cop receiving a discount at a restaurant is exploitative. The power vested in law enforcement makes cops actions different from civilians. They are always punching down, and in this case they were punching as directly down as they possibly could. Make no mistake, these cops were not only violating the law, but exploiting a child for sex. As @hello_friends indicated, this is textbook statutory rape. It’s also human trafficking. These cops should be fired without pay or pension, registered as sex offenders, and the cop who was pimping her investigated as he is almost certainly pimping other minors and likely engaged in other illegal activities.

ETA: Oh, and it should go without saying, but every cop who had sex with this girl should be charged with statutory rape. I doubt that will happen, however, for the reasons I outlined above, and the tendency of DA offices to shield corrupt cops (they call this brotherhood, and it’s a large part of why police are rarely convicted of the crimes they commit). That’s another factor here, the tolerance of police corruption. The only reason these cops were caught was because the wife of one of them had the courage to act. Consider all the rapist cops that are never caught.

If you would like to see charges pressed, here is the contact information for the Alameda County District Attorney. If enough of us email the DA’s office asking them to press charges, there may actually be convictions for a rare change. It appears that Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley removed one investigator from the case. Hopefully it was to hand the investigation to someone who will press charges.


#20

ok so he resigned. great. big woop. umm why isn’t the DA pressing rape charges? IFAIK the minor does not need to press charges in a child rape case.

You think 6 months for rape is a problem, what about a paid pension instead?

And how about those “police supervisors, who did nothing to put a stop to it”? Doesn’t that make then accessories to the crime? Why aren’t people being charged? Why isn’t the press asking that question?

I’m sick and tired of cops committing crimes and being allowed to quit, be fired, or retire instead of answering for their crimes in court like everyone else who isn’t a politician or a cop would have to do.