Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime on the Never Ending Scandal Inside OPD

“New Oakland Police Sexual Misconduct Case Leads to Discovery of Drugs Stashed in Locker” by Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston, News, June 29:
Bring Them To Justice
Get the rapists, traffickers, and murderers off the force and bring them to justice.
Kai Liberate

Unusual Sexual Activities
Seems OPD candidates need to have a box checked: 1) “any unusual sexual activities these days?” as none, seem to be having “healthy” sex outside the “workplace” as yes.
Christine Arnott via Facebook

Do a Take-Over

Time for a complete take-over of OPD, breaking the law to or while enforcing the law does not make us safer.
Mary Vail

Keep Fighting
Fighting police crime one scoop at a time. Thank you very much.
Ann Nomura

“Troubled by Police Mishandling of Sex Crime Investigation, Federal Judge Orders City of Oakland Back to Court” by Darwin BondGraham, News, June 27:
Stop Increasing Budget
And millions more in taxpayer dollars now must be committed to ongoing federal oversight, which has already cost the City of Oakland more than $30 million. And still, the OPD budget continues to increase yearly, with many millions of unbudgeted overtime. We are hostages on a runaway train hurtling down the tracks.
We can only pray that the Oakland Police Commission will, in time, provide the kind of oversight and accountability that the city has thus far been able to achieve.
Rashida Grinage

Why Pay Out Settlements?
We are advised to focus on “the nearly $100 million the City has had to pay on police misconduct settlements and Court losses since the NSA went into effect.” Indeed, why did the City capitulate to an NSA when none of the so-called Riders police were ever convicted? Why does city attorney Barbara Parker get to accept the maximum legal campaign donation from attorney John Burris and then tell the city council again and again to pay out settlements to him and his clients without ever fighting his extortions in a courtroom? And how much money was paid like this: “A lady I knew bragged that her brother had been selling drugs on West Oakland streets since he was 16. His jaw was broken by a rival dealer, but he blamed OPD and got a nice little settlement to expand his operations.”
Charlie Pine

“Public Defender Says Arraignments at New Alameda County Courthouse in Dublin Denies Access to Courts for Low-Income People-of-Color” by Ashley Wong, News, June 28:
The Criminal Justice System Is Already Stacked Against People of Color
Although I can see both sides to this conversation, what I find missing from the discussion is the fact that the new Dublin location is more convenient for the judges, lawyers, court clerks, and law-enforcement staff. I would suggest that those are the people who live in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, and even the Central Valley. Those are the folks whose commutes disappear altogether, or become demonstrably shorter, with the opening of a Dublin court facility. I find it hard to believe that the inmates are the ones upset because they have to get up at 3 a.m. and go on a bus ride to Oakland or Hayward. It is probably a welcome relief to the monotony of incarceration. It seems unfair that if the majority of those arrested and the majority county population is more centralized, that all of the arraignments should happen in Dublin. The only city in the county farther east than Dublin is Livermore. Although Dublin is serviced by BART, the station is not convenient to the courthouse, and public bus transit in this suburban city is not a dependable alternative. At least the county should consider having the workload split with the Hayward courthouse to give inmate families a chance to show support. The criminal-justice system is already stacked against poor black and brown people. This just seems like piling on.
Gary Patton

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