Three weeks before a federal judge will hear arguments over whether Oakland should hand over its police department to federal authorities, attorneys for the police officers union filed a searing critique against the law enforcement agency, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The lawyers said the department's top brass was ineffective and accused commanders of leading the public on as they failed to install reforms mandated by a civil rights lawsuit.
They asserted that internal affairs officers had carried out "dishonest" investigations that led to unjust results. And they characterized the relationship between cops and residents as "more negative than ever." At a time when city attorneys have gone all out to defend the department and stave off a federal receiver, the union's declaration sought to distance the rank and file from the department's command staff. Since 2003, the department has attempted to institute 51 reforms that were required in a civil settlement after four officers, who called themselves the Riders, were accused of beating and framing suspects. Attorneys for more than 100 of the victims filed a motion that asked a federal judge to appoint a receiver to take over the department, which has failed to implement nine of the required reforms.