Jesus H Christ is it ever WTFland in the news today.
Content Notice: Human trafficking and corrupt police.
Oakland Police are caught up in a $66-million dollar lawsuit alleging 30+ officers perpetuated a minor’s human trafficking for two years:
The teenager had been selling herself for money since she was 12. She had been “exploited by pimps,” she says, and was in the act of running away from one when she met Brendan O’Brien, a police officer in Oakland, Calif.
But instead of helping the then-17-year-old prostitute, O’Brien and more than 30 other law enforcement officers “continued to traffic, rape, victimize and exploit a teenage girl who needed to be rescued,” according to a legal claim filed with the Oakland city attorney’s office. “Instead of helping [the teen] find a way out of exploitation, they furthered and deepened her spiral down into the sex trade,” the claim adds.
Now 19, the teen is seeking $66 million in damages from the city, its police force, its former chief and multiple officers — the latest twist in an astonishing sex scandal that has swept up several police departments in the San Francisco Bay area.
The scandal led to the resignation of Oakland’s police chief, as well as the two people appointed to replace him, neither of whom lasted a week. It also led to other firings and suspensions, numerous criminal charges — and an apology from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
“I am deeply sorry for the harm that this scandal has caused, particularly to community trust, which for many was already so tenuous,” Schaaf (D) said earlier this month.
The teen’s claim, filed Friday, implicates not just O’Brien and the officers accused of having sex with the teen, but also supervisors who “stood by with a blind eye” as the teen became a sex slave for the officers, her attorneys said.
O’Brien committed suicide in the midst of a growing internal investigation. A note he left behind named other officers who he said had sex with the teen.
Investigators have moved ahead with their case against 10 officers — seven were charged last month, another three this week. Prosecutors say more charges are coming.
And leaders in Oakland and other municipalities have said they are cleaning house. “I am here to run a police department, not a frat house,” Schaaf said in June, according to the Los Angeles Times. She vowed to “root out what is clearly a toxic, macho, culture,” the Times reported. Schaaf did not respond to messages seeking comment this week.
What in the actual fuck is wrong with these police?