Four Richmond officers to be fired in wake of Bay Area police sex crimes scandal

Javier Panzar

Four more Bay Area police officers will be fired as a result of an investigation into allegations made by a teenage sex-trafficking victim who said she slept with dozens of law enforcement officers.

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay on Sunday said the four officers will be fired after a city investigation found “documented misconduct” between the officers and the victim. Five other officers will be given official reprimands.

The Oakland Police Department and other Bay Area law enforcement agencies came under intense scrutiny in June after 19-year-old Jasmine Abuslin came forward earlier this year and said that she had sex with multiple officers, some while she was underage.

In addition to the firings in Richmond, four Oakland police officers were fired and seven others suspended without pay in September.

The allegations led Bay Area prosecutors to file multiple criminal charges against five different officers from other agencies, including three from the Oakland Police Department. Some of the charges included lewd conduct, engaging in prostitution, providing a minor with alcohol, failing to report child abuse and felony oral copulation with a minor.

One Oakland police officer, Brian Bunton, was charged with obstruction of justice; authorities accused him of leaking information about planned prostitution raids to the teenager in exchange for sex.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said in an email that he cannot disclose what type of misconduct led to termination of the four officers, but Sunday’s disciplinary actions were harsher than what the city originally announced last month when the investigation concluded. At that point, the city had planned to fire only one officer.

“The appropriate corrective actions are being taken to ensure that we do our part in Richmond to address the rash of improper conduct seen in police departments across the Bay Area,” Butt said in a statement.

Other heads rolled as news of the scandal broke this year: Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent resigned the same weekend Abuslin gave a televised interview detailing some allegations.

Following Whent’s resignation, two acting police chiefs were appointed to head the department but were subsequently dismissed in the span of nine days. Ultimately, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf chose to placed the department under the authority of civilian City Administrator Sabrina Landreth.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bay-area-police-sex-crimes-20161030-story.html?platform=hootsuite

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