A 6.18 Vice story reports that Oakland “has gone through three police chiefs in nine days in the wake of a series of scandals involving alleged sexual misconduct and racist text messages.
“Paul Figueroa took the position of acting police chief on Wednesday, replacing Ben Fairow as the department’s top cop. Just two days later, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf held a press conference to announce Figueroa had resigned his duties [due to alleged] racist text messages and emails exchanged by officers. While announcing Figueroa’s resignation, Schaaf used strong language to condemn what she described as the ‘toxic’ and ‘macho’ culture inside the department. ‘I am here to run a police department, not a frat house,’ Schaaf said angrily. ‘We are hell-bent on rooting out this disgusting culture.'”
Comment #1: The Oakland scandal is an HBO movie, and maybe even a feature. It’s the House of Borgia in uniform with nightsticks. It’s about the clash of two radically different realms — that of a progressive feminist mayor looking to enforce a fairer, less racist system vs. the sexist, swaggering old-boy network of beat cops in a big, tough, racially combustible city. Things are obviously changing in this country, and even the randiest and gruntiest big-city cops know their way of life is on the way out. But it won’t be pretty.
Comment #2: Did Schaaf ever read a Joseph Wambaugh novel when she was younger? Has she ever seen The Wire, Serpico, Prince of the City? Who does she think is attracted to being a cop in the first place? Liberal p.c. pantywaists? There are good cops out there, but others are not exactly sweethearts. Some are good-hearted and fair-minded but many are white traditionalists holding on to a shrinking turf.