Racial profiling and police brutality have long-plagued the Oakland Police Department. But despite civil rights lawsuits, press reports and protests, the Oakland Police Department continues to have a "toxic, macho culture" (according to the Oakland Mayor) and has most recently been tarnished by a litany of scandals involving racist text messages, sexual misconduct by officers with an underage sex worker, and release of confidential information by a sergeant's girlfriend.
The Oakland Police Department has now gone through three chiefs in nine days -- the most recent stepping down amidst calls for greater accountability and reform.
Moreover, a recent Stanford University Report indicates that racial profiling and other problems continue to exists when it comes to relations between Oakland police officers and African American community members. Whether manifested by racist texts, racism, implicit bias or racial profiling, the Oakland Police Department has a big problem it needs to address.
One of the findings of the Stanford University Report on the Oakland Police Department was that during stops, officers were more likely to mention probation or parole when talking with an African American individual, while instead providing a reason for the stop when talking with a white individual.
Out of 28,000 traffic stops, the Stanford Report concluded that African Americans were four times more likely to be searched than whites. African Americans also were more likely to be handcuffed, even if they were not eventually arrested.
The Report makes 50 recommendations for reform, including better training in social tactics, improvements in police-community relations, use of footage to train officers about racial issues, and improving data collection and analysis efforts.