Disciplinary actions recommended for officers involved in sexual misconduct case

Richmond police car. Photo by Grace Oyenubi

Richmond police car. Photo by Grace Oyenubi

A Richmond Police Department investigation has recommended disciplinary actions for 11 police officers identified in the case involving improper conduct with the 19-year-old woman formerly known as Celeste Guap, according to a statement released by the office of Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay Friday morning.

The recommendations include the termination of one officer, the demotion of another, and the suspension of two others, one for 80 hours and the other for 120 hours. Five other officers would receive letters of reprimand. Two officers were removed from their positions prior to the investigation, for unrelated reasons, according to the statement.

Although Friday’s statement did not name the officers facing discipline, the young woman named five Richmond police officers in interviews with the East Bay Times earlier this year.

Announcement of the recommended disciplinary actions follows an investigation conducted by the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) earlier this month. The 275-page investigation report was based on examination of more than 10,000 text messages and cell phone records, 5,000 social media pages, and contact with 45 individuals, according to the statement.

Police officers in several departments in the Bay Area, including Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco, are at the center of the sexual misconduct case involving the young woman. Earlier this month, the young woman filed suit against the Oakland Police Department for $66 million, claiming that she was “a teenage victim of statutory rape and sex trafficking.”

At a press conference last Friday, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said that he was “disappointed and outraged” by the actions of the police officers in the department.

The “police officers have brought discredit to the department, discredit to the city of Richmond,” said Mayor Butt. “It also starts to undermine community trust, which is absolutely essential for an effective community policing operation.”

“I am sorry that the misconduct of these individuals has brought embarrassment to the City of Richmond and the Richmond Police Department,” said Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown, in the statement released Friday morning.

“Police officers must be held to a higher standard with regard to their personal and professional conduct because their effectiveness in serving the community depends on the public’s trust,” Brown said.

The eleven officers have ten days to request a private hearing. Chief Brown and Lindsay will then determine if the recommended disciplinary actions for each officer fit the offense.

 

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