OPD disciplines 9 officers for involvement with ‘sexist and racist’ Instagram account

The Oakland Police Department found nine officers were engaging with an offensive Instagram account.
The Oakland Police Department found nine officers were engaging with an offensive Instagram account. Photo credit Oakland Police Department Facebook

A group of nine Oakland police officers was found to be involved with a racist and sexist Instagram account set up by a former officer, according to a lengthy investigation by the city.

The investigation into the Instagram account already prompted the Police Department to add to its sexual harassment and workplace behavior training and to increase oversight of employee social media use, according to reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Podcast Episode
KCBS Radio: On-Demand
Oakland Police Department is ramping up efforts to recruit new officers
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

All nine officers have been disciplined, but their names have not been made public, said officials. The penalties ranged from a three-day unpaid suspension to a 25-day unpaid suspension.

The account posted "deeply offensive content" in the form of memes criticizing the department. The Oaklandside discovered the account under the username @crimereductionteam in January, which posted sexist and racist commentary, as well as criticism of OPD policies meant to prevent brutality and corruption.

The creator of the account was not named in the report but, "appeared to be intimately familiar with the department, and specifically the crime reduction teams," the city said. It was determined that it was founded by a former Oakland police officer who was terminated for violating department policies.

Investigators seized more than 140 department-issued cell phones and studied all their contents and online histories. They interviewed all crime reduction team personnel, and any officers or individuals in specialized units or that had any crossover with crime reduction.

The nine officers were found to have violated department policies, including accessing inappropriate material on department-issued equipment, including content unrelated to the Instagram account, sexual harassment or other conduct, failure to perform duties and responsibilities, and failure to report violations.