Two years ago, a student lost his life when a chase and altercation with police officers turned deadly.
As a result of that event, the police force that works for the Oakland Unified School District has been required to submit yearly reports of complaints filed against its officers.
Tonight, the school board will receive the first Complaints Process and Complaints Report from the Oakland School Police Department. It is for the year 2012 and describes four incidents, which led to formal complaints lodged against officers.
In one incident in the report, a student at Fremont High School who was watching a friend be disciplined by an officer was handcuffed himself and pushed into lockers by the officer, despite, according to the report, a lack of provocation. A fight ensued when the student protested and the student was injured, with a minor injury to the shoulder, the report says. The officer was disciplined for violating policy that forbids carelessness and abusive conduct.
The second incident, listed as happening at Castlemont High School, tells of a police resource officer reprimanding a student for using a skateboard and asked him to hand it over. When the student refused, the officers took it away. The student resisted and a fight ensued with both fighters falling to the ground. Video surveillance of the incident showed the student being injured. The officer was cited for violating the same policy as the first incident, policy 4218 that is described as forbidding actions of "incompetence, disgraceful conduct, carelessless, abusive conduct" or willful failure to follow policy.
A third formal complaint listed in the report was an allegation of sexual assault by an off-duty officer when that officer was in another city. The school police department hired an investigator to investigate the allegation and informed the neighboring city police department of the allegation. The complainant did not pursue charges, but the investigation is continuing, the report says.
A fourth involved an officer filing an internal complaint against the department for a hostile work environment and alleging an officer slept on the job. This complaint was investigated and dropped.
Board of education members will discuss the Complaints Process and Complaints Reports tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 13, when they receive it at their regular meeting at La Esquelita Elementary School on Second Avenue.
The California Endowment for Health found in a survey of 1,200 voters conducted in January that a vast majority believe more guidance counselors would be more effective than placing police resource offices at each school. Most Oakland Unified high schools do not have guidance counselors.
Oakland Unified's spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Administrators and board members plan to discuss the report tonight.