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Scandal-tainted Oakland police department gets new chief

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Oakland, California, on Wednesday named a high-ranking law enforcement official from Chicago to head its police department, which was rocked by a sex abuse scandal last year.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told a news conference she appointed Anne Kirkpatrick to lead the department, which the mayor previously condemned for promoting a “toxic” and “macho” culture.

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“Oaklanders wanted a leader with integrity able to change culture. Someone who would deliver on fair and just policing, prevent violence, and increase accountability,” Schaaf said.

Kirkpatrick, a former police chief in Spokane, Washington, was named in June as chief of the Bureau of Organizational Development in Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to overhaul the police department, which is under federal investigation.

She received that role after having been a finalist for the top job in Chicago of police superintendent. Emanuel fired the previous superintendent amid outrage over allegations that both the city and police department covered up the videotaped police killing of a black teen.

Three Oakland police chiefs resigned in quick succession after the East Bay Express newspaper reported last June that numerous officers in Oakland and other police departments in the Bay Area sexually exploited a teenage sex worker.

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The Alameda County District Attorney said in September that seven former and current officers in Oakland and elsewhere would be charged with crimes including oral copulation with a minor, engaging in prostitution, and unauthorized use of law enforcement databases.

Oakland’s announcement came two weeks after neighboring San Francisco announced the appointment of a new police chief.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee reluctantly pressured the former top police official to resign last May in response to protests over police killings of unarmed African-Americans and racist text-messaging scandals.

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The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a review of the San Francisco Police Department in coordination with police and city officials. Reviewers in October released a report outlining deficiencies it found within the department, including apparent racial bias in traffic stops, searches and killings.

A wave of anti-police protests since the 2014 killing of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, has created strains at law enforcement agencies across the United States, forcing out some police chiefs and top prosecutors.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Peter Cooney)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Alarming gibberish’: Trump dragged through gauntlet of mockery for raging impotently against Fed chair and China

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President Donald Trump attacked his own Federal Reserve chairman as an "enemy" of the United States amid his escalating trade war with China -- and other social media users were flabbergasted.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell refused to budge on interest rates, despite heavy pressure by the president in the face of a looming recession, and China retaliated against the tariffs Trump imposed with a new round of their own.

Trump lashed out at Powell, whose name he misspelled, and compared him unfavorably to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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A look inside the Koch brothers’ secret plan to manipulate politicians — and how it fueled the rise of the radical right

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Democrats and Republicans are expected to spend about $1 billion getting their 2016 nominee elected. There’s a third group that will spend almost as much. It’s not a political party, and it doesn’t have any candidates. It’s the right-wing political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, expected to spend nearly $900 million in 2016. The Kochs’ 2016 plans come as part of an effort to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades. The story of the Koch brothers and an allied group of billionaire donors is told in a new book by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” Mayer traces how the Kochs and other billionaires have leveraged their business empires to shape the political system in the mold of their right-wing agenda.

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New video emerges of Trump blurting out anti-Semitic slurs

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President Donald Trump this week said that the majority of American Jews were "disloyal" to Israel because they support the Democratic Party -- but that's far from the first time that the president has made controversial statements that deploy anti-Semitic tropes.

The Washington Post has obtained a video clip from 2011 that shows Trump boasting about how great one of his golf courses is before saying that "even these spoiled, rich Jewish guys, they can’t believe how good this [course] is."

The clip was originally aired on the Golf Channel for the show "Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf."

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