The Oakland Badge Department, which has continued struggled to recruit women, asks all administrator applicants to acknowledge whether they accept been ually assaulted, The Chronicle has learned.
The analysis does not arise to be common. The Chronicle arrested with badge departments in the 10 best crawling cities in California and could not acquisition addition that screens for whether candidates are animal advance victims.
The convenance is “inexcusable,” said retired Portland, Ore., Badge Arch Penny Harrington, the aboriginal woman to advance a above burghal badge force.
“There’s absolutely no acumen to be accomplishing that,” said Harrington, who founded the Civic Center for Women and Policing. “I can’t brainstorm why they would charge to apperceive that information, except as a way to ablution out women.”
Legal experts said the analysis is odd and potentially problematic, although there is altercation over whether it’s illegal.
Oakland badge admiral said a appellant would not be denied a position for actuality a animal advance victim. Asked why they appetite to apperceive the information, admiral said they are absorbed in reviewing all badge letters in which applicants may appear.
The catechism comes up aback recruits accept to assurance and get notarized a anatomy that allows the Badge Administration to conduct a accomplishments analysis on them, acceding the absolution of educational transcripts, acclaim history and added records. The absolution anatomy has been in use aback at atomic 2011.
“As an appellant for a position of Badge Administrator with the Oakland Badge Department, I am appropriate to accouter advice for use in free my adequacy for application and I may not be advised after it,” the certificate begins.
It goes on to account the types of annal that charge be arise to accomplishments board and says the advice may be arise to third parties.
Being a victim of animal advance is affected in the ambience of alive an applicant’s abeyant bent record. The anatomy says that amidst the advice that will be advised by accomplishments board is the applicant’s “local bent history advice … including if I accept been a victim of animal assault.” It cites “Penal Code Area 2939d” for justification.
Penal Code Area 2939d does not exist.
In acknowledgment to questions from The Chronicle, Administrator Marco Marquez, a administration spokesman, said the cardinal is a typo. He said the actual area of California law is 293(d).
That law reads: “A law administration bureau shall not acknowledge to a person, except the prosecutor, acquittal admiral of the Administration of Corrections and Rehabilitation, audition admiral of the acquittal authority, acquittal admiral of canton acquittal departments, or added bodies or accessible agencies area accustomed or appropriate by law, the name of a actuality who alleges to be the victim of a breach if that actuality has adopted to exercise his or her appropriate pursuant to this area and Area 6254 of the Government Code.”
Marquez said a appellant would not be erfingers for actuality a animal advance victim. The Badge Department’s accomplishments board are “interested in every badge address that an appellant ability arise in,” including whether the actuality was a suspect, attestant or victim, he said.
The absolution form, however, does not ask for that information. It does not ask whether applicants accept been victims of any added types of crimes. It does not ask whether they committed animal advance — alone whether they were the victim of animal assault. The anatomy has no questions about actuality a attestant or suspect.
One able on application law and discrimination, UC Hastings College of the Law Assistant Joan Williams, said acute applicants to acknowledge their cachet as victims of animal advance is “clearly illegal.”
“This is not article they are declared to be doing,” Williams said. “It’s absolutely outrageous.”
Despite the administration assuming the catechism to all applicants, Williams said, women would be disproportionately impacted by their response, because they are added acceptable to be animal advance victims than men.
“By including alone one bearings in which you accept to address that you’re a victim, the association is that if you’re a victim of robbery, for example, that doesn’t matter,” Williams said. “The boilerplate is that women who accept been ually assaulted about-face into angry ids and breach machines and could never be cold again.”
At atomic one woman thinks her acknowledgment to the catechism was the acumen she was denied the position.
The woman, who aboriginal activated in 2013, was anesthetized over for the job as an Oakland cop admitting her boyhood status, delivery in assorted languages, avant-garde educational degrees and added than 10 years of acquaintance as an administrator in added badge agencies — all qualities the Oakland administration says it prizes. She batten on action of anonymity because of apropos about her affairs of actuality assassin elsewhere.
The Badge Administration beneath to animadversion on her case.
The woman — who has an advancing accusation adjoin a above administration adage a adolescent badge administrator raped her — filed a bigotry complaint adjoin the Oakland Badge Administration with the California Administration of Fair Application and Housing. In the complaint, which is pending, the woman said she accustomed an email from an Oakland badge baker cogent her she was no best beneath application for the position.
“When I inquired as to why, he a me that it was because of my awaiting discrimination/civil clothing that I accept adjoin a antecedent employer,” she wrote.
After complaining, the woman said she was placed aback into the basin of acceptable candidates but told that she had to delay for the administration to complete a accomplishments investigation. That was a year ago.
She likened her bearings to a affliction cachet and alleged the Oakland agency’s accomplishments “an unscalable dejected bank of amoral brutality.”
“A man who rapes is afforded a anticipation of innocence, yet a woman who’s been raped — she’s accusable alike if accurate innocent and charge not apply,” she said.
Deborah Rhode, a Stanford Law School assistant who studies according aegis and discrimination, said the woman seems to accept a able case. Whistle-blowers are not declared to be punished, she said.
But Rhode disagreed with the abstraction that allurement the catechism about animal advance is illegal, because it is airish to both men and women. She said she hadn’t heard of added agencies allurement it.
“It’s absolutely peculiar,” Rhode said. “I would like to apperceive what the basal account abaft the catechism is. … I don’t apperceive if the acceptance is that addition who’s been a victim can’t be objective.”
Oakland admiral — including above Assistant Arch Paul Figueroa — were alerted in 2013 to the problems airish by the inquiry, according to emails beatific by the woman who was denied the position and her friend, a California badge captain who was advocating on her behalf. Figueroa was one of three chiefs affected to footfall bottomward in 2016 amidst a absolute animal delinquency scandal.
Last month, the woman afresh aloft the issue, this time in an email to Badge Arch Anne Kirkpatrick and Burghal Administrator Sabrina Landreth. Added admiral in the Badge Department, the burghal attorney’s appointment and Mayor Libby Schaaf’s appointment were included as recipients.
The woman said no one has replied.
Like best law administration agencies, the Oakland force struggles to allure changeable officers. One badge academy chic that began this year had aloof one woman amidst 24 recruits. The latest chic has eight women out of 34. In contempo years, women accept fabricated up 11 to 14 percent of the force — on par with the civic average.
Harrington, the retired Portland chief, said practices like Oakland’s accumulate women out of the field.
“They’ll acquaint you the acumen we don’t accept added women is that women don’t appetite these jobs,” she said. “It’s a agglomeration of hooey. Who wouldn’t appetite a good-paying job with pensions and allowances and advance opportunities? They don’t appetite women in there.”
Representatives of the San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Anaheim and Santa Ana badge departments said they do not ask applicants to acknowledge whether they are animal advance victims.
The Alameda Canton Sheriff’s Appointment does not ask for such acknowledgment from its applicants, said Deputy Sean Poole, a accomplishments investigator for the department. But the analysis may appear up in added contexts, Poole said.
For instance, applicants charge acknowledgment a catechism — accepted amidst California law administration agencies — about whether they accept anytime had at work. Addition who responds affably may say that it was absolutely aggravation or assault, which would advance to added investigation, Poole said.
During a polygraph-like test, if an applicant’s accent wavers on a catechism about committing calm violence, Poole said, he may ask a aftereffect catechism to see whether the actuality was the victim of calm abandon to array out abeyant apocryphal positives.
“We’re aggravating to amount out if they were the perpetrator, not the victim,” he said. “We don’t disqualify for actuality a victim.”
Kimberly Veklerov is a San Francisco Chronicle agents writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @kveklerov
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