Saturday, September 10, 2005

Oakland Officer Targetted Asian Women

God, some people can be so disgusting! According to the San Francisco Chronicle, an Oakland police officer was unlawfully targetting attractive Asian/Asian American women for traffic misdemeanours, pulling them from their cars, and hitting on them.

Officer charged with illegal stops

A veteran Oakland police officer has been charged with making illegal traffic stops of immigrant Asian women and then trying to kiss or caress them, authorities said Friday. Officer Richard Valerga, 51, was charged Wednesday with seven misdemeanor counts, including two of false imprisonment and five of interference of civil rights, authorities said Friday. It was not yet clear when he would appear in court. The charges stem from traffic stops on five women made between January and April, police said. Police would not reveal the exact location or date of each stop. Valerga worked as a swing-shift patrol officer in the neighborhood just east of Lake Merritt and also worked on a beat in the Redwood Heights, Laurel and Dimond neighborhoods along MacArthur Boulevard between Fruitvale Avenue and High Street. Valerga, who joined the department in 1999, has been on administrative leave since May, when accusers began coming forward. The allegations were jointly investigated by police and the Alameda County district attorney's office. "During the course of the investigation, it was determined that most of the women recently immigrated to the United States and were illegally detained by the officer," according to a police department statement released Friday by Officer Danielle Ashford, a spokeswoman. "He maintains that he has done nothing wrong, nothing inappropriate and certainly nothing that rises to the level of these allegations," said Valerga's attorney, Paul Brennan. "I have not yet seen charges, so I really cannot comment beyond that." Police said Valerga would pull over the victims, attractive Asian women ranging from teenagers to women in their 40s, on a pretext -- and then come on to them. He is charged with one count of interference related to each woman. The two false-imprisonment charges stem from allegations by two women that when they asked Valerga to let them go, he refused, authorities said. Valerga, who joined the department after serving in the U.S. Navy, will remain on administrative leave for the duration of the criminal and administrative investigation. The department may try to fire him as the criminal case progresses, police said. Police said some of the victims had been tracked down by investigators who found that their license plates and driver's license information were run on the computer in Valerga's patrol car. Valerga may have victimized more women whom police could not locate, authorities said. The Valerga case is the first time an Oakland officer has been arrested since two narcotics investigators were caught in a San Leandro brothel in 2002. Eric Richholt and Mark Neely Jr. each pleaded no contest in 2003 to one count of soliciting an act of prostitution, a misdemeanor. They were sentenced to probation and ordered to attend an AIDS education class. Anyone with information about Valerga's case is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department at (510) 238-3455

My intrinsic anti-establishment outlook aside, is anyone else concerned about how many other people in positions of authority are abusing their power and getting away with it?


Blogger Kaede said...

Y'know, you would think they'd catch on to the fact that it seems like all this guy is doing is running plates on girls/women of Asian descent. That right there should ring the loudest bells with anyone. I mean, normally they'd run plates on anyone, especially if they're bored (like they do here), but if it appears that most, if not all, of the ones he's run are women? Asian women? Come on now people.....this worries even ME. This guy could be a predator in the making (if not already - who else hasn't come forward that he's actually MADE them do something to get him to let them go???? Now if that ain't a scary thought....)

Reading all these blogs by yourself and your friends and acquaintances has sure brought me more into awareness of just how shaky relations are between EVERYONE, not just African Americans and white ppl. I notice more that minorities aren't properly portrayed in the media at any level (I mean, looking at a Marie Claire magazine last night when I couldn't sleep, I could about count the number of minorities in the adverts on one hand, and they were all in sort of folksy dress that seems to trivialise their cultures.....) It's just really sad.

Then you go back to that guy who you mentioned - the photographer guy. His article made me literally sick to my stomach. He should seriously think about suing these guys for harassment, because that's what it is. I don't care about the erosion of civil liberties because I don't believe in it. I believe there are other ways of protection without having to go to that extreme. That means that the bad guys have won.....and that's just as bad.

9/11/2005 01:26:00 PM  
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