A young girl was just 12-years-old when she was forced into the sex trade by pimps, then she went to the police for help but instead of aiding her, they proceeded to do the exact same thing to her later on in her life. That’s not the shocking part according to the legal complaint more than 30 officers were involved and many were never punished.
Here’s a refresher on the case which is several years old. In 2016, Celeste Guap claimed to have had sex with officers of the law and that some of these three officers were when she was underage – just 16 years old.
The irony of all this, she was the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher. Guap alleged that she had had sex with dozens of police officers from seven departments, including — Richmond, Oakland, Livermore, Contra Costa County and Alameda County.
She said some of her sexual encounters with officers happened while she was underage. Several officers were terminated as a result of an investigation, and several were charged criminally. However, some kept their jobs as is the case with six Richmond PD officiers as the Dailymail reports.
In exchange for the sex some officers gave her protection and tipped her off about undercover prostitution sting operations in text messages.
“A lot knew I was underage because they nicknamed me ‘juve,’ which is short for juvenile,” Guap said at the time.
A sex scandal that started just involving the Oakland police department, has spread across east bay California to several police departments, including the Richmond Police Department, San Francisco Police Department, and Stockton Police Department.
More than two dozen officers are implicated in the investigation that was started after Officer Brendan O’Brien committed suicide and left a suicide note that stated several officers lied in the first internal investigation about their relationships with prostitute Celeste Guap. O’Brien was one of two other officers accused of having sex with Guap when she was underage at 16. O`Brien is also suspected of murdering his wife — investigators called her death suspicious.
First, the scandal caused police chief Shaun Whent of Oakland PD to resign because 14 of his officers were allegedly involved.
A few of those other law enforcement officials were High-ranking Richmond police officers and five other officers who exchanged explicit messages with the teen. All officers were reprimanded in writing however many kept their jobs, after being involved in criminal behavior that would get most people years in prison. What’s more, is the positions of power some of these officers held to protect children.
For example, former Lt. Andre Hill who was running the Richmond police department’s Youth Service Division when he came across Celeste Guap in 2015. In 2017, two years later Hill was fired after it was discovered that for years, he sent the teen sexually explicit messages and engaged in oral sex with her at least once. Hill was later fired for having oral sex with Guap at her home and sexting with her.
But Hill was never charged and is currently attempting to get his job back. Fast-forward back to 2020, as part of a settlement agreement stemming from a lawsuit over SB 1421, the 2019 police transparency law, records of the other officers’ “discipline” were released.
According to a report out of the Mercury News,
Records released Wednesday for the first time publicly identify four Richmond officers disciplined for their involvement with the Richmond teenager, known as Celeste Guap.
Most notably is Lt. Felix Tan, who was the chief of staff to then-Chief Allwyn Brown. As a public information officer, Tan helped craft the department’s messaging as the scandal ricocheted from the Oakland Police Department to Richmond.
Documents released by the City of Richmond on Wednesday indicate, of the 11 officers who were implicated in the sex scandal, three were kicked off the force, six were given letters of reprimand and two quit before being subjected to punishment, reported KQED.
If Hill being involved in the Youth Service Division and abusing a minor wasn’t enough. Tan was issuing the police department’s response to the officers who sexted a trafficked teen. While at the same time simultaneously he was also involved in abusing her too. You cannot make this up! When another officer asked Tan about the messages, he had no problem admitting to them, saying “Of course I made some comments because I’m a guy.”
Apparently being male excludes you from criminal charges of endangering and sexting with a minor.
Tan and Hill are among the highest-ranking officials in any of the departments and now we have the names of multiple other cops. Mercury News goes on to detail further officers involved.
“In interviews with this news organization in 2016, Guap named five officers she claimed to have a relationship with: Lt. Hill, Sgt. Armando Moreno, Sgt. Mike Rood, Officer Jarred Tong and Officer Terrance Jackson. This organization typically does not name victims of sexual assault or trafficking, but did so after Guap (who uses an assumed name) had spoken out publicly in the case.
The new records confirm the names of three other officers: Detective Sgt. Erik Oliver, Detective Daniel Campos, and Officer Joe Deorian, who all received written reprimands for sexually explicit messaging with Guap.”
None of the officers mentioned above by Mercury News were charged nor were they fired. This is a monumentous problem that needs to be fixed.
When the young girl went to police to get help for being trafficked by pimps, she was actually being brought into a depraved circle of cops from multiple departments who would continue to abuse her.
As the Washington Post reported, instead of helping her, at 17 more than 30 law enforcement officers “continued to traffic, rape, victimize and exploit a teenage girl who needed to be rescued,” according to a legal claim filed with the Oakland city attorney’s office. “Instead of helping [the teen] find a way out of exploitation, they furthered and deepened her spiral down into the sex trade,” the claim continued.
That’s not the end of it though, some of these officers were promoted after this incident as if it didn’t happen…
The Oakland police department held a secret ceremony in a church in 2017 where it honored several of the officers at the ceremony who were the same ones involved in covering up, mishandling, or otherwise participating in the sex-crimes against Guap.
As the East Bay Express reported at the time, two dozen protesters picketed the ceremony at the church’s entrance, accusing Mayor Libby Schaaf and the department of rewarding officers who should instead be punished.
“They seem to be resisting change,” said Gwen Hardy, a longtime Oakland resident who has been involved in efforts to reform the OPD since the 1980s, according to the Express. Hardy said the Coalition for Police Accountability, which spearheaded the creation of the city’s new police commission, met with Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick earlier this year. Kirkpatrick told the activists she wouldn’t hesitate to discipline, and even fire, bad cops. “But why promote them?” Hardy asked.
Roland Holmgren one of the officers honored at the ceremony for his recent promotion to captain, was one of the dozens of cops referred to in a special court investigator’s report as having mishandled the Celeste Guap case, in which multiple Oakland cops raped and trafficked a young woman and illegally accessed department records, among other crimes, according to the Express.
Several other officers, including Capt. Kirk Coleman who now runs the Internal Affairs Division were in attendance. Coleman was also involved in the sex trafficking cover-up and named in the report for failing to notify the District Attorney about the criminal behavior of the officers in the case.
The public became aware of the investigation after Guap went public and the investigation revealed a massive conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse by dozens of California cops involved within multiple departments. The question that needs to be asked is, how many other police departments are like this in big cities where crime rings run amok, trafficking children, or child trafficking is turned a blind eye? We know that at least one other department across the country in Miami turned a blind eye to the sickest most depraved child trafficker who ever lived Jeffrey Epstein. So how often does this go un-noticed or ignored by authorities and just swept under the rug as if nothing happened?
Colombian Govt Wants To Legalize Cocaine And Then Sell It
This article was originally published On Dec 3, 2020
Colombia is one of the most notorious producers of cocaine in the world, despite the fact that the country has gone to great lengths in hopes of diminishing the trade of the drug trade within its borders.
Now, some members of the Columbian government are proposing a new approach. They are calling for the drug to be legalized and for the government to take control of the industry for themselves.
In a new bill first proposed earlier this year, senators Iván Marulanda and Feliciano Valencia call for the Colombian government to take total control of the cocaine industry to bolster public funds and cut violent cartels out of the trade.
In a recent interview with VICE, Marulanda explained that the government would purchase coca at market price from the 200,000 farming families that are believed to be involved in the trade.
Columbia is considering a bill that makes the government buy up and sell the country’s cocaine production.
HOLY. SHIT. So instead try to stamp out drugs, Columbia tries to take control of the trade and regulate the problem? https://t.co/8SBmE45dmX
— Jason Ng (@ByJasonNg) December 2, 2020
The senators argued that it would actually be cheaper for authorities to buy the crop from the farmers than it would for them to destroy their crops. It costs the government roughly $1 billion every year to destroy coca crops, while it would only cost about $680 million to buy it.
“The thing is, we have to recover control over the state. We’re losing control of the state to corruption, narcos in politics. They’re in municipalities, in departments and in congress. All the way to the highest echelons of government,” Marulanda explained.
From here, the state would supply cocaine to users and research groups looking to study its use for painkillers, but it would not be sold recreationally. However, cocaine use is already legal in Columbia, after a court ruled that personal consumption was a human right.
Marulanda is not sure if his bill will make an impact, or how long it will take to gain traction, but he is hoping to make it a major election issue in 2022.
‘The first big obstacle is to open up the conversation among public opinion. This has been a giant taboo. Colombians are born and raised under this assumption that drug-trafficking is a war. There’s no information about coca and cocaine. So, with this bill we hope to open the conversation,” he explained.
In recent years, the government has stepped up their military-police-style enforcement of the industry, and yet cocaine production continues to grow in the country.
Coca cultivation reached 212,000 hectares last year, a rise of nearly 2% from 208,000 hectares the year before, according to figures released by the White House in March. Potential pure cocaine production, meanwhile, rose to 951 metric tons, an 8% increase, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s pretty remarkable that they manually eradicated 100,000 hectares last year and didn’t move the needle,” Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America think tank said earlier this year. “I guess it means replanting has at least kept pace.”
It seems that no matter what the government does, the cocaine keeps on coming, so politicians are willing to try things that may drastic. However, as Marulanda pointed out in his interview with Vice, cutting out the criminal middlemen will reduce the violence seen in the country’s drug war, and also make the drug safer for the people who use it.
Another Little Black Book That Once Belonged To Epstein With New Names Is Found
It is well-known that the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein kept detailed records of all the powerful people that he stayed in contact with. There is a notorious “little black book” that was published by Gawker in 2015, which exposed many of the powerful people in his circle. This book is believed to contain the contacts that he most frequently called around 2004 and 2005. However, a new list of contacts, recently published by The Insider, reveals new names that were friends with Epstein in the 1990s.
The new black book has the names of 349 people, many of whom did not appear in the list that was previously released to the public.
Among the names on the list are Suzanne Ircha, who’s married to Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, famous wall street investor Carl Icahn, supermarket owner John A. Catsimatidis, actress Morgan Fairchild, former New Republic owner Marty Peretz; and Cristina Greeven, the wife of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.
The new black book was made public through a strange twist of fate. A woman initially found the book in the late 1990s and saved it for many years until she finally sold it on eBay.
Denise Ondayko, the woman who found the book, said she was walking down Fifth Avenue in the mid-’90s when she spotted a black address book on the ground. She said that she didn’t realize it was Epstein’s book at the time, because he was pretty much unknown to the public, but she did realize that it had a lot of famous names and figured that it might be worth something, so she held onto it.
Last year, Ondayko was cleaning out an old storage unit where she was keeping some of her things and she stumbled upon the book. Now that Epstein was all over the news, the information contained in the book was much more obvious to identify.
Ondayko said she reached out to everyone in the media that she could, including John Oliver, Rachel Maddow, and The New York Times, but none of them ever got back to her, so she eventually just put it up for sale on eBay.
The buyer was Chris Helali, an aspiring politician from Vermont. He purchased the book for $425.
Helali also tried reaching out to the media, including journalists that were already reporting on Epstein, but none of them seemed interested. Finally, Nick Bryant, the reporter who wrote the original Gawker black book story forwarded the book to the Insider who decided to publish.
Insider hired Dennis Ryan, a former forensic document examiner and laboratory supervisor for the Nassau County Police Department, to verify the authenticity of the book. Ryan says that the book is definitely from the late 90s, and many of the dates and addresses match up perfectly with Epstein’s properties and known contacts at the time.
The Insider also reached out to dozens of contacts listed in the book who had never previously been publicly associated with Epstein. Fourteen acknowledged on the record that they knew or had met Epstein in the ’90s.
There are over 120 names that appear in both books, including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. Some of the other names included, Steve Rattner, Beth Anne Bovino, Dominique Bluhdorn, Jill Harth, Ted Field, Robert Nunnery, Stanley Shopkorn, Steve Ruchevsky, Ellen Susman, William and Ann Nitze, Les Gelb, Ron Daniel, Sandy Warner, Cyril Fung, Marius Fortelni, Michael Cutlip. Many of these names aren’t necessarily famous, but they are very powerful people in business and finance.
The address book is now available in a searchable database on the Insider, but it is unfortunately hidden behind a paywall.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers Cite Cosby Case As Precedent To Have Her Released From Prison
Last week, former actor Bill Cosby was released from prison on a technicality, despite the fact that he admitted to drugging and assaulting multiple women, and was accused by many others. After his release, legal experts warned that the ruling could set a dangerous precedent that attorneys in similar cases would use to get their clients released as well.
Now, just a week later, Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers are arguing that she should have her case thrown out on the same grounds, according to The Guardian.
Cosby was released because the prosecutor involved initially didn’t press any charges, and claimed that Cosby would not be facing any legal trouble, so when Cosby later confessed, his confession was called into question and no longer admissible in court. The judge also ruled that Cosby had no chance of a fair trial because evidence that was not admissible was so freely available in the media that the jury was unable to make a judgment without considering those facts.
Maxwell’s case is similar because the first time that Epstein was arrested for human trafficking, he was given a sweetheart deal by Alex Acosta, a friendly prosecutor. The deal helped Epstein avoid any serious jail time, but it also gave him and his associates legal protection from being held accountable for any future crimes.
Obviously, it is not possible to shield a criminal from the consequences of actions that they will take in the future, so Epstein was arrested again many years later after it was discovered that he continued his crimes long after his initial arrest. If Epstein and his friends did have any kind of immunity from that deal, it ended when they continued to commit crimes after the deal was made.
Still, Maxwell’s lawyers are optimistic after Cosby’s recent release.
“The government is trying to renege on its agreement and prosecute Ms Maxwell over 25 years later for the exact same offenses for which she was granted immunity,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote in a statement to Judge Alison Nathan.
However, the judge has previously ruled that the deal did not apply to the current case.
In an opinion piece for the New York Daily News, Maxwell’s attorney David Oscar Markus wrote that releasing Bill Cosby from prison was the right decision, and that Ghislaine Maxwell should be released as well. Markus argued that prosecutors should have to keep the promises that they make to suspects, because people will sometimes incriminate themselves if they think they have immunity.
However, many times prosecutors are corrupt and make promises that are against the best interests of the public, as we saw in Jeffrey Epstein’s first “sweetheart deal” with Alex Acosta while he was district attorney in Southern, Florida. Prosecutors are lawyers, they aren’t the judge and jury, and they shouldn’t hold this much power in a case this serious.
Judge Alison Nathan has not yet responded to the recent request, but she did condemn the recent opinion piece that was published by her lawyers in the New York Daily News earlier this week.
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