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Oakland police chief denies crime lab allegations

October 7, 2010 6:49:51 PM PDT
There was a strange scene in Oakland Thursday, when the police chief denied allegations of something that is not even public yet. It was about a crime lab scandal similar to the one still dogging San Francisco.

In a highly-unusual move, Police Chief Anthony Batts called a press conference at the headquarters to announce that an anonymous allegation of misconduct against a crime lab technician is unfounded.

Batts would not say whether the accusation had to do with the testing of drugs, DNA or something else at the lab, which is on the sixth floor at the headquarters, but said he wanted to nip a rumor in the bud, before it leaks out.

Batts said the allegation came in as an anonymous phone call on Sept. 22, 2010.

"We are looking closely into the validity of all accusations. At this point in time, through this investigation over the last two weeks, we have no reason to believe the accusations are true or have validity at this point, but we will continue our investigation," said Batts. "There tends to be a problem with keeping information within the city of Oakland and I thought it was an opportune time to get this out, we had nothing to hide and I think it is very good for us to be transparent as an organization."

The chief said he wanted to get out ahead of any rumors or possible news stories about the matter so as to maintain the public's trust in his department.

Batts went onto say there been several audits done of the crime lab since he arrived last year and that the lab has had "perfect scores" in all of those audits.


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