OAKLAND, Calif. --Two of four Oakland police officers under investigation for sexual misconduct have resigned from the department, police confirmed today.
Police have not released the officers' names and have elaborated on few details of the investigation. While the investigation was opened last fall, the officers were only placed on leave this month.
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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and police Chief Sean Whent held a news conference last week to discuss the investigation after details of the alleged misconduct surfaced in media reports.
Whent said the allegations surfaced as police investigated the suicide of Officer Brendan O'Brien on Sept. 25, revealing evidence that multiple officers had engaged in sexual misconduct.
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Schaaf, who called the allegations "very disturbing," said the Alameda County District Attorney's Office will conduct a parallel investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations, into O'Brien's suicide and also into the apparent suicide of O'Brien's wife, Irma Huerta-Lopez, on June 16, 2014.
Huerta-Lopez's death had initially been investigated as a possible homicide but investigators later determined it was a suicide. During the news conference, Whent defended that investigation, particularly the revelation that the gun used in her death had been fired twice.
Whent said it is not uncommon for people who commit suicide to fire two shots. He also acknowledged that gunshot residue had been found on both Huerta-Lopez and O'Brien's hands, but said it likely got on O'Brien's hands because of his routine handling of firearms.
According to Whent, video surveillance corroborated O'Brien's alibi that he was in a convenience store at the time of his wife's death.
To ensure the integrity of the investigation, Schaaf said that no former Oakland police officers will be involved in the district attorney's investigations.
Despite the delays in releasing information, Oakland police said in a statement that the department "is committed to transparency. However, a complete investigative process requires confidentiality in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation. For this reason, only those preliminary details that do not compromise the investigation can be released at this time."