OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf helped launch a multimedia campaign to fight sex trafficking in the Bay Area. It comes just two days after the first criminal charges were filed against police officers in a wide ranging child prostitution scandal.
A street music and art festival was held in Oakland with an aim to focus attention on sex trafficking.
"It is shameful, Oakland is one of the hubs of human sex trafficking. But it would be even more shameful to be silent about it," said Mayor Schaaf.
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On Friday, charges against a former Oakland officer and a former Livermore officer were filed by the Alameda County District Attorney - the first of seven expected to face criminal prosecution in the sex scandal.
At Saturday's event, the mayor also commented to the $66 million civil claim filed against the city by attorney's for Jasmine Abuslin, the woman formerly known as Celeste Guap.
"We have tremendous compassion for the victim in this case, we will work through the process, this is active litigation so there's not a lot I can say to you about the lawsuit," explained Schaaf.
The organizers of the event say they're trying to empower residents to take action against all types of exploitation.
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"Awareness is everything. You know an aware community is a community who is less at risk for exploitation," said Malaya van Kleek, the event organizer.
A website was also launched - to help people report suspicious activities in their neighborhoods. It's called reportjohn.org.
"They can do it on web, they can do it on mobile phone, smart phone and then they put in the license plate and any photos of something they've seen," said Preet Anand, who created the website.
The site allows people to submit anonymous information to the Oakland Police Department's Special Victim's Unit.
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The owners of vehicles spotted in areas known for sexual exploitation and trafficking will get a warning letter.
"The power of shame and exposure can be just as effective at preventing this type of poor behavior," she said.
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