Oakland police chief Sean Whent resigns

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced the resignation of police Chief Sean Whent in a statement issued by the city administrator’s office Thursday night.

Schaaf said:

“Chief Whent’s decision to resign was a personal choice which we respect.”

She did not elaborate further on the reasons for Whent’s resignation.

Schaaf said:

“Under his leadership Oakland has gotten safer, experiencing a 39 percent decrease in shootings and murders since 2013, and a 46 percent year-to-date reduction in homicides. Chief Whent has also done the critical work of driving sustainable, principled policing in Oakland.”

Schaaf said that she and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth were grateful for Whent’s dedication and service.

Landreth said Whent earned the city national recognition for its body-worn camera program.

Ben Fairow, who currently works as deputy chief for the BART Police Department, has been appointed Interim Chief of Police while Oakland city officials look for a permanent replacement.

Fairow has previously served as a captain in the Oakland Police Department, where his assignments included a stint as commander of the Internal Affairs Division.

Schaaf, Landreth and Fairow will be releasing additional information during a news conference in the Mayor’s Conference Room at 9 a.m. Friday.

Cat Brooks, noted activist with the Anti Police-Terror Project, issued a statement saying Whent was fired amid recent allegations of sexual misconduct among officers in the department:

“This is a victory that the people should claim. … Were it not for years of organizing and mounting public pressure for police accountability — Whent would still have his job.”