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Lead ‘Riders’ plaintiff sentenced to 24 months

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The lead plaintiff in the Riders police misconduct case in Oakland has been sentenced to two years in state prison for his conviction for felony assault with intent to commit a sex crime with a 17-year-old girl at a motel.

Delphine Allen, 39, pleaded no contest to the assault charge on March 21 and was sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Tara Desautels on Monday.

Allen was the first of 119 plaintiffs to sue the city in a case that would become known as Allen v. City of Oakland, which alleged that a band of rogue police officers known as “The Riders” beat and planted drugs on West Oakland residents.

The city agreed to settle the case in 2003 by paying $10.9 million to the plaintiffs, who were represented by attorneys John Burris and James Chanin.

The settlement also required the Oakland Police Department to achieve reforms under federal oversight but the department has still not completed all of the reforms.

Three Riders officers who were charged with criminal offenses underwent two high-profile trials in 2003 and 2005 but were never convicted of any charges.

A fourth officer who was charged fled the area and never stood trial.

Oakland police Officer Alonzo Weatherly wrote in a probable cause statement that in 2016 Allen befriended a 16-year-old girl and smoked marijuana with her and occasionally helped her out financially.

Weatherly said that on Aug. 29, 2016, Allen took the girl, who was then 17, to the In-N-Out Burger restaurant at 8300 Oakport St. in Oakland and then to the Motel 6 in the 8400 block of Edes Avenue, where they smoked marijuana and Allen told her he wanted to have sex with her.

Weatherly wrote that the girl told Allen she wasn’t interested in having sex but he forced her to the floor of the motel room, got on top of her and touched her in a sexual way but she managed to get out from underneath him and flee.

Allen has a previous felony conviction in 2004 for selling a controlled substance.

Allen testified on Jan. 7, 2005, that the Riders officers beat him up for at least 10 minutes and planted drugs on him on June 27, 2000.

Allen said he was kicked in his stomach, thighs, back and ribs after officers stopped him at about 1:45 a.m. that day on 32nd Street near Market Street in West Oakland, an area police officials said was known as a drug hotspot.

Jude Siapno, one of the Riders officers who stood trial, admitted on Feb. 28, 2005, that he beat Allen in his feet with a flashlight but said he did so only to get Allen back into a police patrol car before a crowd formed and the arrest scene got out of control, as officers had been told that area residents were armed with guns.

Siapno said he merely wanted to control Allen after Allen kicked him with his feet.

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