What Next

Can 20 Years of Oversight Reform a Police Department?

After 11 different police chiefs and myriad reforms, Oakland PD is “on the cusp of compliance.” But residents remain leery.

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Episode Notes

Following a civil lawsuit, with more than 100 plaintiffs, against a group of Oakland police officers known as “the Riders” in the early 2000s, the Oakland Police Department was put under federal oversight. Now, after nearly two decades of reforms, backslides into scandals, and close watch from activists and the feds, Oakland can enter a probationary period. But has the culture of the department really changed?

Guest: Darwin BondGraham, news editor of the Oaklandside and co-author of a forthcoming book about the Oakland PD. He and his partner, Ali Winston, have been covering the OPD for almost two decades.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, Anna Rubanova and Sam Kim.

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About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.