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Cops: FBI investigating Oakland police commander

  • Story Highlights
  • FBI looking into 2000 incident involving Oakland police commander
  • Undisclosed investigation comes from "specific allegations," FBI said
  • Commander not named but is on paid leave, according to department
  • Investigation comes on heels of other problems within department
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OAKLAND, California (CNN) -- The FBI has opened an investigation into an undisclosed incident from 2000 involving an Oakland Police Department commander, a department spokesman said Friday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a troubling start to 2009 for the department. which has included an internal investigation into charges that officers falsified search warrants or otherwise gave false statements, and riots sparked by a fatal New Year's Day shooting by a transit authority police officer.

The FBI would not confirm Friday what the police department called a "criminal/civil" investigation.

But Special Agent Joseph Schadler of the bureau's San Francisco office said the FBI had been made aware of "specific allegations" that are not part of any "wide-ranging probe into the Oakland Police Department."

The police department would not release further details on what triggered the investigation, citing California law and its own policies.

The officer involved in the investigation was not named, but the department said the commander is on paid administrative leave.

Oakland Police Chief Wayne G. Tucker insisted that his staff is cooperating fully with the investigation.

"The men and women who put on the uniform and represent the City are held to high standards of ethical conduct and performance," Tucker said in a written statement. "Please do not allow recent allegations of misconduct to overshadow the successful policing efforts achieved by Oakland Police Department personnel on a daily basis."

This month, the department was tied up in dealing with riots that erupted in downtown Oakland after a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer shot an unarmed man on New Year's Day. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums has asked the Oakland Police Department to conduct its own investigation into the shooting of Oscar Grant. The BART officer involved has since resigned from his job.

And department brass have said they want to fire 11 officers who they say falsified search warrants or gave statements believed to be untrue to investigators from the department's internal affairs division.

Oakland police, city officials and community leaders have also struggled with a soaring homicide rate.

CNN's Augie Martin contributed to this report.

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