In a shocking revelation, three law enforcement officers in Alameda County, California, were criminally charged last week, further destabilizing an already troubled law enforcement community. A probation officer faces accusations of sexual abuse, while two sheriff's deputies have been accused of covering up a jail suicide in 2021. The accusations span several years, with the probation officer allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor at a juvenile facility. Nicole Perales, a 50-year-old officer, was reportedly involved in sexual acts with a 15-year-old inmate over one year between August 2004 and 2005 while in a position of trust, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. The charges against Perales, a 20-year veteran of the probation department, include several felonies that could result in her spending up to four years in jail. If convicted, she would be required to register as a sex offender. The charges were filed by the Alameda County Public Accountability Unit, a department created by District Attorney Pamela Price in January under the umbrella of the Civil Rights Bureau. In addition to Perales, two Alameda County Sheriff's deputies, Sheri Baughman, 49, and Amanda Bracamontes, 30, have been implicated in a cover-up operation related to the apparent suicide of an inmate, Vinetta Martin, in the Santa Rita Jail in 2021. The duo stands accused of falsifying records to conceal their alleged negligence following Martin's disclosure of her suicidal intentions to jail staff three weeks before her death. [tweet_embed]May 31, 2023[/tweet_embed] In a public statement on Friday, District Attorney Price detailed the alleged misconduct. On April 3, 2021, Martin, 32, was found unconscious in her jail cell. The deputies were duty-bound to maintain visual contact with Martin every 30 minutes, but they allegedly doctored logbooks to suggest they had followed protocol. This deceit was exposed by video evidence revealing long gaps, up to one hour and 47 minutes, when the deputies failed to check on Martin. Martin was originally in custody on assault charges since July 2020 and was pending an evaluation and transfer to the Department of State Hospitals-Napa, when doubts arose about her competence to stand trial. Reacting to the charges against the officers, Alameda County Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez stated that it was "obviously a difficult day for many reasons." While lamenting any life lost at the Santa Rita Jail, Sanchez also advocated for due process for the accused deputies and affirmed the cooperation of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office with the District Attorney's office. This scandal came on the heels of another controversy at the Santa Rita Jail when an unidentified 26-year-old inmate died last month. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office indicated that the inmate had consumed excessive water and had been vomiting on the day of his death, resulting in his transfer to a medical outpatient housing unit. Despite the inmate admitting to drug use the day before his arrest, the Sheriff's Office asserted that no cause for concern was found during the medical and mental health intake process. His death, however, was announced after he was found unresponsive in his cell and could not be revived by paramedics. Meanwhile, District Attorney Price has been fighting her battles against critics and protestors who claim she is too lenient on crime. The criticism has escalated following the tragic death of toddler Jasper Wu, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting on a public highway. Critics have accused Price of seeking alternatives to prison sentences for the suspects involved. In response to the criticism, Price stated in a video released in April, "We have not made any decisions about what charges to pursue or what not to pursue. We are still reviewing the case." This tension led to the resignation of Danielle Hilton, a veteran of 26 years at the Alameda County DA's Office. Hilton criticized Price's leadership in a damning resignation letter on Twitter, stating, "Victims deserve better. Under your leadership, the focus of the District Attorney's Office has been taken away from advocating for victims who have been devastated by violent crimes. … Under your management, I do not feel I can ethically and adequately carry out my duties as a prosecutor." In response to Hilton's resignation and Price's handling of violent crimes, critics initiated an online petition to recall Price. By mid-April, the petition had garnered over 14,000 signatures. Amid the turmoil, Price and her supporters have held their ground. They organized a rally on the steps of the Alameda County courthouse, defending her work and record in office.