Civil rights suit filed in Oakland ‘Riders’ case

The Associated Press
Wednesday February 21, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — A new civil rights suit accuses additional Oakland police officers of wrongdoing in “The Riders” case. 

The suit, filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of nine people, alleges the officers stood by and did nothing while four other officers – known as “The Riders” – committed violations of the law. 

It is the latest suit filed against “The Riders” and those who allegedly permitted their activities. 

The suit also contains new charges that one member of “The Riders” – Frank Vazquez – framed people on drug charges in West Oakland as far back as 1998.  

Vazquez fled soon after charges against the officers surfaced. Authorities believe he may be in Mexico. 

In November, Vazquez and officers Clarence Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung were charged with a total of 48 felonies and 12 misdemeanors for their alleged actions between June 13 and July 3 in which at least 10 people were victimized. 

At least 33 people have said they were beaten, kidnapped or falsely arrested on drug charges in West Oakland. 

Five officers have been accused of failing to intervene to stop the illegal conduct.  

Those include the officers’ supervisor, Sgt. Jerry Hayter, who has since been demoted, S. Amerding, James Gantt, A. McFarlane, and Martin Ziebarth. 

All five are named in the federal suit filed Friday.