Richmond police chief Bisa French on leave after abuse accusation by daughter

Bay Area

RICHMOND, Calif. (KRON) — Richmond Police Chief Bisa French is on leave after a request for a restraining order was filed by her daughter against French and her husband, according to a court filing and the Richmond mayor.

French and her husband, Oakland Police Sgt. Lee French, have been accused by their 18-year-old daughter of abuse. The request for the domestic violence restraining order was filed on Oct. 7 but was denied until the court hearing on Oct. 25.

According to court documents, the French’s daughter alleges the incident happened Sept. 21, 2021.

I attempted to leave their home … Bisa and Lee French pushed me down and held me down on a chair. Bisa French held my arms and legs as Lee French took my belongings. Moments later Bisa French held my legs against a wall as Lee French took my purse. Bisa French held her elbows on my legs, causing my legs to spread open. Moments later as I tried to escape, Bisa French once again held my legs so I could not move as Lee French forcibly took my keys from my hand. Bisa French assisted by pushing my arm and hand in opposing directions. She also twisted by fingers, causing them to be smashed and jammed between keys. These altercations lasted 45 and 60 seconds each.”


The court found that the woman was not in immediate danger of abuse. A hearing will be held on the matter on Oct. 25.

The daughter says in court documents that her parents became physical with her when she visited their Richmond home last month.

The confrontation was allegedly over her relationship with her boyfriend who she identifies in court documents as 33-year-old Joe Goldman.

The woman says the French’s were concerned she was in danger and believed she was being trafficked by Goldman.

She denied those allegations to advocates when she was flown to a non-profit organization in Arizona that helps trafficking victims.

The daughter also alleges the French’s stopped by Goldman’s mother’s home in Solano County and threatened to kill her and her son.

Goldman has a criminal history.

In Alameda County, he was convicted of felony human trafficking for labor in 2015.

Jail records show Goldman was arrested in Richmond on Monday and on Tuesday, a criminal complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court shows Goldman has now been charged with felony pimping.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt says the city manager reached out to him Friday letting him know Chief French was taking some personal time off, only to learn this week through media reports, that she was actually placed on paid administrative leave.

“I don’t like to be surprised by that. I don’t think my city council colleagues like to be surprised,” Mayor Butt said. 

The mayor also lent support to Chief French.

“Something like this happening to one of your kids — a high school kid, is it’s just unimaginable,” Mayor Butt said. 

As for Lee French, the Oakland Police Department confirms he is also on administrative leave.

As of now, the Solano County District Attorney’s Office says it has not received this case. Requests for comment from the French’s attorney have gone unanswered.

Vallejo Police Chief Shawny K. Williams issued the following statement regarding the ongoing investigation involving members of both the Richmond and Oakland Police Departments:

“We are conducting an investigation into an incident involving members of the Richmond and Oakland Police Departments. As the Chief of Police, when an incident occurs in Vallejo which involves police officers employed by another department, it is my responsibility to contact the employing department to inform them of accusations involving one of their members, so the employing agency can launch an internal affairs investigation. All communications with the Richmond and Oakland Police Departments were conducted in accordance with standard operating procedures. Since this is an ongoing investigation, no further details can be provided at this time.”


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