June 28, 2017
Police booking charges play an outsized role in creating the San Francisco justice system’s dramatic racial disparities, a new study reveals, prompting San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi to announce today the formation of a team to scrutinize the early charges for bias. The Pretrial Release Unit, comprised of two deputy public defenders and one investigator, will launch Oct. 1. The team will intervene between arrest and arraignment to ensure cases have not been overcharged.
April 10, 2017
When Chief William Scott had been on the job for just a few weeks, he came to the Joseph Lee Gym in Bayview Hunters Point for a townhall meeting with the community March 9. This first-ever community meeting with the new chief was presented by Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods. Chief Scott said his goal is to “reduce deaths at the hands of police” and asked to be held accountable. Will Chief Scott be a better chief for San Francisco than his predecessor? We don’t know. But we do know that we will, as Scott said, hold him accountable.
January 20, 2017
To honor the call for 120 hours of direct actions to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., local community organizers have been camping out in front of San Francisco’s City Hall until Jan. 20, 2017. Camp 120 is occupying space in front of City Hall to highlight the ineffectiveness and inaction of DA Gascón and Mayor Ed Lee regarding the heightened policing of Black and Brown residents by the San Francisco Police Department.
July 21, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement has released its final report detailing its year-long investigation into issues of potential bias in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The panel found that the SFPD is in need of greater transparency, lacks robust oversight, must rebuild trust with the communities it serves, and should pay greater attention to the potential for bias against people of color, with respect to both its own police officers and members of the public.
June 16, 2016
This upcoming Friday, activist and rapper Sellassie of the Frisco 5 will be interviewing Bobby Seale, the co-founder and chairman of the Black Panther Party, in front of an audience. I hooked up this Q&A with Sellassie so he could talk about his experiences with the Frisco 5’s hunger strike as well as his upcoming event with Bobby Seale. Stay tuned.
April 25, 2016
The people of San Francisco are outraged by the ongoing misconduct and mismanagement of the San Francisco Police Department by Police Chief Gregory P. Suhr. His history of breaking the laws he is sworn to uphold, along with his consistent refusal to discipline officers for their brutality and crimes against residents, has created a crisis in the city. We will accept no more. It is time for Suhr to go.
April 10, 2016
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi issued a statement on April 1 on the news that a second group of SFPD officers exchanged racist and homophobic text messages and sent a letter to District Attorney George Gascón on the topic. Mayor Edwin M. Lee issued a statement April 4 after meeting with the San Francisco Police Department’s Police Employee Groups. At the full Board of Supervisors meeting April 5, Supervisor Malia Cohen and Board President London Breed issued a joint statement regarding the racist and homophobic text messages.
March 27, 2016
San Francisco’s Black and Latino/a communities came together March 18 on the steps of City Hall to launch a united campaign to end police impunity in the officer-involved murders of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto and Amilcar Pérez López. The new Black and Brown United Coalition coalesced after the shocking March 10 exoneration of police in a federal civil trial in the killing of Alex Nieto, 28, by a jury on which no Blacks or Latinas or Latinos had been selected to serve.
February 29, 2016
“On the weekend before Super Bowl 50 in downtown San Francisco, Officer Joshua Cabillo aggressively put his hands on me. It was a peaceful protest and I sensed the hatred in his eyes,” says protester Deja Caldwell. Not only did Officer Cabillo unnecessarily assault a woman who was protesting police killing, but he is a killer cop himself! On June 5, 2012, as a South San Francisco police officer, Joshua Cabillo brutalized, restrained and eventually shot to death 15-year-old Derrick Gaines. Officer Cabillo is a child killer with a long record of abuse, yet SFPD hired him.
February 8, 2016
Muhammad al-Kareem founded the New Bayview newspaper, later renamed San Francisco Bay View, in 1976 and turned it over to the Ratcliffs in late 1991. So in 2016, we’re excited to be celebrating the newspaper’s 40th anniversary, beginning on Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. You’ll hear Muhammad, a panel consisting of writers associated with the Bay View in different eras, a fashion show and musicians reminding us of the beauty and talent within our community. We’ll serve food, too – and it’s all FREE. Spread the word!
December 26, 2015
In the wake of the brutal police execution of Mario Woods by San Francisco police in Bayview Hunters Point, many are asking where is California state Attorney General Kamala Harris? She was elected with the hope and expectation, naive as it may be, that she of all people would be out there weighing in and demanding justice for Mario. Sadly Harris has thus far been pretty much absent from the fight.
December 25, 2015
Weeks ago, few had even heard the name Mario Woods. However, the sight of his shooting by officers of the San Francisco Police Department, brought to the world courtesy of YouTube, has made his name a rallying cry against police brutality in Northern California. Cries for justice thundered in the halls of San Francisco City Hall, on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. Community members and activists filled the hearing room and later the overflow room.
December 24, 2015
Hundreds of middle and high school students from Black and Brown low income communities in San Francisco marched together last week in solidarity to protest the execution of Mario Woods. At only 26 years, Mario Woods, a young man with special needs, was gunned down in his own neighborhood by the SFPD. “We are sick and tired of the police killing our homies!” yelled the students as they marched from the corner of 16th and Mission Street to the steps of City Hall.
December 15, 2015
The Public Health Organization of Graduate Students at San Francisco State University condemns the actions of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) in the unjust shooting of Mario Woods, a young African American man who was a resident of Bayview Hunters Point, on Dec. 2, 2015. The current situation in which SFPD officers kill community members with impunity is intolerable.
December 9, 2015
Aaron Peskin becomes the District 3 supervisor on Dec. 8 and will then join his colleagues in rejecting the planned new jail for San Francisco. There likely was a board majority against the current jail plan even without Peskin’s vote, since London Breed’s district is against it and she is up for re-election, but his replacement of Julie Christensen ensures the jail’s defeat.
December 8, 2015
We, as concerned law students at the University of San Francisco, are outraged at the officers of the San Francisco Police Department who shot and killed Mario Woods without justification. This use of unnecessary lethal force, and subsequent denial of fault by the San Francisco Police Department, epitomizes the failure of American policing that has become the spotlight of protest in communities around the country.
August 19, 2015
Last week I was on my way to visit Medium’s headquarters in San Francisco to discuss a project that I’m working on, mainly focused around police brutality. Funnily enough (or not so), I ended up being over an hour late, because this happened. I recorded the incident Aug. 4, 2015, during the lunch hour. It involves a Black man who was taken down by police in the mid-Market area of San Francisco, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
June 29, 2015
The Coalition on Homelessness Report, “Punishing the Poorest: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty in San Francisco,” details the effects of criminalization on homeless residents of San Francisco. The COH report documents and analyzes the impacts of the rising tide of anti-homeless laws in our era of mass incarceration on those experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.
June 15, 2015
On April 3rd of this year, the entire world was focused on the SFPD. A scandal had emerged surrounding the federal corruption case of former Sgt. Ian Furminger. A spate of violent text messages sent between SFPD officers was exposed. While people debated the meaning of this distasteful police behavior, the SFPD, in collusion with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, was cleaning up and covering up fresh blood. Another Black man had been killed while in the custody of San Francisco law enforcement. His name was Darnell Benson.
November 26, 2014
On Tuesday, June 6, 2006, around 8 p.m., an SFPD officer fatally shot Brother Asa as he crouched in an attic’s two-and-a-half-foot crawl space, hiding because he’d recently spent a short time in jail and was afraid of going back. According to press reports, officers were responding to a neighbor’s complaint of possible trespassers, yet Asa and his friend were there with the tenants’ permission.