Why are SF Supervisors hesitant to demand racial equity in policing and hold SFPD accountable?

Phelicia Jones, founder of Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community, speaks at a hearing by the Board of Supervisors on the Department of Justice reforms on Oct. 22, 2019. 

Virtual press conference Monday, Jan. 25, 12–1 p.m. – RSVP here and we will provide you the Zoom link

by Phelicia Jones

Despite a year of reinvigorated uprisings calling for the end of anti-Black racism, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) actual lawmaking has all but ignored opportunities to address racism in San Francisco. The BOS Committee of the Whole meets Jan. 26, and we are calling on the community to make public comment.

The lack of action is particularly UNACCEPTABLE, given:

  • A Black San Franciscan remains more than 10 times as likely to be arrested as a white San Franciscan – and a Black San Franciscan is more than four times as likely to be arrested as a Hispanic San Franciscan (cited racial categories are from SFPD) – by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD);
  • A Black San Franciscan is more than 10 times as likely to be subject to use of force as a white San Franciscan – and a Black San Franciscan is more than five times as likely to be subject to use of force as a Hispanic San Franciscan) – by San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). 

Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community met with San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Jan. 19, 2021. Mayor Breed stated, “It is my understanding that [the majority of the SFPD reforms process] will be completed in the spring [2021] … We believe in this and we are committed to this; we want to avoid what is happening all over the country. We want to make sure that these recommendations mean something and that people understand why they are being implemented in the first place.” 

And now Supervisor Safai has introduced a resolution containing language that would slow and weaken the process of SFPD reforms. It contradicts Mayor Breed’s and the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) 2021 completion date. It would extend the deadline into 2023. This cannot be allowed. 

Justice delayed is justice denied! The systemic racism against Black and Brown San Franciscans must END.

Despite SFPD’s ongoing racism, a new analysis of the 2020 year shows that SF Supervisors addressed anti-Black racism in fewer than 2 percent of over 400 completed ordinances and charter amendments. Supervisor Shamann Walton was the primary author on most; Sandra Fewer on two; Gordon Mar on one; the rest of the supervisors authored NONE. 

Why don’t all SF Supervisors, particularly Supervisor Safai, agree with the community, the mayor, and the California DOJ in proclaiming BLACK LIVES MATTER. Justice delayed is justice denied! The systemic racism against Black and Brown San Franciscans must END.

Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community is a Black-led organization fighting for police reform and justice for Black San Franciscans since 2015. Founder Phelicia Jones can be reached at mwjusticenow@gmail.com