Tags Police Commission
Tag: Police Commission
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.
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.
The San Francisco hunger strikers dubbed the Frisco 5 rolled two miles to the doorstep of City Hall in wheelchairs on May 3, demanding the mayor fire San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, but the mayor was not there. The Frisco 5 had not eaten for 13 days while camped out in front of the Mission Police Station. After learning Mayor Lee was ignoring them, they were wheeled into the supervisors’ chamber, demanding the Board of Supervisors pass an emergency resolution to fire the police chief. Later, they rallied outside with a thousand supporters.
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.
San Francisco is touted by conservative detractors and liberal boosters alike as the nation’s most progressive city. This is still true in many ways, even amidst towering symbols of gentrification. But, in particular, when it comes to holding police accountable for use of excessive force against communities of color, the City by the Bay is no different from the New Yorks, Chicagos, Baltimores or Fergusons of this country, where cops literally get away with murder. Think this is an exaggeration? Read on.
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.
The current campaign to elect a sheriff for the City and County of San Francisco can and must become San Francisco’s “eyes wide open” opportunity to review what this city and county can and ought to do to identify and promulgate a new path for how it will identify and adopt aspects of the national Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The City and County of San Francisco can initiate and begin the effort to deincarcerate San Francisco’s jails and juvenile justice center.
San Franciscans working from 2004 to 2013 to keep tasers out of SFPD officers’ hands as they “talk down” people in public crisis are today celebrating SFPD Chief Greg Suhr’s Wednesday, April 10, decision to drop his “less lethal” taser proposal for San Francisco cops. Idriss Stelley Foundation Program Director Jeremy Miller affirmed: “The Police Commission should be commended for engaging this issue seriously in a manner that befits their political responsibility. Tasers torture and kill. They are unaccountable weapons for unaccountable officers. But it was the people of San Francisco who forced Suhr’s hand.”
It has taken a Dorner manifesto and several targeted deaths to get LAPD to take notice. If you ask Sgt. Randy Franklin what he thinks of the LAPD today, he will tell you, “They lack integrity, honor, dignity, discipline, reverence for the law and respect for the people they swore to serve.” This comes straight from someone who believes that the greatest mistake in his life was joining the LAPD.
At its Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Health, 101 Grove St., Room 300, the San Francisco Mental Health Board will welcome public comment before voting on a resolution against putting tasers in SFPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers’ hands.
Police Chief Greg Suhr scheduled six community forums in September and October to discuss tasers replacing guns in mental health crisis situations. When a citizen group kept showing up at hearings asking questions about hundreds of taser deaths and maimings and supporting SFPD Crisis Intervention Team training in verbal de-escalation, Chief Suhr cancelled the community forums.
People in crisis appear to have become the rationale for equipping police officers with so-called “non-lethal” tasers in addition to lethal weapons – guns. Concerned citizens acknowledging taser lethality seek to re-direct the SFPD from weaponry to a focus on verbal de-escalation techniques, especially appropriate in talking down people in mental health crisis.
Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, was shot and killed on July 16 as he ran away from two police officers interrogating him for his alleged failure to pay a $2 fare for a ride on the city’s light-rail train. Incredibly, after originally admitting that two officers shot and killed Harding, the new story from the police some days later is that the young man must have killed himself.