New Community Leadership Foundation (NCLF) strongly believes bold actions towards uprooting racism in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) are long overdue. We believe the reports and the subsequent changes resulted in insignificant results. It took the tragic death of George Floyd for many police departments and lawmakers across the country to “understand” the depth of racism in law enforcement organizations.
As part of our civic engagement program, we have put together 11 questions/ recommendations we believe are critical to the elimination of racism in the SFPD. We hope that our communications with you will yield positive results and contribute to the creation of a safe society for the Black community.
We begin by stating measures that have been effected which we believe are in the right direction. We support your decision to fire SFPD officer Chris Samayoa for the reckless and tragic killing of Keita O’Neal in Bayview as well as the prevention of response to non-criminal police calls by the SFPD. We also believe that the redirection of funds from SFPD to the Black community by yourself and Mayor London Breed is in the right direction.
Here are recommendations we believe will help your efforts in eliminating racism within the SFPD. We are asking questions whose answers will contribute significantly to how racism is uprooted from the SFPD.
(#1) Recommendation / Question: The San Francisco Examiner of May 30th, 2020 had a story that discussed a YouTube video of an S.F. police officer kneeling on the neck of a 19-year-old youth, a Black young man who did not appear to be resisting being restrained by 3 other officers. Is disciplinary action being taken against the officer? Is the automatic viewing of the body cameras of all officers involved required when a use-of-force incident occurs? If not, can this be made into a policy?
(#2) Recommendation / Question: Whenever there is a use-of-force incident, can SFPD allow trusted community leaders to view the body camera footage?
(#3) Recommendation / Question: A source from the SFPD’s African-American Advisory Group said that the group no longer meets. Is this true? If this is true, are you willing to resume regular meetings with the SFPD’s African American Advisory Group?
(#4) Recommendation / Question: Over the years, reports of racism within the SFPD has been made. How do you protect Black police officers from the racism of white police officers?
(#5) Recommendation / Question: A member of our organization saw the police in another state on the news using tasers inappropriately during a protest against two college students and a man on a bicycle in different incidents. How would you ensure that SFPD officers never are given access to tasers?
(#6) Recommendation / Question: Is it the policy of SFPD to review body camera footage whenever the use of force is mentioned in a police report? If not, can this policy be made?
(#7) Recommendation / Question: We understand that you ordered all S.F. police officers to desist from forcing individuals to be detained to sit on the sidewalk. On June 13th, around 6:30 pm on Bryant Street, one of our members witnessed a white car pulled over by two black & white police cars. The four male officers forced an African-American gentleman to sit on the ground. What are you doing to ensure that all SFPD officers follow all orders?
(#8) Recommendation / Question: The African-American Community Police Relations Board has been disbanded. It has not been active since Mayor Willie Brown. We want to re-establish this board and select our own community leaders to sit on it. We also do not want the board to be police heavy. In the beginning, we do not want any police officers to attend. Once we identify a police officer that we can trust, we would invite the officer to attend and advise us relating to police laws and rules. Will you be willing to support us in re-establishing the African American Community Police Relations Board?
(#9) Recommendation / Question: Are you willing to put a sign at the entrance of each police station that says one of the following: Black Lives Matter, BL Matters, BLM or BL Safe Zone using red, black and green colors?
(#10) Recommendation / Question: Why is there not a Black woman on the SFPD command staff or black woman as a captain of a police station?
(#11) Recommendation / Question: It takes twice as long to train to be a barber in California then to train to be a police officer. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires 1500 training hours (10 months) to be a barber, while the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training requires 888 training hours (6 months) to be a police officer. In Germany, it takes from 2 to 4 years of training to be a police officer. Are you willing to support our efforts to require 2 years of training to become a police officer in California?
Thank you for taking the time to read through this document. Please contact Majeid Crawford, the executive director of the New Community Leadership Foundation to follow up on these recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 415-857-1136.