From record-keeping to use of force, the report found that the SFPD has “significant deficiencies.”
The Department of Justice released a report on the San Francisco police department. In this report, the DOJ found that SFPD has a “lack of accountability”, and uses antiquated “use of force” policies. The report also stated that the DOJ discovered “numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups.”
As The Huffington Post reported:
Since 2013, of the 11 people killed by the SFPD, nine were people of color. The report expressed concern that only one of those cases has been closed. “It is unacceptable for officer-involved shooting investigations to remain open for years,” the report said.
When it comes to traffic stops, the report said that African Americans are “disproportionately” stopped, and black and Hispanic drivers are searched too frequently. Yet despite officers making more frequent traffic stops of minority drivers, searches of white motorists more often turned up contraband, the report said.
The DOJ also faulted police officials for inadequate reviews of incidents where officers use force. A related problem is that the department “does not maintain complete and consistent” records about such incidents.
We have a department here that seems to operate with impunity. SFPD was found to keep inconsistent records. In their last 11 officer involved shootings, 9 of the individuals shoot were of color. Only 1 of those 9 cases have been solved. Even though traffic stops SFPD conducted showed that white drivers turned up more contraband, they continued to primarily target Black and Brown people.
Bias appears to be a problem within the department’s ranks, the feds said. Female and minority recruits got fired more often than white men who’d joined the force.
The San Francisco Police Department has been plagued by embarrassing revelations that groups of officers shared racist, sexist and other inappropriate text messages. The DOJ report stated that the department is “not transparent around officer discipline” and does not sufficiently evaluate cops’ performance.
The Department of Justice is hopeful that the San Francisco police department can fix these issues. What do you think? Will the San Francisco police department be able to “police” themselves?
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