Policing and police reform

From time to time, I’ll publish a commentary on policing and police reform in the City. Below are links to a few such articles that I’ve written and published in local press.

Supes and Mayor disappoint again: No change to policing as we know it (El Tecolote, September 4, 2020)

Excerpt: The unconscionable execution of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25th caused a sea change in support to end the racist and brutal legacy of policing that impacts Black lives the most. Defund, dismantle and abolish police departments was the rallying call across the country. On June 3rd—despite an escalating Covid-19 pandemic and a standing shelter-in-place order—over 10,000 San Franciscans took to the streets in support of Black Lives Matter and defunding the San Francisco Police Department.

The people demanded a radical change to policing as we know it.

On July 31st, Mayor London Breed proposed a two-year budget for review and approval by the Budget & Appropriations Committee of the Board. In it, the Mayor claimed, she proposed a budget cut of $40 million each of the next two years to the police budget to be reinvested in the City’s African-American community. But the problem was that she didn’t: When comparing last year’s budget to the proposed budget, the Mayor had only proposed a 2.6% decrease or an $18.1 million cut to last year’s $692.9 million police budget. These cuts came primarily from vacant staff positions. 

This was no change to policing as we know it. …

Special Report: Ed Lee’s police legacy (48 Hills, March 11, 2018)

Editor’s note: As the candidates for mayor discuss law enforcement, police accountability, and the future of the SFPD, it’s worth looking back at how the last mayor handled those issues – and where he failed. We present this special report to give the candidates, and the voters, a chance to reflect on what went wrong and present plans to make sure the next administration has a very different approach.

(This report is a good summary history of 15 years of policing in the City of San Francisco from 2003-2018)