Police

Claim filed over SFPD shooting of Alejandro Nieto

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The family of Alejandro Nieto, the 28-year-old City College student and community activist who was gunned down by the San Francisco Police Department March 21, has filed a claim against the city in preparation for a lawsuit responding to what they allege was an unjustified shooting. Read more »

Feds indict SFPD cops, alleging a drug ring and shakedowns of the poor

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Federal grand juries today indicted four San Francisco Police Department officers, an SFPD sergeant, and a former SFPD officer on a variety of corruption, civil rights violations, and theft charges stemming from illegal raids on poor residents of single room occupancy hotels in San Francisco.

“Our department is shaken,” Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters at a morning news conference. “This is as serious a matter as I’ve ever encountered in the Police Department.”Read more »

When it rains hydrant crash photos, it pours

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Our story last week on the Uber driver who plowed into a fire hydrant got a lot of attention, but apparently it's not so rare for errant drivers to create sudden urban showers. Reader JJ Harris sent us this shot from a crash early this morning at 1450 Valencia, where a woman who appeared to be intoxicated plowed through the parklet in front of EHS Pilates and into this fire hydrant. Thanks for sharing, JJ.

Bay to Breakers will have video surveillance, license plate scans, and secret "FBI assets"

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Police video surveillance was in the spotlight during yesterday's City Hall hearing on security measures at large events, as supervisors voiced a desire to strike the right balance between security and civil liberties. And while they got some reassurance and small signs of restraint from the SFPD, they also learned about secretive new security measures that go beyond what the public was aware of.Read more »

Hearing on event security as SFPD pushes police state

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Just a few weeks ago, Sup. Scott Wiener, civil libertarians, and I were raising concerns here about the SFPD unilaterally expanding its video surveillance reach. Then came the bombings at the Boston Marathon, which the SFPD used to seriously up the ante in the police state pot, asking for real time video surveillance up and down Market Street and banning backpacks at Bay to Breakers.

Now, I'm not one to stand in the way of reasonable security precautions. But we shouldn't just defer to the SFPD on whatever it says it wants because then we'll have cameras on every corner, spy drones overhead, stop-and-frisk, and an ever-greater portion of our tax dollars going to expand the police state. Because the cops will always want more tools to police us, tools they will always say they need to protect us – it's just in their nature. But it's up to the rest of us to strike the right balance and not lose our heads every time some whack-job resorts to violence.

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Captain Greg Corrales saves the Haight from Demon Weed

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I'm glad to see the Ex now has the data to show what we all knew was happening: The old Drug Warrior at Park Precint, Captain Greg Corrales, is trying to save the Haight from pot smokers.

Hate to have to tell you, Cap, but you lost that battle a loooong time ago.Read more »

Sneaky surveillance

SFPD has been quietly seeking video footage of new bars since losing a public fight over the issue

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steve@sfbg.com

After public outrage stopped the San Francisco Police Department from instituting controversial — and unconstitutional, say civil libertarians — new video surveillance requirements in bars and clubs more than two years ago, the department quietly began inserting that same requirement into new liquor licenses, a move met with concern at City Hall last week.Read more »

Tree-sitter shot, 70 feet up, by CHP rubber bullet

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Tree-sitting is nothing new. It's happened all over California, going back decades. It's a dangerous, but often effective protest tool that stops logging in its tracks.

Nobody with any official sanction is going to cut down a tree while there's a human perched in it -- and it's been notoriously difficult for the authorities to remove people from platforms high above the forest.

And now, in Mendocino County, police response has entered a new phase.Read more »

Bratton controversy divides Oakland community as council approves contract 7-1

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Following a highly attended and closely watched meeting on Tuesday, Oakland City Council voted 7-1 to approve a $250,000 contract to hire a team of police consultants which includes controversial stop-and-frisk advocate Bill Bratton. Read more »

About that dog Charlie

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Nothing like a dog story to captivate a city that has so much else going on. And while there are (sadly) dogs euthanized in this city fairly often, mostly because they're unadoptable or found to be dangerous, the particulars of Charlie's story -- and the press attention it's gotten -- has turned this one incident into a world-wide campaign against the Canine Death Penalty.Read more »