SFPD

Police pledge new pedestrian safety reforms, and to revisit collision cold case

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One might call it the police’s act of contrition. At last night’s (Thu/16) meeting on pedestrian safety, Police Chief Greg Suhr promised to re-open a traffic collision case that left a 31-year-old woman with a traumatic brain injury, causing a loss in her sense of smell and taste, short term memory loss, insomnia, and a loss of motor skills.Read more »

SFUSD students may get new police protections

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Students who run afoul of the police may gain new protections under an agreement between the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco Unified School District up for vote at tomorrow’s Board of Education meeting

The new agreement explicitly calls for parents to be notified when their children are taken into the custody of police, or are questioned as a victim or a witness. The agreement also introduces graduated steps that increase the burden on school administrators and the police to exhaust all other options before arresting a student.

“What we’re outlining in this policy is that the school system has the first responsibility to ensure discipline and safety, but we don’t want to overreact or push students toward the criminal justice system unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Board of Education Commissioner Matt Haney told the Guardian. Read more »

Protect pedestrians, crack down on red light runners

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It’s good to see City Hall finally focusing on pedestrian safety in San Francisco, where the streets are more dangerous than ever for their most vulnerable users, with the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed by motorists spiking last year.Read more »

Civil rights attorney John Burris to sue SFPD over alleged Valencia Gardens profiling

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Prominent civil rights lawyer John Burris will sue the SFPD on behalf of the family of D’Paris “DJ” Williams, after a neighborhood brawl involving police at the Valencia Gardens housing project that Burris called “outrageous.” 

Last Friday, 20 year old D’Paris Williams was bicycling to his cousins’ house from the Batkid festivities downtown when plainclothes police officers from the Violence Reduction Team, a narcotics and firearms reduction squad, attempted to detain him for riding his bike on the sidewalk. In the confusion, a brawl broke out with the police, Williams, and three neighbors. Video was recorded of the incident, which quickly went viral. 

After seeing a bloody and beaten Williams carried to a squad car by police in the video clip, his family and the residents of Valencia Gardens have posed the question: why? 

Why did plainclothes officers tasked with the mission of seizing guns stop a young man coasting on his bike on a sidewalk for a few feet? The family said they believe Williams was targeted because he was a young man of color visiting a housing project.

“When young people are brutally assaulted by the police, there must be accountability,” Burris told the Guardian. Read more »

SF State campus police arming themselves with Tasers (yes, before the SFPD)

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Just because the SFPD can’t get Tasers doesn’t mean all the cops in San Francisco are missing out.

The San Francisco State University Police Department will soon arm themselves with conducted electrical weapons, known by the brand name Taser, following a statewide push from the California State University Chancellor’s Office to arm all of its campus police statewide with the weapons.Read more »

Kim calls for hearing on how SFPD investigates cyclist fatalities UPDATED

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UPDATED In the wake of revelations of shoddy and insensitive police work related to the Aug. 14 death of 24-year-old bicyclist Amelie Le Moullac, who was run over by a commercial truck driver who turned right across her path as she rode in a bike lane on Folsom Street at 6th Street, Sup. Jane Kim today called for a hearing on how the SFPD investigates cyclist fatalities.Read more »

The internet reacts to Sgt. Ernst's bicyclist memorial tantrum

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A memorial (and informational event) at the 6th and Folsom corner where bicyclist 24-year-old Amelie Le Moullac was fatally run over by a truck last week was interrupted by a tense confrontation with SFPD Sgt. Richard Ernst, when he showed up to block the bike lane with his cruiser to lecture the cyclists.

SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum told the Guardian in a story Wednesday that SFPD Sgt. Richard Ernst showed up to make his apparent disdain for “you people,” bicyclists.Read more »

The other thing Chelsea Manning said, and more updates

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By now, we all now that Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years on Aug. 21 for leaking classified U.S. government documents, would like to enter the next phase of her life as a woman named Chelsea. “I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in a statement. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female.”Read more »

Bike thieves blasted all over the Twitter-verse by the SFPD

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Thinking of stealing a bike in San Francisco? Think twice, as your face may be plastered all over the Twitter-verse by the SFPD’s new anti-bike theft Twitter accountRead more »

SFPD responds (weirdly) to allegations of racial disparity

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The San Francisco Police Department has issued a head-scratching response to charges of racial disparity in marijuana arrests, possibly in an attempt to defuse controversy over a recent incident that already has some members of the African American community up in arms.Read more »