Father Richard Smith. By Julian Mark

On Thursday, Listen Local sat down with Father Richard Smith of Faith In Action, a network of religious communities that advocate for police reform. The topic of discussion is Proposition H, a June 5 ballot measure that would arm San Francisco Police officers with Tasers.

Sounds simple, right? Not exactly, says Smith. The Police Commission, the civilian oversight body that sets the department’s policy, had already voted on and established a policy for Tasers, he said, creating little need for Tasers to be on the ballot.

Back in February, Police Chief Bill Scott said the measure went against the spirit of the department’s reform effort, and Mayor Mark Farrell withdrew his support from the measure soon after the oversight body passed a policy that had factored in the concerns of various community groups.

“It’s an unfortunate attempt for the Police Officers Association … to override civilian control over a very important topic,” Smith said.

“They wanted to immediately arm these officers with Tasers and be dictating how these lethal weapons are used,” he added.  

Listen to our full interview below.

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