Command Staff

SF community members push back on Tasers

More than 100 people turned out for a community meeting on Tasers Tuesday night, first breaking into small groups of roughly 25 each, and then convening in a fiery public comment session that at one point erupted into activists chanting, “No Tasers!” and drowning out Police Commissioner Sonia E. Melara’s calls for order. The police commission has voted against the...

Newest police commissioners work on accountability, tasers

The police commission has welcomed two new members since our last coverage of it in October. Here, they discuss some of the recent efforts of the commission. The seven commissioners are civilians and receive a $100 stipend in exchange for setting policy and making disciplinary decisions for the San Francisco Police Department. They hold public meetings every Wednesday night. Robert Hirsch...

Overview: Police Shootings in SF’s Mission District

(The following list reflects fatal shootings by SFPD officers in the Mission District in the last five years. First published April 7, 2017. Last update,  April 12, 2017.) Luis Gongora Pat, 45, homeless. Date and Time: April 7, 2016, 10 a.m. Time Elapsed Between Officers on the Scene and Shooting: Less than 30 seconds.    Place: Homeless encampment on Shotwell Street...

New Mission police captain shares vision of “customer-service” oriented policing

Assigned from the Airport Bureau to one of San Francisco’s busiest police districts, new Mission Station Police Captain William Griffin said he anticipates a change of pace and comes equipped with a “customer service” centered lens that he hopes will shape the station to better and more efficiently serve the local community.   “I think it’s always good to bring...

Two-Year Anniversary of Police Shooting Sees No Charges Against Officers

None of the officers involved in fatal confrontations with some 40 civilians shot and killed at the hands of San Francisco police since 2000 has stood a criminal trial. On Monday, anti-police-brutality advocates, city leaders, and family members of police shooting victims gathered on the steps of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. to demand that the city’s...

Mission Activists Want Action from New Police Chief

Activists who have been pushing for police reform from the Mission District said Tuesday they are waiting for the newly appointed police chief William Scott to prove himself. Scott, a 25-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, spearheaded reform efforts in the LAPD, according to the Chronicle.  That, however, was not enough to win over local activists just yet...

Police and Community Address Spike in SF Mission Gang Violence

Mission organizers and police alike are mobilizing to address a spate of violence including shootings in the Mission and in Bernal Heights that have sent five victims to the hospital in the past two weeks, one of them a 13-year-old boy and one a man who was shot in June and died of his injuries on Oct. 3. On Monday,...

What Police Reform Is Most Important? Candidates Weigh In

Last week, the Department of Justice issued a scathing review of the Police Department following a six-month investigation of the force. That followed a previous investigation and report by the Blue Ribbon Panel, a group of retired judges assembled by District Attorney George Gascón to look into department practices. Both found the department needed better racial bias training for officers,...

Meet the Commissioners Selecting Candidates for SF’s New Police Chief

From approving policy on body cameras to firing police officers found guilty of misconduct, Wednesday nights are reserved for scrutiny of police practices at the San Francisco Police Commission. The seven-member civilian panel acts as the police department’s disciplinary body and officially meets once a week for a public hearing, usually at City Hall, to receive updates from department heads,...

Family of Man Shot by Police Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit

The family of the 45-year-old Mayan homeless man shot by police near a Mission District tent encampment on April 7 filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the two officers involved on Friday. The lawsuit was filed on the six-month anniversary of Luis Gongora Pat’s death and comes on the heels of an autopsy report released last week....

Supes Grill Acting Chief on Police Reform Recommendations

San Francisco supervisors challenged Acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin on his commitment to reform at a Tuesday hearing at the Board of Supervisors.   Supervisors asked pointed questions about everything from Chaplin’s ability to push back against the influential police union to working towards changing department culture. “We are getting all this talk about things happening and implementation, but I...

Autopsy Released for Homeless Man Killed by Police

Luis Gongora Pat, the homeless man who was shot and killed by San Francisco police officers in the Mission District in April, was shot six times and had drugs in his system, a city autopsy released on Thursday shows. Gongora Pat was killed April 7 on Shotwell Street between 18th and 19th streets after officers said the homeless man was...

Months After Police Shooting, Community Members Press for Justice

Family and advocates seeking criminal penalties for the officers who shot Luis Gongora Pat – a 45-year-old homeless man living in the Mission District – gathered at the site of his shooting Wednesday morning to mark the five-month anniversary of his death. “I miss him very much, and I wish that he was still here,” said John Visor, a homeless...

Activists Call Search For New Police Chief “Farce”

Activists at a police meeting on Thursday that sought input from Mission District residents on the appointment of the next San Francisco police chief said they were being strung along by police commissioners who were not looking for community involvement. “This is a dog and pony show,” said David Carlos Salaverry, a member of the newly formed group San Franciscans...