Command Staff

Police use of force down citywide; up in SF Mission

Despite a citywide reduction in police using force in the third quarter of this year, the Mission District accounted for the highest number of times officers used force of any other police district and has actually seen an uptick, according to use-of-force data released by the SFPD. In the third quarter of 2017, the police reported 622 uses of force...

Police chief Bill Scott talks about his critics and his first 10 months in SF

In an interview with Mission Local this week, Police Chief Bill Scott talked about a range of issues, including the culture shift in the force he took over nearly a year ago, the need for more services to keep at-risk youth from falling deeper into the criminal justice system and new minimum requirements for community engagement. Formerly the deputy chief...

SFPD makes case for Tasers ahead of Police Commission vote

San Francisco Police Department Commander Peter Walsh on Friday afternoon made one last case for the adoption of Tasers, just hours before the Police Commission was set to vote on whether to arm the SFPD with the stun guns. The commission’s vote will be the culmination of a tense dialogue between community members, activists and police that has taken place...

In SF, investigations of officer-involved shootings abound; delays do too

San Francisco police officers got the call at 11:35 p.m. on Saturday — there was a domestic disturbance, possibly a weapon. They arrived at the Russian Hill apartment to hear Damian Murray threatening his wife and two children with a gun. For three hours, crisis negotiators worked to calm Murray. And then, in quick succession, a gunshot fired from within...

As SFPD reforms continue without DOJ, promises to keep pressure on

Covering the Police is a collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Justice has left the building. But, last Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief William Scott tried to reassure the Board of Supervisors that the Justice Department’s exit from SFPD’s reform efforts will make no difference. “The thought process and the desire is to continue, even though the DOJ has...

The Tasers SF proposes buying are backed by few studies

To Rick Smith, the founder and chief executive officer of Axon, which manufactures Tasers, electricity is not something to be feared, but revered. Electricity offers life. Without it, Smith wrote in 2007, “Earth would be nothing but a barren rock in the cosmos.” And Smith has long been determined to prove this point, arguing that equipping law enforcement with the...

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,...