Wednesday, February 28, 2018

#NoJusticeNoDeal demands an accountable police contract

Roberto Alfaro from HOMEY who works with youth in the Mission has had it with a police union (POA) agreement that frees the SFPD from most oversight and citizen control. The POA's contract with the city is up for renewal and renegotiation. The #NoJusticeNoDeal coalition, speaking on the steps of City Hall yesterday, wants our elected Board of Supervisors to demand a commitment from the POA to honor the city's values by supporting reforms.

John Crew (l), a retired police reform litigator from the ACLU, has been at this work for three decades. He insists:
We, the citizens of this city, are not getting the modern, professional police department we've shown we're willing to pay for. ... The POA is to policing as the NRA is to gun control.
Anand Subramanian (r) from PolicyLink has plenty of reason to know that the POA has been been led by a small group of bullying officials who disdain the City's values while protecting the department's bad actors. Subramanian led the Blue Ribbon Panel whose findings in 2016 led the Justice Department to list hundreds of improvements needed to bring the department in line with law and best practices. (That was back when we had a Justice Department working for justice ...) Deceased Mayor Ed Lee and our new outsider Police Chief William Scott pledged to make changes. The California Attorney General's office has agreed to pick up the oversight task that Jeff Sessions has dropped.

Father Richard Smith and other clergy brought together by Faith in Action Bay Area and PICO California lent their support. All were at pains to explain that the broad #NoJusticeNoDeal coalition is not hostile to unions in general. They do assert though that the POA abuses labor law to prevent lawful oversight. Further, this coalition supports disciplined police officers who are doing a tough job. But they need to see a contract that helps restore trust between community and cops. The current renegotiation provides a rare opportunity for San Franciscans to demand a better deal.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails