Limited Accountability for Racial Bias in San Francisco’s Community Policing Programs

by Vins

In October 2019, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community–Justice 4 Mario Woods held a press conference about problems with the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program. Since 2016, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has been working, in response to community concerns, to promote more racially-equitable policing practices in San Francisco.

However, SFPD’s data show that more than ten times as many black people as white people per capita were targets of use of force and arrests.

In 2016, after an outbreak of fatal shootings by SFPD, the Community Oriented Policing program, a federal program run by the Department of Justice, issued an assessment of the SFPF that recommended 272 reforms. In 2017, the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under guidance from the Trump administration, ended oversight of the COPS program, but San Francisco “committed to completing the process,” the Bay View reported. However, according to the Bay View’s report, three years after the DOJ’s report, “fewer than 10 percent of the total DOJ COPS recommendations were marked complete.” There is ongoing racism in policing of Black and Brown people in San Francisco.

Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community–Justice 4 Mario Woods demand change. They want the city’s board of supervisors, police commission and California’s Department of Justice to provide greater oversight in order to make certain the that recommended reforms are in fact implemented.

Although corporate news outlets did cover the 2015 fatal shooting of Mario Woods by SFPD officers, the subsequent reform efforts, by community-based groups such as Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community–Justice 4 Mario Woods, have gone largely unnoticed.

Source: Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community–Justice 4 Mario Woods, “Holding San Francisco Accountable on SFPD’s Inadequate DOJ COPS Progress and Process,” San Francisco Bay View, November, 2019, https://sfbayview.com/2019/11/holding-san-francisco-accountable-on-sfpds-inadequate-doj-cops-progress-and-process/.

Student Researcher: Andrea Hernandez-Chavez (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kyla Walters (Sonoma State University)

Review Article with Credder

You may also like