Report Shows Racial Bias In San Francisco Police Department

Photo by David Paul Morris
The report, completed by the Department of Justice, cites that San Francisco police use force against Blacks more than any other racial group.

In a report from the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, officials found that San Francisco police pull over African-American drivers at disproportionately higher rates than drivers of other racial groups and used force against blacks at higher rates.

The review comes after the 2015 fatal shooting of Mario Woods and the disclosure that some officers exchanged racist and homophobic text messages. 

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Ronald Davis, director of the DOJ's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, told reporters during a press conference, "There's going to be some hard truths told today, but to be selectively ignorant and pretend nothing is going on around you will ultimately be fatal to the organization."

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The report, released Wednesday, also showed that of the 11 fatal incidents in San Francisco over the last three years, nine involved people of color. Mayor Ed Lee said Wednesday, "Like many cities across the nation, San Francisco is working to rebuild trust between law enforcement and our communities."

Lee and interim Police Chief Toney Chaplin added that they are working to implement some of the 272 recommendations made in the report. 

Speaking on the killing of Mario Woods, Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, said that prosecutors should seek criminal charges against officers involved in the shooting and officers involved in other shootings, adding, "Until then, we have a great uphill battle to get this community to trust the police department in the city."

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