Mayor Lee on the Release of the U.S. Department of Justice Collaborative Review Report Regarding the San Francisco Police Department
Mayor Edwin M. Lee issued this statement today:
“I want to first thank the United States Department of Justice COPS Director, Ron Davis and your staff for completing this important report. I also want to thank the hundreds of community members who met with DOJ staff to give input. And I especially want to acknowledge the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department, who voluntarily worked with the DOJ in good faith, for the betterment of their Department.
Like many cities across the nation, San Francisco is working to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities. As we do this, we always put the sanctity of life at the center of our focus.
This COPS review process began after I called United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch to come assess our Police Department. We threw open the doors and invited transparency and accountability. Today, we have the results of their review, including 94 findings and 272 recommendations.
I’m proud to report that the San Francisco Police Department will accept and implement every, single recommendation. We must restore trust, and these measures are important steps forward.
We also recognized that we had to take immediate action. In the past ten months, we have worked hard to put reforms in place. Through community feedback and in meetings with rank and file officers, we identified steps we could take -- right away -- to rebuild trust, to make our department better.
The DOJ’s report acknowledges the dozens of reforms already in place regarding Use of Force and Time and Distance. As you heard, DOJ gives the Police credit for implementing body cameras, and department-wide trainings on crisis intervention and implicit bias.
We have made progress, but there is still a lot of work to do.
I am directing the leadership of SFPD and the Police Commission to implement these reforms as soon as possible, and with one specific goal: Fair and just policing that treats everyone the same and places the sanctity of life above all else.
The problems we have in our City won’t be solved overnight. But my administration is committed – I am committed – to seeing this through. While some reforms may take longer than others, so much important work is already underway, or near completion.
We have new department rules about how force can be used and how it should be reported.
We have a new behavioral health crisis intervention program to resolve potentially violent situations.
We have body cameras on officers.
But let me be clear, we still have more work to do. And we are committed to improving the way our police department works.
To the people of San Francisco, I say: This does not end with the release of a report. DOJ has provided us a roadmap forward, which we promise to honor.
Again, I thank everyone who worked so hard to make this report thorough and accurate: DOJ staff, the Police Department, the Police Commission, and members of San Francisco’s diverse communities.”