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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London Breed Nominates Malia Cohen to Serve on the Police Commission

Cohen, member of the California State Board of Equalization, would bring experience advocating for social justice and police reform to the Commission

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that she is nominating Malia M. Cohen to serve on the Police Commission, the seven-member body charged with setting policy for the Police Department and conducting disciplinary hearings when police conduct charges are filed.

“I am proud to nominate Malia M. Cohen to the Police Commission. The recent high-profile killings of Black Americans by police officers has focused the nation’s attention on the urgent need to rethink the role that police play in our communities, and this is an issue that Malia has been a leader on her whole career,” said Mayor Breed. “Whether it was fighting to create the Department of Police Accountability or pushing to end the use of chokeholds by the Police Department, Malia has consistently advocated for, and won, significant reforms to policing in San Francisco in order to keep people safe. I’m confident that she’ll continue to move this issue forward on the Police Commission.”

“It is an honor to partner with Mayor Breed and our communities to rethink and improve the delivery of law enforcement services in San Francisco,” said Malia Cohen. “I look forward to joining with our Board of Supervisors, SFPD Chief William Scott, the men and women of his Department, and all who have fought to bring about decent and reformed law enforcement that puts the lives and well-being of all San Franciscans first. My hope is that all who come into contact with the SFPD, particularly African Americans and persons of color, will be treated with respect, and that the Mayor’s reforms will build bridges and become a model for our country during these troubled times.”

Cohen served as the Chair of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) in 2019, and she is the first African-American woman to serve on the Board. As a member of the BOE, Cohen represents nearly 10 million constituents in Northern and Central California. Prior to serving on the BOE, she was President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where she represented District 10 for eight years and was Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Throughout her life, Cohen has fought for diversity and inclusion. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Cohen was instrumental in banning the use of chokeholds by the San Francisco Police Department. In 2016, she led the effort to create the independent Department of Police Accountability, with expanded powers to audit the police department and investigate all police shootings. In addition to her leadership on police reform, Cohen has championed policies and programs that protect public health, foster economic development, promote new affordable housing, and that create good jobs.

Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fisk University, a historically Black university in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Masters in Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She resides in the Bayview neighborhood with her husband, attorney Warren Pulley.

Earlier this month, Mayor Breed announced a roadmap to fundamentally change the nature of policing in San Francisco and issued a set of policies to address structural inequities. She proposed four priorities to achieve this vision: ending the use of police in response to non-criminal activity; addressing police bias and strengthening accountability; demilitarizing the police; and promoting economic justice. These policies build on the City’s ongoing work to meet the standards contained in President Obama’s 2015 Task Force on 21st Century Policing.