Police Commission - April 21, 2021 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
April 21, 2021 - 5:30pm

The Police Commission of the City and County of San Francisco met via videoconference at 5:38 p.m.

PRESENT:             Commissioners Cohen, Elias, DeJesus, Hamasaki, Brookter, Yee, Byrne

                Commissioner Cohen welcomed newly appointed Commissioner James Byrne.

                Commissioner Byrne addressed the Commission and stated that he is looking forward to meeting everybody and seeing everyone in person.               


                Kit Hodge, Wealth & Disparities, spoke of CRI updates on Consent Calendar and spoke of SFPD reporting on 272 recommendations that as of March 31st, 160 recommendations out of the 272 are in substantially compliance and stated that “in progress” simply means it is not done and stated that it is urgent that SFPD completes all of the recommendations in this calendar year.

                Susan Buckman spoke of anti-Black bias in policing being a nationwide problem.  She spoke of how San Francisco have under 6 percent Black population which makes the inequities experienced by Black San Franciscans all the more striking. and spoke of SFPD being one of the worse offenders when it comes to racial disparities in arrests, use of force, and stops.  She stated that the Commission should be demanding that SFPD complete all recommendations and build a permanent culture of equity, justice, and respect for Black San Franciscans.

                Carolyn, SF Public Defender, spoke of the George Floyd verdict and the push for accountability in San Francisco and spoke of SB 1421 and how records are still stuck pending review with SFPD and DPA and stated that release of these records should be prioritized and asked the Commission to mandate a timeline for compliance to SB 1421.

                Francisco Dacosta spoke of failure by the Commission when it comes to the 272 DOJ recommendations and spoke of how DOJ today is making changes and spoke of how SFPD was under consent decree in the past.

                Unidentified commended Captain Maron for listening to residence and how he increased SFPD vehicle and foot patrols and temporarily assigned rotating officers and how there is a dramatic decrease in loitering in large group that have grown over the years.  He stated that loitering folks have been responsible for vandalizing and spray painting his neighbors’ home with the word “snitch,” stealing security cameras, littering, peeing in his driveway, blocking driveways, and double parking and triple parking in the street, frequent loud music day and night, corner store parties, and constant drug dealing.  He stated that this is the most peace they have had in their block.  He asked for more officers for their block to sustain change.  He stated that it is typical to hold SFPD accountable when the reality is that SFPD do not have enough officers.               


  • 1ST Quarter 2021 Audit of Electronic Communication Devices for Bias

  • SFPD Monthly SB 1421 Report

  • DPA Monthly SB 1421 Report

  • CRI Monthly Update

  • 1st Quarter 2021 Safe Streets for All Report

    Commissioner Cohen had questions regarding the electronic devices audit for bias.  She asked about the 43 hits returned and 3 messages returned to be potentially biased.  Questions are:  What are these three text messages, and can they be disclosed?  Are the communications examined to determined whether certain biased phrase communicated in code or street slang part of the examination criteria?  Can you provide and make public the word list developed to determine bias?

    Chief Scott explained that making the list public have been discussed with the commission on several occasions and stated that the reason the list is not disclosed is because if you tell people what the trigger words are, it will lessen the effectiveness of doing the audit.

    Commissioner DeJesus asked if there were actions taken on the three hits.  Chief Scott stated that there are ongoing investigation.

    Commissioner Hamasaki stated that if the word is not part of a street sign but are in fact instances of bias, there should be a mechanism to disclose those examples.  Chief Scott stated he will work with the Commission to figure out a way.  Commissioners Hamasaki and Byrne will work with the Department.



                    Motion by Commissioner Cohen, second by Commissioner DeJesus to accept and file consent calendar.  Approved 7-0.

    AYES:  Commissioners DeJesus, Hamasaki, Byrne, Brookter, Yee, Cohen, Elias

    Chief’s Request

    -              Weekly crime trends

    -              Major/Significant Incidents                

                    Chief Scott started his report with the verdict on the Chauvin trial and spoke of preparation for the verdict and stated that there were no incidents of violence in the city.  There were crowds assembled in celebration of the verdict and that was peacefully facilitated.

    Chief Scott reported on crime trends:  Homicides down 17 percent; rape down 40 percent; robbery down 23 percent; assault down 6 percent; human trafficking up 29 percent; total violent crimes down 17 percent; burglary up 36 percent; motor vehicle theft up 13 percent; arson up 20 percent; larceny theft down 35 percent; total property crimes down 19 percent. Gun violence is up 18 percent.  Strategies:  Visibility and deployment at the right places at the right time, foot patrols, passing calls, and working with strategies with the California Partnership Safe Communities.  The Chief talked about life coaches and are in the process of hiring life coaches.  As far as burglaries, up 36 percent and strategies are in place in terms of putting officers where there are activities including changing the hours of the plainclothes details and work with the district attorney’s office on the high frequency individuals who have been involved in these types of activities.  Significant events:  Two Community meetings, last night’s meeting was well attended with key stakeholders from the AAPI community, African-American community, community base leaders, non-profits, the command staff, all the district captains and plan to do these meetings every other month to change policing and keeping the ball on reform and keeping the momentum on reform and stated that there are 223 completed recommendations and 175 have met substantial compliance and is working hard to meet the promise in two weeks.  The Chief talked about a suspicious death where a 7-month-old infant was found unconscious, and the death and circumstances are very suspicious.  There is a person of interest and the Department is working with the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine cause of death.

                    Commissioner Brookter spoke of level of shootings and asked the Chief what the reason for the level of shootings can be happening.  Chief Scott stated the some of them are triggered by social networking and how it can trigger more violence and identifying who those networks are and trying to get to the people who are at risk are very important.  The Chief also talked about ghost guns being manufactured at home, no serial numbers, and are untraceable and they are real guns.  The Department is working with its Federal partners and stated that ghost guns are a problem across the country.               

                    The Chief also talked about side shows over the weekend and shot fired.  Stunt Driving Response Unit was activated and were able to cite and get information that would likely lead to impounding of cars.  The Chief explained that the Department’s pursuit policy is very tight and that officers are not allowed to engage in pursuits in these type of scenarios as it can cause real harm and put people at risk.  Commissioner Elias asked if the District Attorney is assisting in these events in making arrests?  Chief Scott stated that the Department have gotten commitments from the District Attorney’s office.  The Chief stated that response are much better and that appropriate arrests will be made.  The Chief stated that the District Attorney and his staff are committed to working with the Department on this issue.

                    Commissioner Cohen asked about CRI updates and the deadline of April 30th and how the progress is coming along.  The Chief stated that by the end of the month, the Department will have about 15, 17 max that the Department is working on.  He stated that the recommendations that remains, the Department knows where they are because of communications with Hillard Heinze and Cal DOJ and stated that the next Board meeting will be on May 25th and that the Chief will be reporting back to the Commission.  The Chief explained that there is work being done on these recommendations all the time and the Department is committed to finishing all of the recommendations.

                    Commissioner Cohen noted that in the last 18 months, since October 2019, recommendations in the substantial compliance category have risen from 39 to 160 and the report also indicates that 34 recommendations are listed as external review and 27 are listed as external validation and the numbers indicate that 221 of the 272 recommendations have moved forward to either substantial compliance or external review or external validation  Commissioner Cohen stated that this is progress and that it reflects the significant engagement by the Department stakeholders and the community and hopes that this progress will continue that all 272 collaborative reform initiative recommendations are going to be completed as soon as possible.  Commissioner Cohen asked the Chief what is the expectation for the completion of all the 272 recommendations.  Chief Scott stated that there are some recommendations that are depending on budget and stated that the Department would like to continue would like to continue the collaborative effort with Cal DOJ and Hillard Heinz and have a year to finish these recommendations depending on the budget and stated that the budget plays out in the next month of two and will give the Commission a more definitive answer.  The Chief stated that the Department needs $3M to $4M to complete the DOJ recommendations.

                    Commissioner Elias asked if moneys can be moved around to cover what is needed for technology.  Chief Scott stated that the Department needs to evaluate the record management system and that there are other big-ticket items that the Department is working on and talked about how everything have to be coordinated.

                    Commissioner Hamasaki asked about ghost guns and are these the guns responsible for some of the shootings.  Chief Scott said yes, and that the Department is tracking these types of gun being used is robberies and homicides.  The Chief stated that the goal is to identify where they are being made and stated that some arrests were made but it is really hard to find the origin of these guns. The Chief explained that one of the strategies is to work with local partners to identify where they are being made.  The Chief stated that in 2016 the Department confiscated six ghost guns, in 2017, 16, in 2018, 51, 2019, 77, and IN 2020, 164.  Commissioner Hamasaki also asked about investigations done on side shows and are these related to discharge of weapons.  The Chief stated that yes, there have been some firearm discharged at side show events.

                    Commissioner Yee thanked the Chief and his staff on yesterday’s meeting with the community.  He also spoke of talking with the Chinatown community and thanked the Chief for keeping the community safe.

                    Commissioner Cohen asked about SB 1421 data and spoke of burglaries and what the community can do to prevent burglaries.  The Chief stated check on where you live, check the locks, check the garages and talked about having SF Safe do a safety audit of garages.  The Chief also said to look out for your neighbors and spoke of surveillance cameras and how information can be shared with the Department and District Attorney’s office. 

    DPA Director’s Report

    -              Report on recent DPA activities, and announcements               

                    Director Henderson gave an update on year-to-date stats: 233 cases opened cases and closed 304 cases year to date; 295 pending cases; 20 cases sustained; 32 cases past 270 days; 7 cases mediated; 25 cases pending with the Chief; 10 cases pending with the Commission.  Outreach:  Can be found on community calendar on the DPA’s website and posted on Tweeter, Facebook, Instagram and on DHR’s website.  On April 15th participated with Mega Black meetings; participated in criminal justice reform group; April 17th participated in Mayor’s Stand Together Campaign for Solidarity.

    Commission Reports

    -              Commission President’s Report

    -              Commissioners’ Reports

    -              Commission announcements and scheduling of items identified for consideration at future Commission Meetings.

                    Commissioner Cohen welcomed Commissioner Byrne.  Commissioner Cohen also announced that tonight is Commissioner DeJesus’ last meeting and stated that Commissioner DeJesus has been in the Commission for the last 12 years and a remarkable resource to members of this Commission.

                    Commissioner Elias stated that Commissioner DeJesus was the first person who welcomed her to the Commission and spoke of how grateful she is for her help and for the great work she has done with the Commission for a very long time.

                    Commissioner Brookter thanked Commissioner DeJesus for her service and spoke of how patient she is and spoke of off-line conversations with her and her willingness to answer the phone.

                    Commissioner Hamasaki spoke of Commissioner DeJesus as being the first Commissioner that met with him years ago when he wanted to be on the Commission.  He spoke of how Commissioner DeJesus have been the radical on the left and spoke of some of the models that San Francisco sets for the country and that these is Commissioner DeJesus’s legacy.

                    Commissioner Yee spoke of how four years ago he met Commissioner DeJesus in the labor council and thanked her for her service to the city and wished her well wherever she goes.

                    Director Henderson acknowledged Commissioner DeJesus and spoke of how she can call in every Wednesday so we can still hear from her and invited her to be a part of all the working groups.

                    Chief Scott thanked Commissioner DeJesus on behalf of the Department and from him personally as she is last Commissioner that got him to this position and thanked Commissioner DeJesus for her leadership.

                    Sergeant Youngblood thanked Commissioner DeJesus for her dedication and that the Commission staff will deeply miss her.

                    Commissioner Cohen stated the Commissioner DeJesus is an institution of knowledge.  She has been at the helm on policies that the Commission have implemented years ago and have been through many leadership changes in the Commission and how Commissioner DeJesus have seen quite a few of waves of change come through San Francisco and across the country.

                    Commissioner DeJesus stated that she has been in the Commission since 2006.  Commissioner DeJesus welcomed Commissioner Byrne and thanked Commissioner Yee.  She stated that she had wonderful colleagues through the years and thanked the Chief and stated that he has been great to work with and thanked him for the open communication.  She thanked the community for having her back and standing with her.  She thanked the Commission staff for doing everything for the Commissioners and that they are loyal and professional and for knowing how everything works.  She thanked the DPA for the policy work that they do.                

                    Commissioner Cohen spoke of speaking with Zack Dillon of the Public Defender’s Office and that she reached out with the District Attorney and that he will be joining the meeting on May 19th to discuss FDRB.

                    Commissioner Brookter spoke of members of the community regarding the War Against Gun Activity March took place April 10th.  He stated that the march is a non-violent march to spread the message to stop the senseless killings that are taking place in the community and thanked Torriano for his leadership for 16 years in the Bayview Hunter’s Point.

                    Commissioner Elias asked CMCR (Critical Mindset Coordinated Response) to present regarding new training that the Department have implemented.

                    Commissioner Hamasaki spoke regarding the conclusion of the Erick Chauvin trial and spoke that the verdict is a reminder for all to work harder and that the Commission have a lot of work to do.               

    Commissioner Yee announced that May 1st is Asian Heritage Month and invited the Chief to come down and be part of the community public safety event and invited anybody to attend on May 1st, 11 a.m., at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolence Association.  The plan is to make it safe for everyone.


                    Francisco Dacosta spoke of the Brown Act and Robert’s Rules and spoke of the Commission wasting his time for 40 minutes and spoke of the Chauvin trial.

                    Carolyn, Public Defender’s Office, thanked Commissioner DeJesus for her many years of service and how she has been part of the many positive changes in the City.


                    Commissioner Cohen stated how much the Commission appreciate with great respect and gratitude the challenges and sacrifices faced by the officers and stated that this is a new reality that SFPD officers are facing every single day.  Commissioner Cohen read a quote by Arthur Ashe, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not an urge to surpass all others at whatever costs but the urge to serve others at whatever costs.” Commission Cohen stated, “We honor the officers who’ve been recommended for special award and recognition.  They embody the urge to serve others at whatever costs.”

                    Commissioner Brookter thanked Commissioner DeJesus for her time and work with the Chief and Rachael Kilshaw to present these awards.  He stated that we need to acknowledge those who are doing well within the Department.

                    Commissioner DeJesus stated that it has been years since awards were given out and that it is time to start giving these awards and that going forward, to stay at some type of schedule, to give the officers the recognition that they deserve and to broaden the awards for non-violence and de-escalation.

                    Motion by Commissioner Brookter, second by Commissioner DeJesus to approve the recommendations.  Approved 7-0.



  • AYES:     Commissioner DeJesus, Hamasaki, Brookter, Yee, Byrne, Elias, Cohen




                    Motion by Commissioner Elias, second by Commissioner DeJesus, to go into Closed Session.  Approved 6-1.

    AYES:     Commissioner DeJesus, Brookter, Yee, Byrne, Elias, Cohen

    NAYS:    Commissioner Hamasaki   

    CLOSED SESSION (7:45 p.m. – 10:39 p.m.)

    CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR – COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.   This item is for the Commission to meet in closed session with their labor negotiator and provide direction for bargaining with the SFPOA.  The POA is not permitted to attend this closed session meeting.

    Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 & SF Administrative Code Section 67.10(e):

    City Negotiator:  LaWanna Preston, SFPD Labor Relations Director

    Organization representing Police Officers:  SF Police Officers Association

    Anticipated Issues Under Negotiation:  DGO 5.03, “Investigative Detentions

    (Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, DeJesus, Hamasaki, Brookter, Yee, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Deputy City Attorney Cabrera, Director Preston, Sergeant Youngblood, Sergeant Reynolds, Risa Tom, Phillip Lohaus, Isabelle Choy) Commissioner Byrne recused.

    PERSONNEL EXCEPTION.  Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b)(1) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b) and Penal Code Section 832.7:

    Discussion and possible action to sustain or not sustain charges filed in Case No. IAD 2018-0099, decide penalty, if needed, or take other action, if necessary

    (Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, DeJesus, Hamasaki, Brookter, Yee, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Sergeant Youngblood, Sergeant Reynolds, Risa Tom, Attorney Betz, Attorney Burrell, member involved) Commissioner Byrne recused.

    (These proceedings were taken in shorthand form by Ms. Paula Behmke, CSR., Behmke Reporting and Video Services.)

    PERSONNEL EXCEPTION.  Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b)(1) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b) and Penal Code Section 832.7:

    Discussion and possible action to accept or reject Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Comply with Government Code Section 3304(d) filed in disciplinary case no. DPA 43625-19

    (Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, DeJesus, Hamasaki, Brookter, Yee, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Sergeant Youngblood, Sergeant Reynolds, Risa Tom, Attorney Rosenstein, Attorney Stern, member involved) Commissioner Byrne recused.

    (These proceedings were taken in shorthand form by Ms. Paula Behmke, CSR., Behmke Reporting and Video Services.)

    PERSONNEL EXCEPTION.  Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b)(1) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b) and Penal Code Section 832.7:

    Status and calendaring of pending disciplinary cases.

    (Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, DeJesus, Hamasaki, Brookter, Yee, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Sergeant Youngblood, Sergeant Reynolds, Risa Tom)

    OPEN SESSION (10:39 p.m.)


                    Motion by Commissioner Elias, second by Commissioner Brookter for non-disclosure.  Approved 6-0.




    Thereafter, the meeting was adjourned at 10:39 p.m.