Police Commission - May 19, 2021 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
May 19, 2021 - 5:30pm

MAY 19, 2021                                                                    REMOTE MEETING VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE

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

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

ABSENT:               Commissioner Hamasaki

                Sergeant Youngblood announced that item 5, Presentation of the Quarterly Report in Compliance with Administrative Code Chapter 96A is taken off calendar.


                David Aaronson, Wealth & Disparities, spoke regarding presentation by the District Attorney and OIS investigations and demanded charges in the case of Mario Woods and would like to know what is the status of the investigation.

                Kit Hodge, Wealth & Disparities, spoke of OIS cases and Department report regarding DA’s case review of officer-involved shooting cases.  She stated that the report only covers cases from 2017 to 2020 and spoke of the Mario Woods case and what is the status of that case.

                Susan Buckman, Wealth & Disparities, spoke of OIS presentation and why the Department’s report only cover shootings from 2017 to 2020.                    


  • SFPD Monthly SB 1421 Report

  • DPA Monthly SB 1421 Report

    Sergeant Youngblood read the following statement: “The items on Consent Calendar are considered routine and for information purposes only.  If any Commissioners would like to discuss any of the items under the Consent Calendar, please advise President Cohen that you would like to place the item on a future agenda for presentation and discussion.  Tonight, there will be no discussion or presentation on these items.”


                    Brian Cox spoke in regard to lack of records released in the past month and stated that that level of production does not cut it.                  

                    Motion by Commissioner Byrne, second by Commissioner Brookter.   Approved 5-0.

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


    Chief’s Request

    -              Weekly crime trends

    -              Major/Significant Incidents                

                    Commissioner Cohen took a moment to recognize that on Saturday, May 15, was Peace Officers Memorial Day and recognized the ultimate sacrifice made by the 103 SFPD members who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Commissioner Cohen requested a moment of silence to honor the memory of those we’ve lost in the line of duty.

                    Chief Scott reported on crime trends:  Part 1 Violent Crimes:  Homicides down 6 percent, 16 YTD; rape down 27 percent; robbery down 27 percent; assault up two percent; human trafficking up 22 percent.  Part 1 Property Crimes:  Burglary up 20 percent; motor vehicle theft up 11 percent; arson up 24 percent; larceny theft down 26 percent.  The Chief talked about homicides:  three for this past week.  Of the 16 homicides, 7 have been cleared.  Gun violence up 149 percent.  There are a total of 66 incidents resulting in 87 victims YTD.  The Chief went on to talk about recent homicides.   First homicide occurred on May 14, victim was at a liquor store on Persia and Indiana, suspect got into an argument with the victim, the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot the victim one time in the upper body, suspect is a juvenile and have been arrested.  On May 15, 1226 p.m., Potrero Hill Housing Development, officers were investigating an earlier homicide when they heard shots fired in the area.  The officers located two male adults suffering from  gunshot wounds, one victim passed away from his injury, and the other is in critical condition.  About two hours prior to that incident, on the same  housing development, officers responded to the area of 25th and Connecticut regarding a shooting that just occurred.  Officers located a male in his 50s suffering from gunshot wound and was transported to the hospital where he died.  On both of the cases, the suspect is identified and warrants are outstanding for this individual. His name is Robert Newt.  A press release was issued with the picture of the suspect who committed two homicides within the span of a couple of hours and the Department feels he is a threat and needs to be taken into custody.  There was a shooting at Golden Gate & Hyde on May 14th, Tenderloin unit responded to a shot spotter activation and located a victim who have been shot; suspect is located by officers near the scene who attempted to flee by going into the wrong way of the freeway.  The officers cancelled the pursuit but were able to locate the suspect and arrested, victim is expected to survive.  Shooting on May 17th, in the Bayview at Oakdale and Lane, victim transported to hospital and treated, no suspect arrested. 

                    The Chief stated that the Bayview deployment is still ongoing and additional resources are deployed in the Potrero Hill to assist with the investigation and to deter any potential violence.    The Chief reported on firearms and ghost guns; 45 ghost guns seized YTD, seized 411 guns in total.  No fatal traffic collision to report.  Last night, on Polk and Hayes, there was a fatal accident where two pedestrians were struck, one was killed.  The suspect fled from the location.  Investigation is ongoing to identify the suspect.  AAPI Crimes:  total of four crimes involving Asian American victims.  First one is a possible hate crime at 26th and Castro on May 12th, victim got off the bus where suspect followed the victim and made racially derogatory remarks to victim about COVID 19, suspect grabbed the victim and held victim at knife point, victim was able to free himself.  Officers responded and are looking for videos in the area;  attempted robbery at Geary and Fillmore on May 14th, victim Asian male, 68 years old, suspect pointed a gun at victim and demanded his watch.  The victim struggled with the suspect and suspect was unsuccessful in taking the watch.  Aggravated assault at the 2900 block of Van Ness on May 13th, victim is a 57 year old Asian male and owner of the market in the location.  The subject entered the marked stole food and fled into the parking lot, victim followed suspect and confronted him.  The suspect attacked the victim, knocked him to the ground, punched and kicked the victim before fleeing on foot.  Aggravated assaulted in the 900 block of Grant on May 15th, subject believed to be 15 or 14 years old yelled offensive remarks at the victim, sprayed unknown liquid into victim’s eyes, causing her to cry out in pain.  Victim hid in the bathroom and the suspect exited the store and fled northbound on Grant Avenue where the witnesses confronted him verbally.  This incident is related to another incident with the same suspect that attempted to steal a phone case at the Apple Store in the Central District.  The Department has videos and is attempting to locate the suspect.  Central foot beat officers are out and on foot in an attempt to deter crimes by visible presence.  Significant incidents:  Critical incident at 4700 block of Mission where suspect with a saw  began cutting his fingers, severed his thumb, hostage negotiators negotiated with this individual and was able to take individual into custody.  Possible hate crime in the 3700 block of Cesar Chavez, on May 14th, rabbi found graffiti and SID was notified of incidents.  Stunt driving incident across the city on Saturday.  Stunt Driving Response Unit were in communication with Oakland PD, number of individuals were cited, one arrest, three vehicles towed. 

                    Major events:  The Giants are increasing their park capacity attendance as well as the Warriors.

    DPA Director’s Report

    -              Report on recent DPA activities, and announcements

    -              Presentation of the April 2021 Monthly Statistical Report               

                    Director Henderson gave an update on year-to-date stats:   297 cases opened cases and closed 364 cases year to date; 294 pending cases; 23 cases sustained; 25 cases past 270 days; 13 cases mediated; 27 cases pending with the Chief; 14 cases pending with the Commission.  

    Received 66 new cases in month of April with 132 allegations; 35 percent failing to take required action; 32 percent spoke or behaved inappropriately; 9 percent unnecessary force; 6 percent violation of department rules; 6 percent failure to write an incident report; 3 percent violation of BWC.

    Outreach:  Can be found on  community calendar on the DPA’s website and posted on Tweeter, Facebook, Instagram and on DHR’s website.  This week, participated at the Mega Black meeting focusing on strategies for educating Black communities at different areas including addressing police reform.

    Commission Reports

    -              Commission President’s Report

    -              Commissioners’ Reports

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

                    Commissioner Cohen reminded the Chief to convert FDRB to FRB to address all the use of force incidents.  She also announced that the 96a report will be on the agenda on June 2nd.  Commissioner Cohen also stated that she is still working to get a date for the Attorney General to attend. John Alden is confirmed to report on June 9th.

                    Commissioner Brookter reported on being on the radio along with Chief Scott and former Commissioner Joe Marshall, Oakland Police Chief Armstrong and Oakland Commissioner Regina Jackson and conversation on best practices.


                    Ms. Paulette Brown spoke of her son, Aubrey Abrakasa, whose case is still outstanding and that his case is still not solved. 


                    District Attorney Chesa Boudin presented his report titled, “SF District Attorney’s Office:  Independent Investigations Bureau and Response to Officer Involved Shootings.”

                    Commissioner Cohen asked for a summary of caseload involving the SFPD.  DA Boudin stated that there is 26 pending investigations and a number of look backs.   She asked to have a quarterly report from the DA.  DA Boudin stated that he will have quarterly report provided to the Commission.  Commissioner Cohen asked how many officers are on the Brady list.  DA Boudin stated that it is  a living document and a list gets updated in real time.  Commissioner Cohen asked how many open cases related to SFPD.  DA Boudin will get exact number to the Commission.                

                    Commissioner Elias  thanked Commissioner Cohen for her work and leadership on police reform.  Commissioner Elias asked about IIB and staffing.  DA Boudin replied IIB is to assure the public the decisions being made by an agency independent of the police department and is accountable directly to the public and it is critical that investigations are done independently and critical that it be staffed to do those investigations.  Commissioner Elias asked why investigations are taking so long.  DA Boudin stated that there should be no need for the Department to wait on the DA’s OIS decision and that the department should be able to move quickly in their administrative decision than the DA can move in making their criminal investigation decision.  He also explained that it is a complicated, laborious, and time-consuming job and one that, in some instance, necessarily has to wait until the administrative process is concluded.  He also stated that in OIS cases, expert witnesses are consulted and it may take six months or longer to review a case file and give the DA’s Office a formal opinion.

                    Director Henderson thanked Commissioner Cohen for inviting DA Boudin.

                    Commissioner Brookter asked for the number of look back or second look cases and also asked DA Boudin for his thoughts about opportunities for improving the system.  DA Boudin stated that there are four look backs that are still being conducted in the cases of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Luis Gongora Pat, and Amilcar Lopez.  DA Boudin also talked about de-escalation to the extent of taking out the police as being the first line of response to public health crisis on the streets.               

                    Commissioner Cohen asked if the office has deadline for completing OIS investigations.  DA Boudin stated  as soon as possible and the need to convene a grand jury.  Commissioner Cohen asked DA Boudin to describe the levels of cooperation regarding investigations of  officer involved shootings between the San Francisco Police Department, between the DPA, and between the District Attorney’s Office.  DA Boudin stated that the three agencies would live to see more information sooner and in real time and stated that there is a good rapport and that the channel of communication is open, and that the MOU is a step in the right direction.  He also stated that he would like his office notified as soon as possible when there is an OIS.


                    Magick Altman stated that the DA’s office should be called in immediately and stated the DNA test can happen much faster and stated that the case of Jessica Williams is not one of the cases on look back.

                    Gloria Berry thanked the Commission for inviting the DA tonight and that she learned a lot.

                    Paul thanked the DA for his attendance.               

    (The Commission recessed at 8:12 p.m. and reconvened at 8:22 p.m.)


                    Taken off calendar.  Put over to later date.


                    Taken out of order

                    Executive Director Catherine Maguire presented the SFPD/DPA Report on General Orders/Policy Proposals “Sparks Report,” 1st Quarter 2021.

                    Sharon Woo highlighted some of the DGO’s worked on by the Department and the DPA during the quarter.


                    Magick Altman asked about her previous comment and would like a response to her question earlier.


                    Commander Rob O’Sullivan presented the update regarding Firearm Discharge Review Board, 1st Quarter 2021 Report.                  


                    Karen Fleshman spoke of the Grand Jury Report on OIS and stated that one of the topics in the report is that there was no concurrent investigations going on of OIS and that instead it was sequential between all the different offices that were involved and stated that one of the recommendation is to have a civilian to come and observe what was going on in the OIS investigation so that the public will have input and oversight and asked if there is a civilian that observes and if investigations are being done concurrently.




                    Motion by Commissioner Elias, second by Commissioner Byrne, to go into Closed Session.  Approved 5-0.

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

    ABSENT:               Commissioner Hamasaki

    CLOSED SESSION (9:16 p.m. -  9:19 p.m.)

    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:

    Assignment of a Commissioner for the taking of evidence on the Appeal of the Chief’s Suspension filed in ca5:se no. DPA 0645-18 (ACTION)

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

    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, Brookter, Yee, Byrne, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Sergeant Youngblood, Sergeant Reynolds, Risa Tom)

    Open Session (9:19 p.m.)


                    Motion by Commissioner Cohen, second by Commissioner Elias for non-disclosure.  Approved 5-0.

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

                    ABSENT:  Commissioner Hamasaki




    Thereafter, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.