Police Commission - September 1, 2021 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 1, 2021 - 5:30pm

SEPTEMBER 1, 2021                                                                        REMOTE MEETING VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE

                The Police Commission of the City and County of San Francisco met via videoconference at 5:47 p.m.

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

ABSENT:               Commissioner Brookter


                Unidentified called in regard to Commissioner Hamasaki’s tweet regarding a video of someone kicking out a stack of milk crates that a police officer was standing on causing the officer to be knocked to the ground.  Caller stated that Commissioner Hamasaki’s caption on the video is “OK.  I sometimes complain about community policing/coffee with a cop type deals but I fully support any cops who want to try this harhar.”  Caller stated he is wondering why it’s ok for members of the commission to cheer on violence against police and asked Commissioners Cohen and Elias to do something about Commissioner Hamasaki cheering on violence against a police officer.  He asked that Commissioner Hamasaki be held accountable.

                Unidentified called in regard to Commissioner Hamasaki’s conduct and concerns regarding Commissioner Hamasaki’s tweeter page and his violation of department general orders and social media policy. Caller stated that for a  department that is trying to root out all implicit and unconscious bias one of its policy makers clearly demonstrate strong bias toward law enforcement.

                Michael Petrellis commented and stated that on July 8th in the Mission outside Manny’s where DA Boudin was speaking, he was assaulted and stated that he asked the Department to release the video of the assailant so that he can put it out to the public to identify the assailant.  He asked the Commission why the Department have not issued an alert to help identify the assailant.

                Tony Montoya, SFPOA President, spoke of his letter submitted to the Mayor and the Commission President asking for the removal of Commissioner Hamasaki from the Commission.  He stated that Commissioner Hamasaki consistently attack police officers in his comments in social media.  He stated that Commissioner Hamasaki’s tweet is cruel and is unnecessary and that it sends a signal to patrol officers that in Commissioner Hamasaki’s eyes they are less than human.

                Susan Buckman, Wealth & Disparities, spoke in regard to DPA Internship presentation and disparities in traffic stops.  She asked that San Francisco stop routine traffic stops that target Black drivers.

                Jean Bridges, Wealth & Disparities, spoke in regard to traffic stop presentation and supports the elimination of routine traffic stops.

                Ms. Paulette Brown spoke in regard to her son Aubrey Abrakasa and to ask for help to solve her son’s unsolved homicide case and thanked Chief Scott and everyone who attended the anniversary event.               


-              For the meetings of May, June & July 2021

                Motion by Commissioner Hamasaki, second by Commissioner Elias to adopt the minutes.

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

ABSENT:  Commissioner Brookter


-              2nd Quarter Safe Streets for All Report

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

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

ABSENT:               Commissioner Brooker

Chief’s Report

-              Weekly crime trends

-              Major/Significant Incidents                

                Chief Scott reported on crime trends:  Part 1 Violent Crime, down 5 percent:  Homicide up 6 percent; rape down 17 percent; robbery down 9 percent; assault up 9 percent; human trafficking up 5 percent.  Property Crimes,  down 5 percent:  Burglary up 1 percent; motor vehicle theft down 2 percent; arson up 9 percent; larceny theft down .16 percent.  Gun violence up 78 percent.  There were no shooting incidents for the week ending on 8/29/21.  There were no homicides.  There are 34 homicides YTD: 4 homicides in August, 6 homicides in July.  Overall clearance rate 92 percent.  Chief spoke of the homicide of a 16-year old that is still not solved and asked for the public’s help. On 8/31/21, there was an incident on Silver where officers responded to shot-spotter and located a victim who was 15-years old who was deceased inside a van.  No arrest has been made on this case.               

                Firearm seizure:  676 gun seizures YTD with 115 ghost guns seized.

                District strategies:  Tenderloin, the Chief commended Commissioner Byrne for spending a lot of time in the Tenderloin talking to the officers and the community. As far as strategy, continued presence of officers in the midmarket area; community partnership and talked of community ambassadors.  The Chief stated that the Department is tracking contacts with the public and some of the work that’s going on with the decreased deployment: 4600 positive contacts, 149 cites and arrests, 4,568 contacts regarding wellbeing checks and unhoused-type of situations. The Chief clarified that the officers are not doing enforcement on unhoused people, officers are out there to engaged and get help for individuals who need help.  Northern, six additional officers to patrol around the Palace of Fine Arts, Alamo Square and Japantown,  ongoing uniformed presence with the Housing Unit, passing calls and extra patrols around the Church Street corridor, Hayes Valley, Fillmore corridor, upper Cole Street.  Mission, two additional officers deployed in the Castro and upper Market area, along with traffic enforcement in the Castro, and ongoing uniformed presence by way of passing calls at the 24th Street corridor, 16th Street and Mission, 14th and 15th Streets with a fixed post on Saturdays.  Bayview, focused is on robbery and burglary enforcement, uniformed presence and passing calls in the 3rd Street corridor.  In August and part of July, there are Increased deployment on 3rd Street particularly in the nighttime weekend hours.  This has helped with less gun violence along 3rd Street.   Central, the bulk of tourism deployment, about 26 officers, have made a difference and have seen a decline in car break-ins. 

                Significant Incident:  Ingleside:  On August 22nd, Ingleside received  number of calls regarding a subject identifying as a San Francisco Police officer soliciting for personal and financial information.  The Chief stated that this is a scam and to not give personal or financial information to anybody who calls saying they are from the San Francisco Police Department.  Bank robbery in the 4600 block of  Mission Wells Fargo where an officer working 10B next door was able to detain the suspect inside the bank without incident.            In the Central, a subject entered a rental car company, grabbed keys, and stole two cars with a combined value of over $80,000. No arrest made and investigation is ongoing.  There was also an unprovoked attack on a 51-year old female was confronted and shoved by a person described as a white male adult who have been sleeping in the streets in the area.  The victim hit the back of her head when she was knocked down and suffered injuries.  Victim is in stable condition.  Witnesses detained the suspect until police arrived and arrested the suspect.  In the Tenderloin, Turk and Leavenworth, on August 28th, a 22-year old male was jaywalking when a vehicle abruptly accelerated, striking him, knocking him to the ground.  The vehicle then fled.  The victim and a witness believed this to be an intentional act.  The victim was transported with possible fractures but not other serious injury.  This case is under investigation and no arrest made.

                Stunt driving:  The Chief stated that the Stunt Driving Detail is working every night.  No events this week  He stated that the objective is to collect as much evidence, i.e. video footage, and investigate these cases when they happen in San Francisco. 

                Major events:  Giants are in town; Chase Center event will start with a series of city events and eventually live concerts will come.  No terrorism to report at this time. 

                The Chief spoke of upcoming promotions.  Commander Dan Perea, Commander Rob O’Sullivan will be promoted to Deputy Chief, Captains Nicole Jones, Rachel Moran, and Paul Yep will be promoted to Commander.  Promotions will go into effect in November.  The Chief also spoke of Ms. Paulette Brown and her idea to have a venue and rewards into the district stations and the department started a video loop with rewards announcements available to help solve homicides.  At this point, Bayview and Northern have it on their monitors and will roll out to all district stations.


                Ms. Paulette Brown thanked the Chief for the acknowledgment and spoke of a witness to her son’s case.

DPA Director’s Report

-              Report on recent DPA activities, and announcements               

                Director Henderson introduced Acting Chief of Staff Diana Rosenstein.

                Director Henderson reported:  14 new cases in the past week:  13 percent pending investigative tasks; 8 percent failure to take required action; 8 percent displayed threatening, intimidating, or harassing behavior; 4 percent drove improperly.  539 cases opened; 574 cases closed; 316 pending; 35 sustained; 27 past 270-day; 25 cases mediated.

                Director Henderson reported that in August, the DOJ COPS office released the report titled, “Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement,” and stated that NACOLE was the lead drafting agency from that report and they drew from the database, including DPA, of 97 police oversight programs to identify important issues in the field.

                Director Henderson announced that yesterday, DPA launched its new website.  The new website enclosed new features such as division breakdown, report pages, information about Know Your Rights, as well as a dashboard that allows stakeholders to examine and explore case metrix from 2016 to the present.  People can also go to the new website to file a complaint, answer questions, and apply for internship.

Outreach:  Can be found on  community calendar on the DPA’s website and posted on Tweeter, Facebook, Instagram and on DHR’s website.  In August, participated in HR Diversity Working Group; continued virtual speakers series; interns worked on podcast with the Public Defender’s Office; virtual meeting with heads of other civilian oversight agencies to talk about common challenges, accomplishments and goals, and share resources.



Commission Reports

-              Commission President’s Report

-              Commissioners’ Reports

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

                Commissioner Hamasaki addressed the comments by the Police Union and spoke of it as being a dishonest and disingenuous attack on him and stated “There’s no assaults on any police officer.  My post was intended actually to encourage police to get out in the community.  If you look at the video, they’re out in the community.  People are having fun and laughing, and the officer is participating in a popular game known as the “Milk Crate Challenge.”  I actually thought that was kind of cool of him.  I don’t know how it’s been twisted in this way but that’s not the case.  That was not my intention.  If you have other issues with my role in this Commission then maybe we can take that up in policies, right.  My concern really is that our members follow the rules, do their job, and that we have an upright and respectable department.  So, I think we’ve made some really positive progress but I think there’s also some people who don’t agree with that progress and are trying to undermine it.  And, I’m going to leave it at that, but there’s nothing about that post that was intended nor … it would take a lot of creative interpretation to be read the way that the police union suggested.  So, I think that’s unfortunate and I do understand you may have disagreements with me on policy, but let’s leave it there.  Thank you.”

                Commissioner Yee stated that August was a busy month for him but he was happy to attend the National Night Out at Balboa Park and then went to Central Station at the Northbeach Boys and Girls Club.  He stated that it was nice to see the crowds interacting with the police.  Commissioner Yee then spoke of attending the 273rd Academy Graduation and that 19 new officers will be coming into San Francisco Department.  He also announced that the Chinatown Night Out will be on September 8th at Portsmouth Square from 4 to 10 p.m.  He also talked about meeting up with Captain Maron at Bayview Station.




                Commissioner Cohen thanked Senator Skinner for joining the meeting to talked about Senate Bill 16.    Commissioner Cohen then explained Senate Bill 16, “… Senate Bill 16 is to make public law enforcement record on all use of force, wrongful arrests, or wrong searches public.  Senator Skinner and I both believe that transparency is essential if we are to achieve our goal for police reforms.  And I also want to acknowledge that Senator Skinner understood and understands the importance of transparency in policing when she authored Senate Bill 1421 … and Senate Bill 1421 lifted the veil of secrecy on policy conduct.  So, because of Senator Skinner’s work, our Commission received monthly Senate Bill 1421 reports indicating the department’s response to a couple of things, indicating the department’s response to public record requests to officer-involve shootings and also discharge, discharge incidents, great bodily harm incidents, sexual assault incidents, dishonesty cases and general document production requests.

                So Senator Skinner, you’ve been busy.  Thank you very much.  Let me also say that the vast number of our officers serve with great courage and that they are committed to fair and equal and just law enforcement, and our officers, many of them, most of them are just by the book officers.  They care about the process and they take very seriously their commitments to public service.  I believe the Chief would agree with me in this description of our Department. But, needless to say, within any organization, there are always a few bad apples.  There are officers who will engage in all kinds of misconduct, that should never carry a badge in any police department and without the transparency in records of misconduct, these bad apples, these officers can engage in jurisdiction shopping and get jobs in other agencies.  And there is a danger that these officers will carry their misconduct instincts to new agencies.  So Senate Bill 16 makes such jurisdiction shopping more difficult and I am a fan of Senator Skinner and I applaud her work.  It has not been easy on a statewide level. She’s been diligent in police reform and she has my deepest respect.  And I also want to acknowledge that I applaud the commitment of our own officers within SFPD who conduct themselves at the highest level of integrity, of professionalism each day in open and also in transparent environment.  So, with that, I will welcome Senator Skinner to join us.”               

                Senator Skinner spoke of SB 1421 which was signed into law in 2018.  SB 1421 lifted a veil of secrecy that California had.  She stated that the public was completely unable to access any records on police conduct.  Senator Skinner explained that SB 16 builds upon SB 1421 and that it adds a few more categories of records:  officers who have engaged bias and discriminatory behavior; officers who have engaged in unlawful arrests and searches; officers who have engaged in excessive or unreasonable force.  Complaints must be sustained.  Senator Skinner also explained that what the bill does is to require the agency to establish the record before the officer can quit the agency and that when an agency hires an officer, the agency must request the records and review the records before hiring.  It doesn’t limit the agency if it chooses to hire but it allows the agency to know who they’re hiring.

                Commissioner Elias thanked Senator Skinner for speaking to the Commission and all her work in this area.

                Commissioner Hamasaki thanked Senator Skinner and stated that it is important to make these dramatic strides forward in addressing public safety ensuring that the officers that wear the uniform are fit to and officers hopping from one jurisdiction to another bringing their problems with them.  He thanked Senator Skinner for her work in keeping the community safe.

                Commissioner Yee thank Senator Skinner for her work in making it more transparent and making police departments more accountable throughout the state of California.  He went on to ask the Senator if there will be additional resource that will be afforded to local police departments or funding of the staff for additional data and information that needs to be processed.  Senator Skinner explained that in the beginning the workload will be high but after that, the workload will not be high and will be a lot less.

                Director Henderson thanked Senator Skinner for her commitment to her work in reform and accountability.

                Chief Scott thanked Senator Skinner  for her work.  He stated that the transparency created by her work is a good thing however, there have been challenges with the backlog.  The Chief stated that it takes an army of people to get the requests processed.  The Chief stated that these things are not insurmountable but it will take time, staffing and money.  Senator Skinner stated that if the Commission or the Department wants to prepare a report that can outline ways that the Department can see some improvement or some ways that would achieve the goal of the law but lessen the burden on the agency, that could be helpful.               


                Zack Dillon, Public Defender’s Office, thanked Senator Skinner for her work in getting SB 1421 enacted and getting SB 16 so close into becoming a law.  He also spoke in regards to how the monthly SB 1421 updates are now relegated to the Consent Calendar and not discussed and not reviewed by the Commission.  He said that the veil is still in place in San Francisco and that the flood of requests have not be addressed.                 

(The Commission recessed at 7:38 p.m. and reconvened at 7:51 p.m.)


                Lieutenant Michael Nevin and Sgt. Justin Bugarin presented the Field Tactics Force Options Unit Presentation.  Purpose of the unit is to provide training oversight, consistency, and guidance with respect to the application of force tactics and force options by sworn members during encounters with suspects.  The FTFO Unit participates in incident review boards and preparing related analysis and recommendations form the perspective of training.

                Commissioner Elias thanked Lieutenant Nevin and Sgt. Bugarin for their presentation.  She went on to commend Lt. Nevin and Sgt. Bugarin for their dedication and passion for this training.  She stated that she is so happy that officers will be receiving this training and stated that this model is being used by other jurisdictions and that Lt. Nevin and his staff have received awards and recognition and encouraged her colleagues to participate in the training.

                Chief Scott thanked Lt. Nevin, Sgt. Bugarin, and Commander Flaherty for their work in this training and spoke of national recognition by being asked to present on CMCR at last year’s Internal Association of Chiefs Conference which is a conference with police departments from all over the world.  The Chief stated that the officers can’t seem to get enough of this training and that it is one of the most popular training modules that the Department has.  The Chief again commended Lt. Nevin, Sgt. Bugarin, Commander Flaherty, the officers and the DPA for their input.

                Commissioner Yee stated that he spoke with Captain Maron and that Captain Maron stated that more FTFO training is needed.

                Acting Chief of Staff Rosenstein stated she took the full course and that it gave her the opportunity to see things from the perspective of the officers.  She stated that it was a completely judgment-free zone for the officers to talk everything through. She stated that the officers were allowed to say whatever they were feeling and nobody told them how they should feel or how they should think and that everything was accepted.  She stated that created an environment for everyone to be heard, to be honest, and to truly think about how to change certain outcomes that could be detrimental not just to the officers but to the public also. She thanked Lt. Nevin and Sgt. Bugarin for welcoming the DPA and for giving the DPA the opportunity to participate and give input.                




                Director Henderson gave a brief background on the internship program and introduced Tinnetta Thompson who presented the DPA’s Summer Internship Program.






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

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

                ABSENT:               Commissioner Brookter

CLOSED SESSION (8:41 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.)

CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL-Existing Litigation.  Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(d)(1):

Taryn Saldiver v. City and County of San Francisco, et. al., US District Court Case NO. 20-cv-05474 JSC, filed August 6, 2020

(Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, Hamasaki, Yee, Byrne, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Deputy City Attorney Cabrera, 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:

Assignment of a Commissioner for the taking of evidence on the Appeal of the Chief’s Suspension file din case no. ALW IAD 2019-0123

(Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, Hamasaki, Yee, Byrne, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Deputy City Attorney Porianda, 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:

Discussion and possible action to take off calendar the following cases:

-              Appeal of the Chief’s Suspension file din Case No. ALW IAD 2019-0075 due to member’s  resignation effective close of business August 16, 2021

(Present:  Commissioners Cohen, Elias, Hamasaki,  Byrne, Yee, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Deputy City Attorney Porianda, 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, Hamasaki,  Byrne, Yee, Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Deputy City Attorney Porianda, Sergeant Youngblood, Sergeant Reynolds, Risa Tom)

Open Session (8:50 p.m.)


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

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

         ABSENT:     Commissioner Brookter




Thereafter, the meeting was adjourned at 8:51 p.m.