Assemblymember Tom Ammiano strongly criticized Gov. Jerry Brown today [Mon/29] for yesterday vetoing his Assembly 885, which would have provided modest sanctions for prosecutors who willfully withhold evidence during criminal trials, a huge problem we’ve repeatedly covered in the Bay Guardian.Read more »
But one conclusion we were left with as we worked on the story was this: the SFPD ain’t all bad. During the last Police Commission meeting, Chief Greg Suhr mentioned he was almost hesitant to order four forklifts from the Department of Defense due to scrutiny from the news media. Read more »
A jury last week unanimously convicted a San Francisco police officer of using excessive and unnecessary force, although the San Francisco Police Department cleared the officer in an internal investigation and kept him on the streets.
In Magistrate Maria-Elena James' courtroom, the jury voted 8-0 that Police Officer Matthew Sullivan used excessive force against plaintiff Eduardo Alegrett on February 7, 2012. Alegrett’s lawyer, Panos Lagos, told the Guardian that Alegrett was suffering a “mental crisis” when he allegedly battered a woman at 88 Perry Place.Read more »
Our story last week on the Uber driver who plowed into a fire hydrant got a lot of attention, but apparently it's not so rare for errant drivers to create sudden urban showers. Reader JJ Harris sent us this shot from a crash early this morning at 1450 Valencia, where a woman who appeared to be intoxicated plowed through the parklet in front of EHS Pilates and into this fire hydrant. Thanks for sharing, JJ.
Police video surveillance was in the spotlight during yesterday's City Hall hearing on security measures at large events, as supervisors voiced a desire to strike the right balance between security and civil liberties. And while they got some reassurance and small signs of restraint from the SFPD, they also learned about secretive new security measures that go beyond what the public was aware of.Read more »
Now, I'm not one to stand in the way of reasonable security precautions. But we shouldn't just defer to the SFPD on whatever it says it wants because then we'll have cameras on every corner, spy drones overhead, stop-and-frisk, and an ever-greater portion of our tax dollars going to expand the police state. Because the cops will always want more tools to police us, tools they will always say they need to protect us – it's just in their nature. But it's up to the rest of us to strike the right balance and not lose our heads every time some whack-job resorts to violence.
After public outrage stopped the San Francisco Police Department from instituting controversial — and unconstitutional, say civil libertarians — new video surveillance requirements in bars and clubs more than two years ago, the department quietly began inserting that same requirement into new liquor licenses, a move met with concern at City Hall last week.Read more »