Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: San Francisco Cops Are Racist

Now, I could see in Miami or something, but in the most progressive city in AmeriKa?

"San Francisco police under fire for racist, homophobic texts; Release of racist texts puts city in national spotlight" by Paul Elias Associated Press  May 16, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — The original charges were shocking: Six San Francisco police officers were accused of stealing from drug dealers. Then federal prosecutors released racist and homophobic text messages.

Actually, not that shocking.

Those texts have now turned a small-time police corruption case into a racially charged scandal, thrusting a diverse and liberal city into the national debate over policing in minority communities.

‘‘We now know this can happen in San Francisco,’’ San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said. ‘‘We’re certainly not immune to the problems that we have seen in Baltimore, Staten Island, South Carolina.’’

You know what it is needed? A federal Gestapo, I mean, security force. 

The San Francisco turmoil comes amid growing tensions between police departments and communities of color. Large, sometimes violent protests over police treatment of black suspects have occurred in several cities over the last two years.

That has put police under a microscope.

Poor cops!

Three Fort Lauderdale, Fla., police officers were fired last month and a fourth resigned after they were found to have exchanged racist messages about colleagues and the predominantly black neighborhood they patrolled.

Yeah, well, I expect such things there. Up here Boston is a national model and no one is ever shot dead by police, or if they are they brought it on themselves.

In San Francisco, Police Chief Greg Suhr has moved to fire eight officers, two of whom have since retired. Six others also are facing some kind of discipline.

The district attorney, meanwhile, is looking into whether the department’s racial problems run deeper than the officers implicated.

‘‘In the process of looking at the text messages, increasingly I became uneasy that this may not be localized to the 14 officers that were being reported, but that we may have some systemic issues,’’ Gascon said.

San Francisco Police spokesman Albie Esparza says the department supports the district attorney’s examination, but disputes any suggestion that the police force of 2,100 sworn officers may suffer from systemic racism.

Truthfully, whether you are for the agenda or not, that has been endemic throughout the history of this country (even as the politicians sell you the freedom and myth they are also taking away).

‘‘This was an isolated incident,’’ Esparza said. ‘‘To say it’s systemic is unfounded.’’

The San Francisco police department hasn’t faced widespread allegations of discrimination since Officers for Justice, a group of minority officers, sued the department in 1973. Nearly half of the sworn officers are minorities today. 

So it could be a cla$$ kind of thing?

News of the racist texts prompted outrage among community leaders. The Rev. Amos Brown, president of the NAACP’s San Francisco chapter and minister at Third Baptist Church, said he wasn’t surprised.

‘‘We have seen this. We have lived this. We have breathed this discrimination,’’ he said.

Lawyers for several implicated officers characterized the text messages as ‘‘banter’’ and failed attempts at humor. In one, Sergeant Yulanda Williams was called racist and sexist names by one of the texting officers when she was promoted to sergeant in 2011.

‘‘We really have not moved as forward as we thought,’’ she said.

At least one of the accused officers, Michael Robinson, is white and openly gay.

I'm glad it's not a gay thing.

Another, Sergeant Ian Furminger, is white. Police officials have so far declined to release the racial composition of the other implicated officers.

Must be some African-American misogynists in there then.

Officer Rain Daugherty said in a suit to halt his termination that he is ‘‘deeply ashamed’’ of the texts he wrote. Daugherty argues that he and the other officers shouldn’t be fired because the department obtained the inflammatory texts in December 2012 but didn’t start the disciplinary process until two years later.

The department says the texts were part of the corruption investigation and couldn’t be disclosed until the criminal cases concluded.

It all started at the Henry Hotel in San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood.

Hotel residents arrested in police raids began complaining in late 2010 to their public defenders that officers had entered their rooms without warrants and, on occasion, had stolen their valuables.

No, not in AmeriKa.

Public defender Jeff Adachi and his staff then obtained and sifted through 18 months of video surveillance from the hotel’s security cameras. The videos showed officers leaving with bags and other items that were never accounted for in evidence logs or court proceedings. The video also appeared to show officers entering rooms without warrants or permission from the residents. 

It's called a SHAKEDOWN.

The public defenders used the videos to confront and contradict officers’ testimony, leading to several criminal cases being dismissed. Adachi also called a news conference to announce his findings, releasing the incriminating videos.

Taking note, federal authorities launched an investigation and charged six police officers with corruption and related charges.

Furminger is currently serving a 41-month prison sentence in a Colorado prison. He is appealing his conviction, and his attorney declined to comment.


You know what else is funny?