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tv   [untitled]    May 25, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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of september 11. there have always beensfpd -- been sfpd supervisors overseeing the clearance. jttf was assigned to his homeland security unit. i gave the order today. jttf will be moved back under special investigation. they will have the security clearance necessary to oversee the activities. the members are required to comply with all department policies, even if they can inflict -- if they conflict with fbi policies. simply said, the san francisco policies, procedures, laws, and statute trump any federal policy or procedure. our officers are bound by those. to emphasize that, i worked with the captain and the other members of the command staff with the cooperation of the
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aclu, hrc, and the fbi to draft a bureau order that all members are subject to, which essentially turns back the clock and emphasizes that officers are responsible for our policies and procedures first. there was also a question raised that was not in the order as to whether the officers would identify themselves as members of the police department or across-designated task force agents with federal credentials. our officers are bound to identify themselves as san francisco police officers. that is also in the bureau order i will give to presidents sparks -- president sparked. the department reviewed the resolution. the city stepped out of the jttf because of the concern of not being able to be informed of
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potential terrorist activities by the fbi and federal authorities. they recently rejoined and adopted an mou that we took content from in drafting this bureau order that i think meets a lot of the concerns that caused become -- the convening of this session. the department offered this bulletin. in it, members must identify themselves as members of -- as police officers, not federal agents. they work on terrorist cases that have a criminal maxus. the chief reviews all investigations on a quarterly basis and he is to meet with any change in fbi command to explain these protocols within 30 days of that change in fbi command. we will continue to work with the fbi and hrc to engage in dialog regarding our members' roles and responsibilities and are receptive to this particular
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unit bureau order. we are happy to amend it further. as far as to night came, i wanted there to be something that was a standing protocol in place moving forward that i could represent to this body. president mazzucco: thank you, chief. the tone is that most of the concerns we heard regarding whether or not the memorandum of understanding from 2003 was different from the most recent one, about what trumps, whether our officers' orders supersede what the fbi said, we have now made that clear. our officers follow our department general orders. we follow our san francisco values. the chief gets a lot of credit, as does captain mahoney, who worked diligently to make sure that most of these questions have been answered before tonight's hearing. i want to thank them for their hard work and think the chief for making quick, good decisions. the other thing that came up,
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there is concern about what took place at the airport. i think we should make clear the police department has absolutely no jurisdiction whatsoever over the tsa. that is not something that comes within our jurisdiction. i want to make that clear. i want to thank everybody for their hard work. this was all accomplished thanks to the hard work of the aclu, the law caucus, and the human rights commission. with that in mind, we can move forward with the hearing. >> thank you, my name is michael sweet, and i am chair of the human rights commission. i think the police commission for sharing their regular meeting time with us and for everyone to join us, i want to take a second to recognize that we have been joined by a number of additional members of the human rights commission.
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they have joined us a sense roll was called. the record will reflect their presence. i want to echo mazzucco's statements regarding the tenor of this meeting and acknowledge for everyone what i feel has been a great collaborative effort between our commission, are commission staff, and a number of different entities, including the police department, as well as other organizations in town. i want to recognize the hard work of the aclu in bringing issues to our attention. i want to say a few things to lay the context for why we are here, at least from the human rights commission. many of you who are here today were also present on september 23, 2010, when the human rights commission held a special hearing concerning the
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community. i believe that over 150 folks attended that hearing, many of whom spoke. what they said was heard. rolling from that hearing up through where we are today, a number of events have transpired, which i will identify in sequence. our commission convened unanimously and adopted a report of the hearing, and there were a number of recommendations in that report. what i will identify is number 12, which requested that the human rights commission, the board of supervisors, and the police commission ensure that all officers, including those deputized, follow and comply with local and state privacy laws, including the sfpd's general order, which provides
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guidelines for officers to ensure the protection of first amendment rights in their investigation. soon afterwards, on march 1, supervisor mirkarimi introduced a resolution at the board of supervisors and encouraged relevant agencies to consider recommendations detailed in the report. the following month, the board of supervisors voted to endorse the report. about this time, the memorandums of understanding came to light and raised some additional concerns and questions, as identified by the chief and police commission chair mazzucco. questions were asked and the dialogue commenced. i look at tonight by no means as the end of a discussion. i think the dialogue has to continue. i think it will always continue, particularly in san francisco. the way a city like this can succeed and folks can work
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together to celebrity -- collaborative lee is a testament to the people who work here who want to have a dialogue. i expect it to continue for many months. i do think this is a watershed event. the coming together of these commissions and the opportunity to ask some questions and get some answers, and i think that what we have seen and heard from the chief and what we have heard about the bureau order of may 16, 2011, and the other steps that are being taken, i think will go a long way toward helping to alleviate some of the concerns. there will always be concerns of the nature of what we're dealing with here, but i would hope that folks in the room would feel that progress is being made. most significantly, folks who came and spoke on a september 23, 2010, less than a year ago, will recognize that the system is working. voices were heard.
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there have been discussions of the highest levels in the city. less than a year later, in a city where it takes 10 years to build a 20-rebuilding, we are here to talk about those concerns and to address them. i want toothache -- thank everyone for coming here tonight. i want to thank the commission for being gracious enough for incorporating us in this meeting. i look forward to hearing what folks have to say. with that, i will turn it to the police commission share. president mazzucco: our next speaker will be theresa sparks, director of the human rights commission. she is behind all of this. she is a former president of the police commission. when her mind is set on something, you had better get out of the way. >> thank you for your remarks. welcome, everybody, to this
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hearing. i want to thank members of the police commission for agreeing to hold this joint hearing with the human rights commission. it is really an important step in ensuring that public safety and the civil rights of all citizens of san francisco. members of both commissions have also participated in this process. i would want to personally thank the presidents for their participation as well. i want to thank members of the coalition for safe san francisco, a coalition of numerous african, arab, middle eastern, muslim, and south asian organizations for their ongoing commitment and energy in making sure we continue to address these important issues and ensuring our public officials remain faithful to all citizens of san francisco. we must clarify many of these issues defined by the september 13 hearing and subsequent
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report, most notably the american civil liberties union and the asian law caucus. thank you. i would be remiss if i did not think the members of the public who participated and spoke at the september 138 jersey meeting and are also here tonight to listen to this status report. the subject of this hearing is one of the most significant issues in this country today. it addresses two of the fundamental principles established by the constitution, a common defense and civil rights for all people in big u.s. eric holder, in comments at an annual dinner in san francisco, stated, "communities we serve must see and fully understand that we are defining civil rights that are bigger than public safety." he went on to say the
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relationships between the arab, muslim, and asian communities are critical to ensuring public safety and civil rights. this is a follow-up to the hearing held that thehrc -- held at the hrc earlier. there was a report from february 4, 2011. it is critical to understand that the hearing and the creation of this report was a joint effort, not only the hrc, but the coalition for save san francisco. this is a community-based, community-generated process. during the hearing, a number of members testified to alleged civil rights violations by various agencies, including the fbi, sfpd, and others.
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we categorize testimony in 31 separate findings. it is important to note these findings are not findings of fact. their specific statements made by the community. hrc did no independent investigation to verify this testimony. from these findings, we created 16 specific recommendations, of which we will talk about this evening. hrc has been working to address the recommendations detailed in the report and have created a task force in conjunction with the coalition comprised of community members and staffed by the commission. we have had meetings and conversations with representatives of the sfpd, the police commission, the san francisco airport, of the mayor's office, and others to discuss the best way to implement the recommendations.
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we will divide these into three general categories for recommendations, of which there 16. one category is for the board of supervisors to work with thehrc -- with the hrc to hold public forums in the community some members of the community can address agencies directly, can address sfpd, the fbi, the human rights commission, the police commission directly. in conversations with the fbi, with the attorney, with the sfpd, we have a tentative agreement to move forward in some form with public meetings, a town hall-style meetings, where there is a dialogue between these agencies in the community. hrc will be facilitating these meetings hopefully in communities that are heavily
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populated by members of the community. the recommendation to the board of supervisors was to create a commission similar to the historic church commission to review potential abuses by government surveillance and first and fourth amendment right. we have not been able to do it yet, but we intend to do so. also to encourage the board to implement the recommendations of the inspector general and appoint a special prosecutor to look into terrorism cases to determine if the prosecution in these cases is valid and fair. we have also asked in these recommendations for the board of supervisors to install a permanent ombudsmen to provide oversight for are arriving travelers and to discuss and mediate issues that might be arising between travelers and various public officials and federal agencies at the airport.
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we have met with the director of the san francisco airport. he has scheduled a meeting for us sometime in the near future. he has also met with the coalition and other individuals in the community to try to address these issues. keep in mind that most of the law enforcement activities at the airport are not in the hands of the san francisco police department. they are at the hands of tsa and immigration officials. we will be hopefully meeting with them as well in the near future. it is noted that in the annual report, the airport is one of the reports on the list that travelers are worn to that they will almost certainly be searched. we need to keep that in mind as we go forward. we believe that the san francisco airport director and his staff have been working diligently to help resolve some of these issues independent of the human rights commission.
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there are also several recommendations that have to do with the police department. one is the board of supervisors. there's a need to establish legal safeguards and enforce the rights enumerated by the california constitution. two is the board of supervisors and the police commission develop greater mechanism that ensure transparency and oversight. many more of these recommendations, another four or five, deal directly with the issue of police oversight and accountability, and civilian oversight at the san francisco police department. those were the purpose and subject matter of the meetings we have had recently. it also addressed the office of citizen complaints and asked that they conduct more detailed yearly audits, non-criminal investigations. we met with joysticks, with the director of the office of
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citizen complaints, and we will be meeting with her in the future to develop processes that will hopefully strengthen this process. hrc and the police commission ensure that all officers following comply with local and state laws, including the general order. i will be addressing this in more detail. the board requires sfpd of the provide transparency regarding sfpd's involvement in collaboration with private agencies involved in surveillance and possible actions with political and religious organizations. hrc and the police commission will hold a hearing to require disclosure of information concerning their own or joint national security or anti- terrorism programs. we will have a real dialogue about this issue.
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we have had numerous meetings in collaboration with asian law caucus and the aclu on recommendations regarding civilian oversight of the law localjttf. the joint venture will combat possible acts of terrorism. it is memorialized in the memorandum of understanding between the parties. the issue of these joint terrorism task forces and their implication on civil-rights is a topic of discussion in many u.s. cities going on right now in portland and in oakland. you may have read the recent "chronicle "sports article -- " chronicle" article as well. a serious terrorism threat was uncovered after a city council resolution a few weeks ago. portland is the only incident of a local jurisdiction opting out
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of the jttf that we know of in the united states. issues we are facing now, as described in the recommendation, is not whether we should opt out, but whether we need -- what we can do to ensure that officers involved in activities have strong civilian oversight of their activities and report activities through the established civilian oversight mechanisms and procedures defined in 8.10. recent meetings have been predominantly to discuss how this can be accomplished without are diminishing our ability to assist in joint activities of that -- of various federal agencies. our approach to achieve this objective is to publish internal directives ensuring our officers only participate in activities that the -- that meet our local
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standards of reasonable suspicion, not a criminal nexis, which is the standard of the city of portland and organ. our discussion -- and oregon. so far, they have been fully supportive of our goal. several issues still have not been addressed by the draft. we met with chief suhr today and he was willing to discuss with us of those issues and willing to include them in to the bureau order. prior to now, sfpd officers assigned to thejttf have -- the jttf have identified themselves. we have a problem identifying those officers in order to pursue potential misconduct. from now on, as emphasized,
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sfpd will identify themselves as sfpd officers, possibly assigned to federal agencies or the jttf. it will give us control, the city control, over misconduct charges and allegations of misconduct charges. participation with the jttf, the issue of participation with the jttf, is still factually unresolved. we have been having meetings almost every day and will continue having them daily, weekly, whatever it takes to make the changes we believe are necessary to protect the civil rights of the people of san francisco. san francisco is a unique community with unique issues, strong minority community involvement, and participation. we have a highly visible global
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presence. we have fundamental values guaranteeing human rights for all residents. the police commission is dedicated to the protection of those rights, including the fundamental rights guaranteed by our constitution of the common defense, civil protection, and protection of civil rights for all. thank you again, commissioners. i want to make sure you are aware of our policy analyst. we will certainly be available for any questions. president mazzucco: thank you very much. we have chief suhr as our next speaker. is there anything you would like to add? president mazzucco: our next speakers will be john crew from the aclu and veena dubal from the asian law caucus. i would like to thank them. there were times during our meetings we did not agree on much. we started to agree on many things.
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the collaboration is what brought us here tonight with the policies that have been enunciated by the chief. thank you for your hard work. you did it. thank you. >> my powerpoint to come up. ok. thank you all, thank you to the police commissioners and to the human rights commission for all the work that you've put into the events leading up to tonight's meeting. thank you also to commission president mazzucco and the sfpd for trying to move quickly to address the concerns. just one day after the board of supervisors unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the h.r.c. report and recommendations.
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i haven't had the opportunity to sit down with you yet but i very much appreciate the swift way with which you've tried to address these issues and the strong stance that you've taken in favor of this. so,ed good news is, after our meetings at the sfpd we know that we all collectively agree that sfpd policies should apply to sfpd officers assigned to the joint terrorism stass force -- task force. the bad news is that the recently released m.o.u. which was secret for four years doesn't reflect our collective desires. further, based on our separate meet wgs the f.b.i., we know now that the f.b.i. will not agree to amend the m.o.u. which is why the chief issued the bureau order. however, a significant problem is that the f.b.i. special agent
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in charge has told us all in separate meetings that the f.b.i. will continue to block key parts of local policy central to accountability and oversight. this is what this is about. but more than that there's a solution and it doesn't necessitate a divorce from the joint terrorism task force. there are now two ways for local law phone ersment to participate in the jttf. this is -- this has been a chance even since the last time we spoke before the commission. one of the ways is the ways we're currently engaged. an m.o.u. in which sfpd resources are put into the hands of f.b.i. with relatively no local control. the other way is via a resolution which was just approved by federal government in portland. which allows participation in the joint terrorism task force but provides much better
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protection for civil rights and gives the sfpd and the police commission more control of the relationship. this doesn't require opting out of the gttf or ending the relationship at all. i wanted to talk more about why we're so concerned. the f.b.i. has called their partnership with local agencies a perfect marriage. that may be the case from their perspective, but one of the partners in this marriage has changed a lot. as a result the terms of this partnership need to be redefined and understood. and here's why. a decade after 9/11 the f.b.i. calls it self a transformed agency. they have highly expanded intelligence powers under the federal guidelines, i'll go into this more later, but f.b.i. agents are allowed to conduct intelligence on individuals and organizations without a factual connection to criminal activity. it's important to for to you know that this hasn't happened behind closed doors. in fact, the f.b.i. recently
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acknowledged they have over 70,000 investigations open just in the past four years that are not predicated on any suspicion of criminal activity. these are investigations on innocent americans. given these massive shifts in f.b.i. activity, the question is, what should the relationship between the sfpd and the f.b.i. look like? i want to empathize again that neither the asian law caucus nor the aclu are suggesting a divorce between these agencies. we all collectively believe that sfpd can be effectively involved in the joint terrorism task force activity under sfpd rules and regularlations. but to protect the sfpd from highly criticized f.b.i. practices that amount to indiscriminant intelligence gathering and racial and religious profiling, sfpd officers must be bound by this which the f.b.i. special agent in charge sig blocked significant portions of. unlike the f.b.i., the sfpd is not a national security organization.
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this is thankfully still a local public safety, crime-fighting agency operating appropriate standards designed to serve that mission. there has been no public discussion by any governing body of transforming the sfpd into a national security organization. dd when the sfpd signed up to work with the joint terrorism task force under an m.o.u. that preserves local control and policies, it wasn't assuming that some of its officers, paid for by san francisco taxpayers, could be transformed into national security agents. the sfpd signed on without telling anyone, not even the police commission. let me emphasize that this secret m.o.u. does not just allow sfpd officers to use highly problematic f.b.i. standards in the place of san francisco law and policy, but it also allows them