tv Government Access Programming SFGTV May 27, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PDT
were dedicated on cold cases would check in periodically to see, and to inform what's been going on. >> any other questions right now from committee members? seeing then, please have a seat and we will call you back if we have any further questions. please call the next applicant. >> the next applicant is... >> hello. >> one more time, and slowly. >> please call me nana, everyone does. it makes things a lot easier. i have my law° and my mba in finance. i am a member of the estate board of california. after completing graduate school, i worked or ernst and young, directv and now my
current employer, google. i first role with google was as the north america payroll control and compliance lead to. i developed and implemented controls and compliance measures to ensure that all 55,000 north americans were paid in accordance with local jurisdictions rules, and regulations. and now i currently manage illegal operations team at google as well. my team responds to day to disclose -- disclosure requests from law enforcement. as a part of my role, i regularly interact with law enforcement for escalated requests and things that are circumstances where someone's life is at risk, that sort of thing. i have experienced bridging the gap between policy and operations. i think people tend to think you set a policy and that does it and it is great, and people follow it. and we move on. in a practical sense, that's not
how it goes. when i'm developing policies, i tend to focus on, not just what the goal is, but i -- how they will be practically implemented. i think my experience there would be an asset to this commission. typically when developing policies, i leverage large data sets, and i'm familiar with us to make this vision. but that being said, there is this anecdotal part of it that typically isn't reflected in the data, and to the points heard previously, often times, the data maybe skewed, largely because people may not be reporting certain things, if we are looking at it in the case of the context of the police commission. leveraging large data systems is important and making policy decisions, but not the only factor. as a member of the commission, i would really like to work to strengthen ties between the community and police, and i believe that the san francisco police department, and the citizens of san francisco can
work together to set the standard for effective policing and strong community relations throughout the nation. i think that -- obviously right now we are in a trying time between communities and those who police them, and, you know, when i was young i did not have such a negative perception of police. i speak to my mom about it frequently and she didn't either. i think we are at a time where policing and community relations are more strange than they've ever been. i think been sent -- that san francisco can really define effective policing techniques that set the trend for the nation. in addition to my operations work that i believe would be an asset to the police commission, as a manager or a large company, i am well-versed in disciplinary actions that come with a position like this. although they are not glamorous, it is necessary, and important. it is especially important what
for the police commission and one area i am interested of learning more about. i think that a lot of people, their distrust of police comes from the fact that they don't see the discipline, and they don't see any sort of impact and complaints that they file against the police or anything like that. i think that's probably one of the first areas that i would like to look at. what level of trained... and to supervisor yee's question, in terms of tasers, i similarly have mixed emotions on the use of tasers. i think that they can be an effective tool, but the de-escalation protocols and procedures are going to be much more effective, because tasers can be deadly. and, so, it really may not impact, or may not help to
prevent people passing results of interactions with the police. so i would focus on trying to identify de-escalation procedures. in regards to proposition h., it is unfortunate it came to this point. it is now on the ballot, because similar to another candidate's point, once it is voted on, changing it will be incredibly difficult. >> supervisor safai: ok, great. i will open it up for questions. >> i'll start. to wife for announcing your na name, twice. i appreciate that. where are you originally from? >> i am originally from pasadena. i grew up there and went to the university of southern california for undergrad. and university of indiana, i've lived in chicago, la and i lived in san francisco for just under a year. >> and so that is interesting to me because that is like, i
think, in this particular case, a double edged sword. you want people with fresh eyes to take a look and smart people to look at with fresh eyes but you have limited grounding in san francisco, i will just say san francisco culture, overall, and help business is conducted, and how things get done. again, i don't see it as a plus or . maybe you can help me understand a little bit more about your interest in serving on such a highly charged commission being a newcomer to the city. >> absolutely. i view it as a positive. i think that coming with a fresh perspective, and not feeling, or not having experience of certain things, whether positive or make -- negative, can be more objective when it comes to trying to set policy. that being said, i think that i came to san francisco, and i love it here. within my company, i have the
opportunity to work in many different locations, but i think that's an incredible city. being that it is so diverse and you interact with all sorts of different people. especially having recently left in the midwest, and coming here, there is such a diverse group of people, that i think it creates a unique challenge for the police and the police commission, but i think the opportunities are endless being in a city like this. >> supervisor cohen: it is easy to articulates the perspective of the advocate, the advocate who's advocating uncoupling -- coming to public comment in testifying and expressing their concerns. i want you to put on your hat as if you are a member of the police officer's association and protecting your members, talk to me about your understanding of the notion oakley -- "blue lives matter." >> that is an interesting question. i mean, just to be completely transparent. that phrase always bugs me a bit because i think-- >> supervisor cohen: tell me
why. >> the concept of black lives matter was not a matter of saying no other lives matter. on a daily basis, being a black person, you are dismissed often. you are feeling at risk in areas where other people wouldn't. and anecdotal story. my friend gave me pepper spray and i had it on my keychain just, you know, in case anything ever happened. i was walking down the street one day and i walked past a young police officer, and i wasn't thinking much about it and i realize, oh, i have pepper spray in my hands. what if he considers this a weapon? that is scary. so i got rid of it. i think that is something a lot of people don't identify ways. a lot of people who aren't in marginalized groups don't identify with that genuine fear. weather warranted or not, at this young man did nothing to me, you know? i was completely fine and we did not interact. a brief moment of how my life could be at risk by having this. so when people, when the phrase,
"black lives matter" came up, it was a call to action for people to understand that it's not, it's not always safe, or you don't always feel safe being a black person in this country, i understand that you don't always feel safe as a police officer, as well. but, being a police officer is a choice, right? that is a police -- a career choice. people understand the risks they are taking when they join the police department. so to say blue lives matter, i think is kind of minimizing the impact or at the emotion around the black lives matter movements. >> all right. talk to me now from the perspective, again, because this is a policymaking body, right? we want people that are able to think critically and divorce themselves of their bias. >> that's totally true. >> supervisor cohen: and understand we are all coming to
the table with this bias. i want you to walk me through this exercise and talk to me a little bit about, maybe, some of the challenges, if you were an officer on the street and serving in pasadena, or chicago, or whatever you spend, what are some of the thing is, from a policy perspective, that you would like to see the police commission take up and take into consideration? >> , i think one use of force policy. and also de-escalation protocols. i think that the development of de-escalation techniques and the training around it, people have a knee-jerk reaction, right? is a commission, we would have to focus on ensuring the people feel well-trained so that when they are facing a life-threatening situation, they can react appropriately. and also, something that is wanted on both sides, in general, a stronger sense of community and stronger relationships.
it's not easy for people on either side. when i say i'm not big fan of the "blue lives matter" phrase, is not that i'm not a fan of police. it is put a -- potentially just as hurtful, or there is just as much emotion involved on the police side if they ar they're g by someone who genuinely looks fearful, you know? i think, on the side of the commission, developing though stronger community bonds is also going to be something that we will have to partake in and really roll out and ensure that the relationship between the community and police is strong stronger. >> supervisor cohen: so described to meet your understanding of the role, and the power, and quite frankly, the authority of the police commission, and then described to me the relationship between the police commission and the department -- department of police accountability. >> okay. in terms of my understanding of the rule, it's really two fold. to set policy and focus on developing policies that are
operation a bowl. as i said before, developing a policy that can't actually be implemented and rolled out to all members at the police department isn't helpful. and then also focusing on disciplinary hearings. in the event that there is some sort of issue involved with the police or someone does something outside of their policies, then determining what sort of disciplinary action should be taken. with the role of the department to police accountability, i know that they work to, often times, recommend one way or another, in terms of disciplinary actions, and helped you kind of facilitate the relationship between police and the community. that is at least my understanding of it. >> supervisor cohen: ok. that's a little bit of a different understanding than what i understand. but we can move on. so, you understand that these police commission meetings, i
mean, they go between somewhere four or five or six hours to air, they are known to go for a long length of time depending what's on the agenda. do you have the flexibility to dedicate the time, not only in attending the meeting, but quite frankly, there is homework involved. you don't have an assistant, or maybe you do,. >> i don't. [laughter] >> supervisor cohen: i don't know, to be able to analyse the cases with critical thinking, particularly, we are talking about the discipline hearing aspect. one of the things that has concerned me in the past as they are commissioners that are serving, but are not doing their homework, meaning they are not coming prepared to the commission meeting. now the commission meeting is historically broken up into two chunks, right? you have the commission hearing that is public and closed sessions. >> correct. >> supervisor cohen: often times in closed sessions, it is not public facing so you don't
see how unprepared commissioners are. that really concerns me because it's in the closed session that a lot of work gets done, specifically the disciplinary action. >> gossip. >> supervisor cohen: what kind of confidence can you give me do you will dedicate the time and to the energy to ask questions of the critical and exercise critical thinking skills, you to do your homework if the answers are not readily available to you all before you get into -- before you get into the commission meeting, while maintaining a full-time, and i would imagine, a very demanding job? >> i do have a very demanding full-time job, but my supervis supervisor, throughout -- -- throughout the chain, are incredibly supportive of this. in terms of meeting days, they are very flexible of my schedule. luckily at tech companies, we tend to be pretty flexible. and terms of the hallmark -- that's why i want to join the commission now. i am in a place in my life when
i don't have too much outside of work that would detract from my ability to do this and do this well. disciplinary hearings, i'd view that as something very similar to anything i would have to see with an employee. >> supervisor cohen: have you ever served in his capacity where you had to discipline an employee? >> yes, but i can't elaborate on that. >> supervisor cohen: yeah, that's fine. there is a certain set of unique skills that one has, and i'm looking for that -- looking to hear and gain a better understanding as to the applicant's experience level, leadership capabilities, and traits. maybe you can describe, without going into any more detail, how you personally approached the discipline that was needed on the employee. >> typically, not just with my current company, but large companies in general, there is a protocol. exhuming this happens, this is the range of disciplinary actions that will impose on an
employee. i assume that there is something similar for the police department, and if not i believe it would be helpful to develop something like that because that people can have an idea of where they fall, and kind of what the potential outcome will be. so, first i evaluate evaluate te circumstances, and i would compare it with that range. typically, there is multiple people involved, not just myse myself, who interview everyone involved, sorry i'm trying to be as vague as possible but sure the information. so, typically there's a lot of information -- interviews that happen and i have to make sure i am aware of what happened in those interviews and what information has been shared before any decision is made. and also understand what the person who committed whatever a fence it is, what their position is. whether they feel they are being unfairly punished, whether this
is even a fair rule, often times, a person's reaction can tell you a lot about whether this will happen again and whether or not, and how you want to discipline them based on that. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. mr chair, i have no other questions. >> supervisor safai: any other members of the committee have any questions at this moment? supervisor yee? >> supervisor stefani: thank you for speaking on the phone early this morning. you mentioned something about building bridges and i was wondering how you would strengthen ties between the communities and the police. you mentioned that in your opening remarks. >> i think one of the first ways we can do that, is by being more transparent with some of the disciplinary actions to the extent that we are able to. i think that there is a distressed and the community that anything is happening, right?
if someone breaks a rule, and then they see them out policing a few weeks later, the immediate thought is, nothing happens. and i think that's got to change. that's probably the first step that i would work towards taking, because i think that people are always going to assume within these closed-door sessions and nothing happens. >> supervisor stefani: and then again, my implicit bias question. >> each of the companies i work for i have taken a bit of implicit bias train and especially as a people management trainer. i have not taken the course you discussed previously but i would be happy to take it as a member of the police commission. >> supervisor stefani: is it something he would recommend that we have in our police department? i thought your answer was very eloquent, that , o , of course,t brings up implicit violence -- bias in terms of how people look at that. >> absolutely. similar to the point of the previous candidate made, while there are a lot of really important trainings, and a lot
of things that the police have to do, i can't think of to do many things that would be prioritized about that. >> supervisor safai: just one quick question. i've asked everyone. have you attended any of the meetings, and if so, i know you just moved here recently, but have you attended any of the meetings? >> i have not. i understand supervisor cone's point. but no, i have not. >> supervisor safai: great. and we had some very good conversations and i asked a lot of questions there. if we have anymore questions, we will call you back up. >> thank you. >> supervisor safai: please call the next applicant. >> thank you board members for allowing me this time to present my qualifications for a position on the san francisco police commission. my name is mark, and i am a resident of district two. born in san francisco to an
arabic family of small business owners who live and work in district seven. as you know, this is a pivotal time for our city. there is a crisis of faith in regards to how citizens of view those meant to ensure their safety. with a potential shift and command a looming, it is essential that sfpdm continues in its efforts to fulfil the 272 recommendations of the department of justice. this commitment will help build this trust through transparency, accountability, and civilian oversight. we have the opportunity to add to the diversity of the police commission. on the point of diversity, four years now, the arabic american community in san francisco has felt neglected in city hall. even though we are strong contributors to the vitality of this city, america -- arab americans are increasingly underrepresented and marginalized. for the first time, many
organizations have come togeth together. they have done so to endorse an advocate on my behalf or seat on the police commission, presenting an opportunity for not only allow an arab voice to fight for joint justice but to a point it candidate that is easily qualified. i believe i'm the great -- best applicant because of my career histories that have permit -- prepared me. i want to help to create the restorative justice approach of neighbourhood courts, to a neighbourhood prosecutor where i worked with many of you here today to make sure it community involvement happens and social justice. i have stood with integrity in front of chiefs, supervisors, officers and the community, and made decisions that mattered for the safety of that community. i am the only candidate here today who has it direct and specific oversight of sfpdm.
of sfpdm's work. the only candidate who hasn't hahas hadto go through the workn justice required. while i am here today, i have countered them in defence of the accused and i'm the only candidate who has worked with a critical eye upon their work and made decisions that officers haven't. i believe it is essential that they continue in their efforts to become the most diverse and progressive police department in the united states. always striving to reflect the values and nature of all san franciscans. i will fight to ensure all these objectives are met and i work for -- look forward to working with each of you to achieve your goals and progress in this area. i ask for your nomination as an experienced fighter for justice who asks the diversity of the board and advocate for inclusion and justice for all san franciscans. now, i would like to take a few
moments to address some of the questions i know all of the supervisors have asked already. first, with regard to the questions. i know the amount of work that is at hand with the san francisco police commission. i have been to police commission hearings, numerous while i was a neighbourhood prosecutor at as well as in the northern district. i have spoken to commissioners back, pas,past and present and e great task at hand, on the often times conflicting opinions that are on the commission that are found with the police officers association, and that are found in our community. i know the work that is ahead, and i have time to do it in my current position, as well. another question that has come up several times today, what i would -- it is what i would plan to focus on two regards to the police commission, and
specifically with the department of justice recommendations. first of all, i know for a fact that commissioners were working with the san francisco police department on implementing 60 out of the 272 recommendations, which are specific to community policing. i know he was working on this as one of two commissioners. >> how do you know this? >> i know this from having spoken to commissioners past and present, as well as having interacted throughout my career and my time outside of the da's office with sfpd. i have spoken with a commander with that process and he believes that it is pivotal that whoever is appointed, as an equal partner in continuing the work that they're doing with those 60 recommendations. i also want to touch up on the joint terrorism talks for -- task force. i know that is a very complex, very controversial task force and an issue in front of the
boards oboard of the commissione police department. i am uniquely qualified to. >> you have 30 seconds. >> thank you. uniquely qualified as an arab american to provide help in this area. as a conduit to the community, who i believe is most stigmatized and marginalized by the work of the joint terrorism task force. i believe that through city agencies, we should more proactively provide oversight, and address underreporting that can come from those feelings of being stigmatized. >> supervisor safai: thank yo you. members of the committee? >> supervisor cohen: i would like to follow-up more on your ideas around the joint terrorism task force. i've been on the board of supervisors, this is my eighth
year. that has been, i think, a question, or a matter or a policy matter that has plagued us for eight years. i would love to hear, if you have policy ideas or suggestions, could you present them? >> i do. thank you, supervisor. i believe the solution to how we interact with the joint terrorism task force is to expand some of the monitoring and investigating that city agencies do for law enforcement against estate to -- state and federal actors who are acting against our citizens. we must be more proactive, as i mentioned, in addressing underreporting of stigmatization and abuse felt by our assistance to the task force, and i believe that the police commission, along with the department of police accountability, is uniquely suited to do so as a direct link between the community and to the oversight body who is meant to ensure that our law enforcement are acting in an accountable and transparent and fair way, just a
way to all of our citizens. >> supervisor safai: any adjustment -- additional questions? >> supervisor cohen: yes, thank you. let's talk about internal discipline. you mentioned their recommendations, but i want to go back to your boss' recommendations. he did at a phenomenal job of pulling together a very fair and balanced panel that also took an additional look on the practices of law enforcement, specifically the san francisco police department, and came up with their own list of several hundred opportunities to improve. one of which has to do with internal discipline, --, and this is an appendix a page 166 just so you can refer back to it. it is specifically about internal discipline, and it found that the san francisco police department and their internal discipline process is
vague. as you can imagine, that can be a problem. the district attorney's office was very instrumental in bringing to light text messages that were racist and homophobic, a couple years ago. do you know the status of those officers? their case create you have any idea -- you know where it is in the process? >> i know that those officers have gone through an oversight process, and a disciplinary process. i believe, i don't know the exact outcome of that process, i was at the district attorney's office when that was happening. >> supervisor cohen: ok. talk to me about, ways that we can make a process that we can
agree with. i would imagine, this would be by design. how do we fix that from a policy perspective? a kind of policies can we put forward? >> first of all, there are a lot of competing issues here. i believe that both the department of justice recommendations and the blue ribbon panel that you are mentioning have the goal of increasing public trust through community policing, transparency and accountability. now, the competing issue that i mentioned, is the police officers' bill of rights. which says that police officers have rights to keep employment records confidential. that is a difficult issue to navigate. i too agree that right now internal policy, disciplinary procedures, and policies, are too opaque. i believe that through the
coordination and cooperation with the department of policing accountability, and the commission, the department of policing accountability, , of course,, who receives and investigates these complaints made toward police officers, i believe that increased participation between the dpa, the commission, and the police department are the best way to make that last opaque without violating this privacy issue that is in the police officer's bill of rights. >> supervisor cohen: let me answer the questions for you. those officers text messages, they were not fired. they did not prosecute, and quite frankly, one of them was promoted. therein lies the rub of why people don't trust the process. so i have three more questions for you. first, is what is your understanding of the commonali commonality, how common is the
commonality of police misconduct? you have probably had a unique perspective working for the district attorney's office, so i'm interesting to hear what you have seen, observed and learned from empirical knowledge and exposure. i particularly want to know how often does it happen? how often, in your opinion, you can quantify it or qualify it, i believe that for you to decide, but we are talking specifically about police misconduct. >> there are various° of police misconduct, obviously. i could never profess to be able to quantify it. i do not have the numbers there. what i will say, in my time at the district attorney's office. working through the case is, reviewing the cases that i had to look through, there was a process in place in order to ensure that the reports that were put forward to us were trustworthy and accurate.
i would say that the great majority of our san francisco police officers, i believe are working to do what is right in their jobs and for their community. athat being said, that does not discount that there are numerous instances of police misconduct, in fact there is a backlog of reports that the dpa is currently working through. those instances i believe should not start -- tarnish what a lot of the good work that san francisco police officers are doing. i believe that the community should know about that work and a way to do that is through increased participation, and community involvement. increased community policing, where officers are getting to know those in the neighbourhoods in which they patrol.
they are becoming familiar with whom they work in the community that they work. >> supervisor cohen: how do you define successful reform? i put successful in quotes, realizing it may look like different things to different people. i would love to hear your thoughts. >> i define successful reform, first of all, as being created through a thoughtful and measured approach that takes into account the voices and stances, and issues of all of the citizens of san francisco. so that is our community members, the board, the dpa, the police department, as well as the commission. first of all, reform has to be thoughtful and measured and taken into account. >> supervisor cohen: are the tangible outcomes? >> there are tangible outcomes.
i would say first of all, the overarching goal is again to increase public trust through accountability, and through community policing and transparency. i believe that, to do that, we need to increase officer training. part of that is and what supervisor stefani hasn't mentioned a couple times through implicit bias training. which is more robust and should be done it more often. i think that the tangible way we measure that success would be through less reports of police misconduct, through more interaction on a day-to-day basis between our officers and the communities in which they serve. i also believe that tangible results which be improving the
outdated use of force policies, improving what is up till now been an adequate data collecti collection, and improving the hiring practices at th of the pe department so it is more reflective and representative. >> supervisor cohen: in your application, you referred to working with the san francisco unified school district as a district attorney and you focused on truancy? >> yes, supervisor. i can elaborate on that. >> supervisor cohen: i can follow up with a question. what are you doing right now? what kind of work? >> currently i work for bloomberg law. >> supervisor cohen: right. in what capacity? >> i'm a client success manager helping out with client legal research needs. >> supervisor cohen: have you left public service all together? >> i have not left it altogether as is evident by me being here today. i have continued to stay in touch with public servants with
whom i've worked and on top of the issues that matter to the city, involves and community organizations that represent my background, my heritage, and my community. >> supervisor cohen: which district attorney did you work under? >> i was hired in a transition -- i interned under the now a senator, and i was hired during a transition period where the district attorney david pfeiffer it was the interim district attorney. i spent the majority of my career under him. >> supervisor cohen: how long was that career of yours? >> about seven and a half years. >> supervisor cohen: how long have you been with bloomberg law? >> i have been there for just a year. >> supervisor cohen: all right. my final question is, since you work with the da and you work in truancy, particularly, pamela harris wrote a book about it,
getting smart on crime, did you read it? >> supervisor cohen: i did, supervisor. i am used to answering in court, i'm sorry. >> supervisor cohen: and that key cornerstone to that book is about holding parents and community a little bit more accountable to truancy, but the connection to truant students, their inability to graduate, the inability to route -- read by the time they are in the third grade, and how that is an indicator that the prison industrial complex uses to determine how many jails, and how many presents they are going to be building, based on how many little boys cannot read by the time they are in the third grade. talk to me about your understanding about the prison pipeline relationships, and how it relates to truancy. >> if i may, i'd like to preface that answer to just described you a bit about my role while i
worked there. one of my roles at the district attorney's office was the lead attorney for the truancy intervention program. i took to dismantle from catherine miller, who i worked under both as an intern, as well as a policy attorney at the district attorney's office. our main goal with the trinity intervention program, was obviously, to help families so that they could get their children back into school. that involved going to homes, going to schools and going to community meetings and talking with families about how we can help them get from a place where they couldn't manage, or they couldn't afford, or couldn't get their own time, to a place where they could. part of my work as the lead attorney for the truancy intervention program, was working with, at the time, the
attorney general's task force a creating what was, at least, a yearly report. she produced three of them in her time before moving on to a new role. a yearly report about how we can address truancy and how best we can help the families, and how we can stop this pipeline to prison that we see starting -- that we see, you know, where people believe that it starts at such a young age. i think the idea that you can gauge a person's whole future history based on what they have done in the first three, potentially four years of education, is outdated. i think that the work that i did as a truancy intervention advocate and attorney, the work that i did working with that
attorney general, showed that it was outdated, and showed that, really, the way to get students on the right track, was to help the families out early, and also make sure that they had -- they were comfortable in their school environment, and they felt they had someone to turn to when they were feeling like they were falling behind. that was the role of the truancy program. and i believe that was the role that the now senator, harris, envisioned it when she did it. and it especially, i believe, put to rest the idea that someone who is true into her who has low reading level in the third grade is bound or destined for prison. >> supervisor stefani: -- >> supervisor cohen: thank you very much. >> supervisor safai: supervisor yee? >> supervisor yee: can you answer my question? >> yes. i was planning on preempting that as well before i was cut
short. with timing. i believe that any use of force policy, surrounding, any policies try to use force must be done, as i mentioned in a meaningful and thoughtful discussion involving the community, the board, the mayor, the department of public police accountability, the commission, and sfpd. this approach would and stir thoughtful and meaning dialogue put forward so that the policy is best for the city and for the citizens. i believe that the commission has worked diligently with all of those bodies as i mentioned, to create a thoughtful approach to the last legal option of trying to control weapons. i believe that prop h. does not go as far to ensure that there
is adequate training, adequate accountability and adequate data for the election. and there is adequate checks o on... what i mean by that, is i believe the standard would -- it is less than, less restrictive than the standards that the commission put forward. i also believe that prop h. is a perfect example of what not to do in the face of the doj recommendations. i specifically reference recommendation number 70 which basically says that the way that sfpd currently makes his policies and procedures is to protract it. it is to meyer at the red tape. the word i like to use as nimble. it is not nimble enough.
it is not nimble enough and making sure that any new data, new evidence, new community perspectives that come to light will quickly, and efficiently, and adequately be put in to any policy that is agreed upon by all. thank you. >> supervisor safai: my question would be, have you attended any meeting is? and if so, how many over the last few years? >> yes, i have, supervisor. i can't count how many. i would say, over double digits. part of my job, as a neighbourhood prosecutor working in the police districts in which i work, i was going to police commission hearings. specifically, when they were held within my district. so i have a significant amount of experience going to settings and sitting through the agenda items, the public comment that
is they are, at every meeting. i have interacted with, and in some instances, worked with commissioners to ensure that, in my position as neighbourhood prosecutor for the district attorney's office, we were adequately addressing the needs of the community, and also hearing the voices of the board, excuse me, the commission and the police department. >> supervisor yee: a lot of my other questions were asked by other members. supervisor stefani? >> supervisor stefani: yes a lot of the questions were asked. you said in your statement that you made decisions that officers have followed. i'm just wondering if you can expand on that a little bit. >> yes, supervisor. thank you. part of my -- one of my positions at the district attorney's office, and actually it was a position that all district attorneys, at some point, come across, is our job is to review sfpd's work.
to review their police reports that have led to arrests. throughout my time in the district attorney's office, i have had to parse through those reports, examine the evidence, examined the officer's statements, and decide if there is enough evidence to file a charge or not. so i have directly over saw a lot of sfpd's work as might -- in my time at the district attorney. in a lot of instances, it was my job in seeking justice as a district attorney to declined to file charges, or if new evidence came to light, to dismiss charges in order to ensure that justice is served. this was not always appreciated by the officers with whom i worked, but they always respected my decision, knowing that we would have to work
together the next day in whatever capacity we did. >> supervisor stefani: i have one more question if i may. do you believe that officers that have been involved in transgressions should lose their job? >> i believe that, and, you know, this actually came up very recently with an instance where an officer shot at a moving vehicle, the commissioner, i believe, stated adequately we had to examine these as i used to, on a case by case basis. i can't give a blanket, i believe everyone who is involved in misconduct should lose their job. >> supervisor stefani: if you had a transgression, you would be in jeopardy, correct me if i am wrong, you would use -- lose your license to practice law. >> i would, i may, but after an appropriate hearing, appropriate disciplinary proceedings. when i say that everything
should be judged on a case by case basis, i mean that everyone, in this country, deserves due process, and an opportunity to go through disciplinary proceedings so we can uncover what the right strategy to go forward is. >> supervisor cohen: my question really doesn't imply that there is no process. my question is, if an officer has done something wrong, should they or should they not be able to keep their job? >> supervisor, i believe, as i mentioned earlier, i believe that whether or not they should keep the job depends on the level of misconduct. there are intermediary steps within the policies and procedures that would allow for suspensions, allow for other ways to discipline officers.
i can't give a blanket yes or no. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. i have no other questions. >> thank you. >> supervisor safai: any other questions from committee members right now? seeing then, we will call you up if we have more. >> thank you. >> supervisor safai: please call the next name. >> the next applicant is anthony jones. >> good afternoon, supervisors, rules committee. thank you for having me up here today. i was born and raised here in the san francisco western addition neighbourhood. i brooke grew up all my life and public housing. having that experience alone, i was able to witness and have a positive and negative interactions with the police department. being a young african-american man in san francisco and growing up here, i had to experience both sides of police relations.
i served here on the youth commission from 2008-2010, and that experience had taught me how to not only represent the constituents, but especially have an heir to the needs that they may have. one of which we were dealing with, due process for you. going back to the sanctuary city laws, there was not a lot of protections for minors. while on the commission, we worked with supervisors to ensure due process for undocumented immigrant youth and i think that those -- that goes a long way in talking about how we can be in a section with our approach is well with dealing with law enforcement. aside from that, at my current job, i work for use. we have been a part of the organizing and facilitating community for the policy and the doj recommendations, use of tasers on the selection of the
we need to look into how the commission itself can engage the community as well and i say that because i think it's important for the community to have a lens in the decision making process that the commission has been undertaking, rather it be with use of force, tasers or whether it be with how the community can improve relations. it's important that the community feels a part of that. of course i have attended past meetings, being someone who has worked with the police commission and the police department to get community voice. i can't name how many but it's not selected as a police commissioner but attending those meetings as well with some of the youth who we will have working with the police department. that's one of the other highlights of my experience with the police department and the youth. at collective impact we have a summer program that's been going on for the past three years from
a very supportive police commission and city hall. that is to bring youth from disadvantaged community, mainly black and brown together with police officers over the summer and they can work on projects to engage on each other and build empathy, which i think is so important especially when we live in a time when the rhetoric is division. we need to understand that the only way we get past this is if we see each other beyond the badge and beyond the skin. i wish all the applicants good luck and i want to add, while i have a couple of seconds left, that we need to make sure that this part of process of accountability that we have protections for officers who notice things going wrong in the department. we need to expand whistleblower protections for our officers and we need to understand not to weed out this culture of bias whether through restorative
training, restorative justice training for officers who are involved in this and through making sure that our officers of color are supported. as you saw in the text message scandal and, you know, i won't use names but we have a lieutenant here who was a victim of that and i think that is wrong that it's coming from leadership in a department and the question you then ask yourself, you being a sergeant is how does that go into the ranks. we have to make sure that we have opportunities for officers and we need to make sure that we are teaching our officers about bias and making sure they have to -- >> supervisor safai: thank you. we are going to open it up for questions. director cohn. >> supervisor cohn: i appreciate that. you caught me ear when you say expanding whistleblower protections, something i happen to agree with. maybe ux expand a little bit on that idea, that policy idea. >> sure. so when looking at the blue ribbon panel report you notice
that some officers felt the since of intimidation and felt like that if they were to talk about some of the things that they thought should change in the department that they would face some type of blow back from their fellow brothers and sisters in blue. i think that it is important to realize we are talking at an institution that should at least be valued on integrity, honesty and making sure that they're doing their job in the best way possible and not having an eye towards division. so we need to make sure that when officers want to bring that to light that they feel like they can because it's important for us to know. >> supervisor cohn: let me jump in here. there's this thing called like a code blue, right? it's a culture within the department that it's browned upon, we saw publicly how things played out from officers that identified wrong doings of other officers, how they were
ostracized and prevented from advancement and promotion and in other cases written up, the cold shoulder. it's important to maintain a good strong relationship with your fellow officers because when you are on the line of duty your life is very much in the hands of your fellow officers. i can completely empathize why one wouldn't want to come up and blow the whistle or shed some light on this particular culture. how do we get beyond that? you said create whistleblower protections and then you had a whole bunch of nice fluffy words and lost me. i want to know specifically what policy, what do we do? maybe in what way can we expand on the current policy? you know, i mean currently right now it's anonymous and a third party may do an investigation. i don't know. maybe that's an opportunity that we look to the department of police accountability to assist
us in this. i mean, i'm looking for a certain level of specificity, not just -- >> right. that's understandable. going to your point, we need to work with the department of police accountability to make sure that there's an internal process that even goes beyond the internal affairs division so that officers who do want to talk about certain wrong doings of their fellow officers have that protection within the dpa as well as city bodies like the city attorney's office and having them understand that, hey, we have someone in this institution in city government that is saying something is going on wrong, we need to look into this further. i think that needs to live in the third party body and/or, you know, something like the department of police accountability. >> supervisor cohn: all right. thank you. i appreciate that. i want to talk about another policy that i think is important, that the current --
or the current police commission has taken a position on. what is unique about that particular policy is not only has police department -- excuse me, our public commission taken a position, a very controversial one to keep police officers from shooting into moving vehicles. this restriction is not unique to san francisco, quite frankly there's a national police association that also says shooting into moving vehicles puts not only the officers at risk, not only the person, the driver at risk but also the surrounding community. you shoot someone, you kill or you injury them and they lose control of the car, a 5-year-old kid that's standing on the corner could get hit by the car because the car has jumped the curb. it's a terrible situation. yet here we are today -- just a few weeks ago there was an
officer-involved shooting that shot at an open car. if you were a police commissioner, how would you address this policy matter? keeping in mind that this is a clear violation of an already established policy. the other thing that i think that is important to also acknowledge is this was a rookie. i think that we need to -- well, i don't want to start preaching on what i think. i want to hear what you think. okay. >> yes. i'm very aware of what you're talking about. i was reading about it. i know that that officer faced some discipline for violating that policy and i think it's important to especially for our rookie cops -- this is where i do think that we need to look at a cooling down period instead of just putting them right in the force immediately, giving them an opportunity to build relations with that community on a deeper level. we -- >> supervisor cohn: do you know what neighborhood that officer-involved shooting took
place? >> northern. western edition. that's where i grew up. >> supervisor cohn: i know. stop bragging. >> i definitely feel like we need to make sure that our rookie officers especially have a clear understanding of the policies and procedures, a cooling down period where they are allowed to go into the community and build relations and also making sure that they ready. when you look at what happened in baby's hunters point and i know you are very familiar with this, where there was an officer that was his first or fourth day on the job and he was just getting started and he shot through his window killing someone who they were in a pursuit with. that officer was terminated. i think we need to really make sure that especially our rookie officers, our newer officers truly understand the community, truly understand the rules and procedures because these are involving