San Francisco—San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi today urged the California Attorney General to open a civil rights investigation into the San Francisco Police Department’s practices.
In a letter sent today to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Adachi details a near-constant stream of scandals involving the department’s use-of-force policies, racially lopsided enforcement strategies, and bigoted text messages exchanged between two separate groups of officers.
The police department’s policies and practices are currently under review by the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Blue Ribbon Commission. Both agencies may come up with recommendations, but are unable to enforce change.
Unlike both ongoing reviews, the state Attorney General’s office has the power to force reform and implement training through court order.
“I believe strongly that the path to reform is through accountability and an independent investigation,” Adachi wrote.