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San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju Urges Police Commission to Preserve Independent Oversight of SFPD

“Rarely do officers across the nation face criminal charges for on-duty violence, and San Francisco is no exception. 

I am disappointed that yesterday, SFPD Chief Bill Scott unilaterally withdrew from an agreement which ensures that an outside entity –  the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office –  acts as the lead investigator for police shootings, in-custody deaths, and uses of force resulting in serious bodily injury. This agreement, while not perfect, provided independent oversight to a critical investigation process that has repeatedly failed to provide justice for victims of police violence. 

Without this MOU in place, the SFPD will go back to policing themselves, which presents a clear conflict of interest that San Franciscans have long rejected by creating oversight bodies and mechanisms to provide transparency. For a department that still stops, searches, and inflicts violence disproportionately against Black, Latinx, and other marginalized communities, the public deserves at a minimum the transparency and protection that this agreement provided. 

Chief Scott’s sudden announcement should alarm the public and everyone who has called for police reform in San Francisco and across the country. We can no longer permit the police to police themselves. The San Francisco Police Commission should assert its authority and act immediately to preserve independent oversight.”



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