FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: SF Public Defender’s Office | PubDef-MediaRelations@sfgov.org | (628)249-7946
SF Public Defender Calls for the Immediate Destruction and Independent Investigation of Illegal DNA Database Created by SF Police Crime Lab
The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office expressed outrage at the recent revelation that the SFPD crime lab has been using an illegally created database – compiled with DNA collected from people alleging sexual assault – to match them to unrelated incidents.
Public Defender Mano Raju calls on the San Francisco Police Department to destroy the database immediately and end this practice because it tramples on the constitutionally protected privacy rights of community members, and is an offensive abuse of state power.
In light of the SFPD Crime Lab’s history of illegal conduct, including multiple drug lab scandals, Police Chief Bill Scott’s suggestion that his own internal Investigations Bureau will “review the matter” is an example of his department’s efforts to evade real accountability for its misconduct and to avoid reform through independent investigation.
The secret practice of creating and illegally using a database with the DNA of individuals alleging sexual assault must end immediately. We also call for an independent investigation of the SFPD Crime Lab, real consequences for those responsible for this egregious breach of trust, and new policies and procedures to prevent further abuses. And we ask for the release of information as to how many community members have been impacted and immediate redress for those who have been charged or convicted based on database matches using this illegal practice.