Police Reform Charter Amendment

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I got a call from the ACLU/NC today about a police reform charter amendment
planned for the November ballot. I've invited a proponent of the measure
to the August Direct Action Forum (our election forum). There's also an
information session on Saturday the 26th if anyone would like to go.


Here is a quick fact sheet on the Charter Amendment. Also on Saturday July
26 an informational meeting on the police reform ballot measure will be held
at the Ella Baker Center, 54 Mint Street, Suite 300, 11am. This will be a
great opportunity to learn more about the measure and get involved in
working on the campaign. The Police Officers Association is dumping
thousands of dollars into a misinformation campaign about the measure. We
need your help with endorsements, outreach, communications, and fundraising.
Find out more about the measure and how to get involved. Please urge others
to come to this meeting! Call Kelly at 415-621-2493 ext. 317 for more info.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you on Aug. 20th too!
Kelly Welsh

Police Reform Charter Amendment Fact Sheet

The Breakdown in Accountability:
While the "Fajitagate" scandal brought issues of police accountability to
the forefront, that one incident of police misconduct merely serves to
highlight a much deeper breakdown in accountability. In the past couple
years, the SFPD has been racked with scandal including:

    * A pattern of "obstruction and delay" by the Police
Department of Office of Citizen Complaints ("OCC") investigations of police
    * Cases of sustained police misconduct have been dismissed
due to department's failure to act in a timely manner.
    * Expose in Chronicle documenting that SFPD is last in the
country among large cities in solving violent crimes.
    * A number of controversial officer-involved-shootings
including the shooting of Idriss Stelley at the Metreon resulting in
settlement costing the City $500,000.
    * Police Department withholding information about officer
misconduct from the courts and defense council potentially effecting up to
3500 cases.
* Undercover SFPD officers spied on anti-war protests without authorization.
    * Police Commission refuses to exercise oversight function -
the Commission refuses to hold hearings on accountability issues or issues
of community concern despite repeated requests by civil rights organizations
and community members.

The Charter Amendment Reforms:
The Charter Amendment will improve policing and police accountability by
improving oversight mechanisms. The Charter Amendment strengthens both the
Police Commission and the OCC, drawing from recommendations made by the
Controller, the OCC, and the ACLU. The reforms include:

Police Commission:
    * Representative: Charter Amendment makes the Commission
more representative by increasing the number of Commissioners from five to
    * Diverse: Charter Amendment increases diversity of opinion
on the Commission by splitting appointment power between the Mayor and the
Board of Supervisors.
    * Independent: Charter Amendment makes the Commission more
independent by staggering Commissioner's terms and providing that
Commissioners cannot be removed without consent of the Supervisors.

Office of Citizen Complaints:
    * Power to bring charges: Charter Amendment gives the OCC
the power to bring sustained misconduct charges directly to the Police
Commission when the Chief fails to act or seeks to bury cases.
    * Access to documents: Charter Amendment makes clear the
OCC's power to receive all relevant documents from the Police Department in
misconduct investigations.