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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Police News  >  San Fran Cops Face the Music

 

San Fran Cops
Face the Music

Police and Law Enforcement News
Thursday, December 7, 2006 11:20 a.m.

The award for the most dragged out internal affairs investigation goes to the San Francisco Police Department. 


San Francisco Mayor
Gavin Newsom
 


San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong


Click here to watch the press conference and videos

It took a full year to complete the inquiry into the infamous "police videos" scandal where about three dozen San Francisco officers from various backgrounds starred in silly bits ranging from a Charlie's Angel's spoof to officers disregarding a gun call to instead visit a massage parlor.

San Fran Mayor Gavin Newsom and Chief of Police Heather Fong broke the story to the press last December and received criticism for overreacting to what was little more that cops being silly heads. Below are quotes from each from that press conference:

"It is shameful, it is offensive, it is sexist, it is homophobic and it is racist," Newsom said. "We're going to make sure that it ends, it ends immediately."

-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

"This is a dark day, an extremely dark day, in the history of the San Francisco Police Department."

-San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong

Undoubtedly, San Fran IA officers were not the reason for the delay.  Mayor Gavin Newsom had promised to launch four separate investigations by the following:

  • San Francisco Police Department Internal Affairs Unit

  • A "Blue Ribbon Commission"

  • The City Human Rights Commission

  • The Commission on the Status of Women

The verdict is in on most of the punishments.

From KGO San Francisco:

After a year of thinking about it, San Francisco's police chief has decided to come down very hard on San Francisco police officers, a lot of them, over those now famous police produced satirical videos. Police officers are not happy.

We are learning that 28 of the 35 officers who were charged by Chief Fong now know what their punishments will be. Also tonight there is a strong reaction from the head of the police union...

...Some of the officers in the video told us, the punishments range from written reprimands to suspensions of ten days or less.

Seven of the 35 officers face more serious penalties before the police commission. That could include dismissal. Nineteen of the officers are suing Chief Fong and the city. Their lawyer spoke to us by phone from Lake Tahoe.

Waukeen McCoy: "I think the charges she brought against my clients are ridiculous. I think this is a continued effort on her part to retaliate against my clients from standing up for their rights."

Gary Delagnes is president of the Police Officers Association. He spoke publicly about the chief's decision for the first time in this interview with ABC7.

Gary Delagnes: "What could possibly have taken one year to get to this point? Like I said, we've captured and tried Sadam Hussein quicker than we came to a conclusion in this videogate."

Delagnes says the chief's priorities are misplaced.

Gary Delagnes: "At a time when we have a rising homicide rate, when we're dealing with all the gang activity, when we're dealing with two dead cops in the last year, when we're dealing with a 300 cop shortage in this department, what are we wasting our time with this stuff for?"

The chief says she hopes the department can now move on. But the story is far from over. The seven cases referred to the police commission will most likely take a long time to adjudicate. There may be appeals. And there is still the $20 million dollar lawsuit which 19 of the officers have filed against Chief Fong and the city.

Click here to watch the press conference and videos.  They are located on the website of San Fran Officer Andrew Cohen the producer of the videos.

Police and Law Enforcement News
Thursday, December 7, 2006 11:20 a.m.

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