Defund and disarm the police
Defunding police will enable more effective alternatives that can better secure public safety. We are past the point of needing yet another commission’s findings. We are past the point of reform (which remains necessary, but alone, insufficient). We need to defund police—and the Pentagon, DHS, and FBI—to rationalize our public spending, decriminalize poverty, and enable investments in the underlying social needs that prompt desperation.
Support disarming some or most police officers
Yes. Equipping officers with military equipment and training them in paramilitary tactics are two ways in which our military industrial complex has co-opted domestic policing.
If police are allowed tasers, they should generally replace (not supplement) firearms. Departments should not be allowed access to equipment, weapons or other infrastructure developed for military use. Having written many years ago about how police body cameras could threaten civil rights, I also favor the expansive protections of our campaign’s criminal justice reform platform to ensure police accountability through law, rather than a co-opted corporate technology.
Forgotten in the debate surrounding police militarization is the crucial role played by the CIA in arming the criminal syndicates whose violence in the 90s played such a crucial role in public calls for police militarization. The struggles to reverse mass incarceration and disarm police boh require long overdue investigations and accountability at the CIA, which ultimately bears responsibility for much of the violence that continues to surround the war on drugs and drug trafficking.
Support use of tasers by LEOs
I am committed to de-escalating policing and reversing the trend towards militarization. While tasers are presented as less lethal weapons, the Miami Herald found in 2015 that they are pervasively used as tools to effectuate extrajudicial punishment, often with lethal consequences.
Tasers are presented as "less lethal", and as such, are only supposed to be used when the alternative is a gun. If an officer wouldn’t shoot a person, they shouldn’t use a taser either, and there are very few times when an officer should shoot a person. Any usage of a taser should be treated like the discharge of a gun, with an investigation into the conditions in which it was used, and further training, reprimand and compensation if it’s not used appropriately.
Here in SF, tasers became controversial both because the officer who killed Oscar Grant claimed to have confused his gun for his taser, and also because the POA mounted an attack in Prop H on the police review commission’s standards on the use of force. I opposed Prop H and was glad to see voters reject it.
My skepticism of police technology extends across contexts. For instance, I also helped advance the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance long before it was ever introduced in the Board of Supervisors and pioneered the campaign behind it as long as 10 years ago.
Do you support the removal of school resource officers (SROs) from San Francisco schools? Why or why not?
Yes, I support their removal. We should spend money in schools on teachers, counselors, and other professionals specifically trained to help guide students, de-escalate confrontations, and educate our children on how to deal more kindly with one another. Police officers in schools have routinely abused and attacked students, and have not contributed to safety in the case of shootings or other violence.
Have you taken money from any police officers and/or sheriffs' associations? If so, will you return these contributions?
I have not—and I would return any such contributions as soon as I become aware of them.
Should SFPD forego hiring officers who have records of misconduct?
Yes. The culture of protecting officers who abuse our rights with no consequences must end. Violations of our fundamental rights and perpetuating the division between public servants and those they serve should be disqualifying for future employment in law enforcement.
Do you support bail reform? Should pretrial release be based on public safety and not wealth?
Money bail is a travesty. No one should endure detention simply because they can’t pay a fee. Public safety should be the only issue considered in pre-trial detention.
Prior employment in or with law enforcement, jail or prison system, LEO union, or other org involved in organizing LEOs?
I have not and never will be.
Should law enforcement cooperate with ICE?
Should law enforcement continue to receive military equipment?
Support independent investigation of all LEO-related shootings?
Should Department of Police Accountability investigate misconduct by Sheriffs
Should civilian oversight commission for Sheriffs exist, with power to suspend or terminate members of the dept