BASF Press Release

BASF Criminal Justice Task Force Sends Letter to Mayor Breed, Recommending Steps for Police Reform

June 12, 2020, San Francisco—The Bar Association of San Francisco's Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) sent a letter to Mayor London Breed, Police Chief William Scott, the Board of Supervisors, and the Police Commission earlier this week, outlining a number of steps necessary to move ongoing police reform efforts forward.

In the letter, CJTF urged that police reform efforts underway since 2016 are "years behind schedule and in need of revival." Of the 272 major reform recommendations made in October 2016 by the U.S. Department of Justice, SFPD has “substantially” implemented just 40 to date. Furthermore, CJTF expressed concern over SFPD’s failure to engage more members of the community in a meaningful way during the reform process.

CJTF remains a committed partner in police reform efforts in San Francisco, and outlined the following five first steps:

  1. Expedite implementation of the Serious Incident Review Board and amend DGO 5.01 to include as reportable force, any use of force to overcome resistance irrespective of complaint of injury or pain; and such review must occur within 30 days and results must be publicly reported.
  2. Appoint and confirm experienced police reform advocates to the two vacant seats on the Police Commission.
  3. Require greater transparency and information sharing by SFPD with the Department of Police Accountability.
  4. Create greater transparency regarding officer disciplinary hearings and findings.
  5. Hold SFPD and the Police Commission accountable to deadlines and increase community participation in the reform process.

Read the letter in full.

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor London Breed announced a roadmap for new police reforms, focusing on eliminating the need for police to be first responders for non-criminal situations and changing hiring, promotional, training, and disciplinary systems.

CJTF stands in partnership with the City and remains committed to working collaboratively towards meaningful change and reform.

BASF’s Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) members include prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil rights attorneys, law professors, the judiciary, members of law enforcement, and police oversight agencies. CJTF was formed five years ago in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, which drew nationwide attention to issues of fairness in the criminal justice system. Since then, taskforce members have worked to rewrite the police use-of-force policy, researched and advocated against the use of Tasers, weighed in on a statewide effort to reform the bail system, and helped shape anti-bias policing measures.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.