BASF Press Release

BASF Criminal Justice Task Force Urges Progress on Body-Worn Camera Policy

July 14, 2020, San Francisco—The Bar Association of San Francisco's Criminal Justice Taskforce (CJTF) sent a letter to the Police Commission urging progress on a policy that has been stalled for years.

In June 2016, the Police Commission passed and adopted an order approving and implementing body-worn cameras for San Francisco Police Department officers. Since its passage, multiple community organizations, including CJTF, have called for substantive modifications and improvements to the body-worn camera policy, including a prohibition on officers reviewing body-worn camera footage in cases where there is any use of force by an officer, and where the officer is the subject of any criminal or administrative investigation.

In 2018, the Police Commission unanimously adopted amendments to the order, incorporating several positive changes, including increased restrictions on officers
reviewing body-worn camera footage in cases of officer-involved shootings. Before final passage, however, the San Francisco Police Officers Association initiated closed-door meet-and-confer negotiations with the City. As a result, the implementation of the policy was delayed and remains stalled.

CJTF urges the Police Commission to place the final policy on its agenda for a final vote and make any policy language that was negotiated or changed during meet-and-confer public.

Read the letter in full.

CJTF appreciates the partnership and expertise of pro bono counsel from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in this effort.

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.