SF police promise changes after emotional meeting

May 12, 2010 7:40:25 AM PDT
After an emotional meeting Tuesday night, changes are coming in the way San Francisco police will conduct business in a neighborhood where tensions have been growing over recent violence.

The tensions have been between the members of the African-American and Asian-American communities in the Bayview District. San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon will set up two drop-in centers for the members of the Asian-American community to report crimes. The Asian-American community has been historically reluctant to report crimes because of a long standing distrust of police.

About 200 people packed the meeting Tuesday night. It was a raucous meeting at times. A string of high profile African-American on Asian-American crimes have fueled tensions; in one, an 83-year-old Asian man was beaten and later died, in another a woman was thrown off a Muni platform. Many are decrying the crimes -- regardless of color.

"The reason I'm doing this is because it's not okay for a group of cowards, it's not just 17-year-old teenagers, these are cowards who are beating up an 83-year-old man. Enough of this, if it happened to an African-American I would do the same thing," said an Asian-American man.

"I don't care what color you are, you shouldn't have to be faced with the idea that you have to find out that your child or parent is dead -- no one wants to hear that," said an African-American woman.

The chief said that Asian-Americans are less statistically likely to be victims of crimes compared to African Americans. He also said the high profile crimes, while heinous, are not racially motivated, they are crimes of opportunity.


Load Comments