SFPD unveils new Black Lives Matter sign to be displayed at every station

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Police Department has taken a unique step in order to demonstrate its support of the Black Lives Matter movement. But, not everyone thinks it's a step in the right direction.

"Black lives have always mattered to us and we will continue to guard Bayview residents in partnership and with pride," said San Francisco Police Chief, Bill Scott, as he read from a newly unveiled metal sign.

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Every bureau and district station in the San Francisco submitted statements about to why Black lives matter, that were printed onto the two-foot by five-foot plaque.

"It's a really important conversation right now and to have people take part in that conversation, to express whatever it is that they're feeling, what their values are, it was a rewarding experience for me personally," said Chief Scott.

An idea inspired by community members, the San Francisco Police Commission voted unanimously last month to require SFPD to display Black Lives Matter posters.

The new sign, which is a prototype, will be displayed in the lobby of the San Francisco Police headquarters. Ten other signs will be made and hung in public spaces in all of the district stations.

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At Wednesday night's meeting, the Police Commission was pleased with the permanence.

"The fact that it's metallic and it's going to be mounted, I think really speaks to how seriously you all have taken what's come from the community," said commissioner, Dion-Jay Brookter.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about the signs.

"For me, they're like absolutely meaningless. These are just platitudes and it's just tokenism," said Kaylah Williams, an organizer for the Defund SFPD Now Campaign.

She says the signs are a distraction from the real conversation.

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"It shouldn't be just about posters. What we need is a budget this year that will defund the police, will fire SFPD officers, fire sheriff deputies, and eliminate interactions with SF officers in our communities."

Chief Scott is prepared for cuts but stands by his department. "What we have to do is sacrifice, it's a shared sacrifice. But, we need a budget, let's make no mistake about it, to do our jobs."

It's still unclear how the signs will be paid for, some funding may come from nonprofits. To make 20 signs, SFPD estimates it will cost about $10,000.
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