Muni says it won't transport officers to anti-police brutality protests, union says they feel 'picked on'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A battle line that didn't need to be drawn - that's how San Francisco's police union is feeling after Muni tweeted they will no longer be transporting officers to anti-police brutality protests.

"Upset and confused, it's like being picked on for no reason," says Sgt. Tracey McCray, vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, the largest union representing police officers in the city.

McCray says her union was blindsided by Muni's tweets, sent out on Tuesday -- the same day the transit agency paused service in honor of George Floyd.

It was part of a series of tweets declaring the agency's commitment to racial equity work, including implicit bias training.

SFMTA's director, Jeffrey Tumlin said the decision came after powerful internal conversations.

Tumlin said he was made aware on social media that some officers in riot gear were seen exiting Muni stations.

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"We absolutely want to support SFPD and the chief in their mission, but at the same time, we need to also respect the specific concerns of our operators and our passengers, said Tumlin.

In response to Muni's tweet, the POA tweeted back - Hey Muni, lose our number next time you need officers for fare evasion enforcement.

"You're jumping on the bandwagon trying to vilify us in public but in private you're asking for help and you're talking about something you never did before in the first place," said McCray, who added she wasn't aware of any officers being "transported" on Muni to protests.
ABC7 reached out to SFPD for comment and confirmation about officers using Muni to attend protests.

The agency provided this statement.

"We recognize we are all in the midst of a difficult, emotionally charged time as we come to terms with painful truths about the kind of policing that took George Floyd's life in Minneapolis. We respect and honor the actions SFMTA is taking to advance the cause of racial justice and equity."

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Supervisor Aaron Peskin echoed those sentiments and condemned the police union's tweet.

"This is a dereliction of duty. I want to salute the SF MTA for that courageous stance," said Peskin.

"My relationship is with management SFPD, not their labor union. So I believe that as department heads we will continue to manage our resources for the public good," added Tumlin.

As for the union, they say they'll continue to do their jobs, even if they feel like they've been thrown under the bus.

"We respect each other," said McCray, "We'll still respond to calls for crimes that are being committed on the bus. What we don't want to do is pool our resources to respond to things that aren't of a criminal nature, that you don't need the police for."
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