Report finds institutionalized bias at San Francisco Police Department

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Report finds institutionalized bias in San Francisco Police Department
The much anticipated final Blue Ribbon Report on the San Francisco Police Department is out.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The much anticipated final Blue Ribbon Report on the San Francisco Police Department is out.

The panel, comprised of three retired judges, found there is institutionalized bias in the San Francisco Police Department.

The investigation began after it was revealed that 14 officers sent and received racist and homophobic text messages.

RELATED: Racist, homophobic texts emerge in SFPD scandal

District Attorney George Gascon then established a panel to investigate whether there was bias within the rank-and-file. Now, a year later, the report finds that there was.

"The panel found indications of institutionalized bias, institutional weaknesses in the San Francisco Police Department and its oversight apparatus that if left unaddressed could let bias go undetected and unmitigated," said Anand Subramanian, the Executive Director of the Blue Ribbon Panel.

A battery of independent lawyers helped the panel research police reports and documents and interviewed more than 100 members of the department. The panel concluded that blacks and Latinos were searched without consent by SFPD far more than whites and Asians.

RELATED: Feds reviewing complaints of SF police racism bias

The panel also blamed the, the union, for running a so-called "good-old-boys club."

"The Police Officer's Association leadership sets the tone for the police department and historically it's been an ugly one," said retired judge LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge with the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The union called the report divisive at a time when the city needs unity. In a statement, they said,"We're sitting on a tinderbox and Gascon is lighting a match."

Supervisor John Avalos has proposed legislation that would limit funds if progress toward reform is not met.

RELATED: SFPD faces widening scandal over racist, homophobic text messages

"If they don't show progress, the board will have the ability or can decide whether or not to release funds," he said.

The panel also recommended an external oversight body to audit the police department.

RELATED: SF judge: 7 SFPD officers can't be punished for racist text messages

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