Monday, March 09, 2015

Police Chief Suhr: "I'm not sure I can keep them in line"

Police Chief Suhr

Supervisor Avalos's account of a conversation with SFPD Chief Suhr:

Avalos said he asked Suhr for his opinion on the resolution, but received no reply. Suhr did tell him that the resolution would not be good for morale since protesters were attacking police. Avalos said Suhr told him, "I'm not sure I can continue to keep them in line if they're angry by this resolution" (Police union strong-arms Board of Supervisors over controversial resolution on police brutality protests, SF Examiner).

That is, dump the original resolution---which was all about Ferguson and doesn't even mention the SFPD---or the chief may not be able to control city cops, a crude threat that Avalos and other board members rightly rejected.

Former union leader Gary Delagnes is quoted in the Examiner story:

"As much as people try to make the tragic events in Ferguson and New York about race that is simply not the truth yet the Board is preparing a resolution that is going to perpetuate the lies," Delagnes wrote to Cohen. "Cops are being beaten up, literally, from coast to coast by unruly demonstrators destroying property and injuring police officers. To perpetuate the myth that racism is a systemic problem in police department's throughout the Unites States is wrong and untrue."

It is in fact true about Ferguson, which is what the Dept. of Justice found in its report on Ferguson. And it's a problem "throughout the United States" as reported Saturday in the NY Times (Ferguson Became Symbol, but Bias Knows No Border).

Supervisor Breed wants to have it both ways, with some tough talk before rolling over with some flab-gab:

"I don't take kindly to threats," said Breed, who last month became president of the Board of Supervisors. "And I don't do my job in fear." Still, she did not back the police-brutality resolution as amended by Avalos. That, Breed said, was because she saw no reason to alienate the police when she has to deal with them daily and wants them to do their job by catching violent criminals in her district. "I just didn't feel comfortable supporting a resolution that would potentially impact morale with the department," said Breed.

If the Board of Supervisors passed the resolution, city cops wouldn't go after "violent criminals" in District 5? Ridiculous.

Bullyboy Suhr, by the way, rolled over for the bike lobby by transferring Commander Ali to the airport---aka, "Siberia"---after Ali did a report on every traffic fatality in the city in 2014 (Top SF cop on pedestrian safety transfers to SFO).

The problem with the report: it found that half the pedestrian fatalities were caused by the pedestrians themselves and all three of the cycling fatalities were caused by the cyclists.

Ali's report undermined the city/Bicycle Coalition fatuous Vision Zero campaign. He was supposed to pretend that all injury accidents on city streets, let alone fatalities, are preventable. Instead he did what the city should always do: analyze fatal traffic accidents to determine why they happen and figure out what the city can do, if anything, to prevent them. Instead, Ali was accused of "blaming the victim" by the bike lobby because everyone injured on city streets is presumably a victim of poorly designed streets, not enough bike lanes, those wicked motor vehicles, etc.

The message to Ali's replacement: don't do this kind of analysis in the future.

Vision Zero is just another slogan, like the silly 20% by 2020 trips-in-the-city-by-bike slogan that was made official city policy in a 2010 Board of Supervisors resolution.

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