Spies in blue - Page 4

A secret memo indicates that SF cops may be working as FBI spies — with no local oversight

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As the Guardian previously reported, the 2008 decimation of San Francisco's sanctuary city legislation and the 2010 activation of the federal government's controversial Secure Communities program, which both happened during former Mayor Gavin Newsom's tenure, means that the city of St. Francis now ranks among the top 38 counties nationwide that are deporting "noncriminal aliens."

Dubal also noted that the FBI came to the SFPD in 1996 asking for help with the task force, but also sought a waiver from the Police Commission so officers could participate without having to follow local rules. "And within two weeks, then Mayor Willie Brown said, not in our town," Dubal said. "So in 1997, the SFPD said we are not going to join unless we can follow our own rules. And in 2001, when the SFPD joined, it was under an MOU that required them to comply with SFPD rules and was signed in 2002 by then-SFPD Chief [Earl] Saunders."

Dubal said that after local law enforcement agencies sign an MOU with the FBI, they designate and assign officers to work from FBI headquarters. "In the past, two SFPD officers, paid with San Francisco tax dollars, physically worked in the FBI's office in a secure room where you can only go if you have security clearance. But they still can't spy without reasonable suspicion, and they also need audits."

Crew and Dubal said that in a recent meeting, SFPD officials assured them that local police were following General Order 8.10, but that they are open to creating an MOU addendum to clarify this.

Crew and Dubal remain unsure if the FBI would be agreeable to signing off on that. They note that the FBI has previously stated that its JTTF has sensitive investigations going on so it can't give the public all the information. "Fine, but the issue is, Are these investigations based on suspicion, or are they based on religious background, associations, ethnicity, and travel patterns?" Dubal said.

They also doubt that the MOU would even have surfaced if not for comments that then SFPD Chief Gascón made, first in October 2009, then in March 2010, that triggered an uproar in the local Muslim, Arab, and Pakistani and Afghani communities.

At the time, Gascón, who has a law degree and graduated from the FBI Academy, had just landed in San Francisco fresh from a stint as police chief for Meza, Ariz., where he drew praise for speaking out against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's inhumane treatment of undocumented immigrants Given this seemingly progressive stance, Gascón shocked civil libertarians in San Francisco when he said he wanted to unearth SFPD's intelligence unit, which was disbanded amid scandal in the early 1990s.

"We have to realize that in the post-9/11 world, San Francisco is an iconic city, like New York, Washington. and Los Angeles," Gascón said. "If somebody wanted to make a big statement about something they disliked about America, doing it here would definitely get attention. We need to know what is going on under the surface of the city."

But Gascón did not say how a revived police spy unit, which had been shut down in large part due to Crew's work, would operate. And six months later, he upset Bay Area Muslims during a March 2010 breakfast by reportedly saying that the Hall of Justice building was not just susceptible to earthquakes, but also to an attack by members of the city's Middle Eastern community who could park a van in front of it and blow it up.

Gascón subsequently claimed that he "never referred to Middle Easterners or Arab Americans," but that he had instead singled out the Afghanistan and Yemen communities because they pose "potential terrorism risks"

"In light of Gascón's comments and his desire to resurrect the intelligence unit, people were asking, 'Is it possible that the SFPD is also doing the same thing?'" Dubal asked, noting that she started getting complaints in 2009 and throughout 2010 about the FBI.

Comments

Sarah,

Nice piece of work. The answer is to make the office of Police Chief into an elected position. Sheriff Mike Hennessey suggested it a couple of years ago. That would give the people the opportunity to choose amongst a variety of candidates with clearly delineated policy preferences. You might want guaranteed foot beats and no collaboration with the FBI.

Elect the Police Chief!!

CW Nevius agrees with me.

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 2:16 am

Agreed. The Police Chief should be elected. Although it may not go the direction you want. (+1 for foot beats)

Posted by RS on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

Thanks so much for writing this important article!

Posted by Guest LH on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 8:47 am

How many times must you be instructed of that? I understand you're British but this continuing emphasis on some local San Francisco ordinance or policy being violated by the Feds, like your constant bleating about ICE, betrays a severe lack of understanding of how the US government works.

Until San Francisco is an independent city-state it's going to have to deal with the reality of the fact that when the Feds move in it's going to have to cooperate - it has no choice.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 11:05 am
B.S

No one in the United States of America! (under penalty of law or perjury "Has to work with any form of federal law Informant / Enforcement "). The truth is that most idiot's in America don't know the law's!!! they let the people with hand-cuff's, and conference room's forget who really runs this country. it is for the people by the people!!! no position of power shall not be subject to a vote by the people. Politicians' don't have a right to appoint other politician's under any circumstances period! PERIOD!

Posted by Guest Brettzilla on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

I was wondering what this was all about.

sfgovtv board of supervisors meeting 04/05/11

item 9 resolution endorsing community concerns of surveillance, racial and religious profiling

starting at 1 hour into the meeting.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

It's WILLAMETTE, not Williamette! Sorry, this Portland-dwelling SF Ex-pat couldn't resist. Great article about this issue, which is still very much in debate up here.

Posted by Wazz on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 12:49 pm
HA

And Will-AM-ette, not Will-a-METTE. Thanks Wazz, as an SF-dwelling Portland expat, I have corrected above.

Posted by caitlin on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

I thought conservatives were all over the right of a state or municipality to opt out of paying for unfunded mandates?

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 1:09 pm
B.S

No one in the United States of America! (under penalty of law or perjury "Has to work with any form of federal law Informant / Enforcement "). The truth is that most idiot's in America don't know the law's!!! they let the people with hand-cuff's, and conference room's forget who really runs this country. it is for the people by the people!!! no position of power shall not be subject to a vote by the people. Politicians' don't have a right to appoint other politician's under any circumstances period! PERIOD!

Posted by Guest Brettzilla on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

No one in the United States of America! (under penalty of law or perjury "Has to work with any form of federal law Informant / Enforcement "). The truth is that most idiot's in America don't know the law's!!! they let the people with hand-cuff's, and conference room's forget who really runs this country. it is for the people by the people!!! no position of power shall not be subject to a vote by the people. Politicians' don't have a right to appoint other politician's under any circumstances period! PERIOD!

Posted by Brettzilla on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

"With no local oversight"?!..Local oversight by who?...The MS13 'probationary' affiliates and other assorted 'Sanctuary City' apologists who still remain (yea!!for S.F. voters!) on our S.F. City Board of Supervisors?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

This is criminal.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 28, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

Are you trying to say that even with FBI superpowers our heroes in blue still can't catch the bad guys that make our fair city one of the best for murder and mayhem? Sounds like Gotham city needs a Bat signal.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

Great story. Love to see a follow-up on how SFPD has had time and money to do FBI work.
Also wondering, with the intolerance of the Mayoral regimes of late, how local political targets may have been provided to the Feds.

Posted by Grouchy Guest on May. 01, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

Since there are specific rules prohibiting SFPD personnel from initiating investigations and spying without articulable suspcion, police officers who do the FBI's bagwork would be in violation of SFPD regulations and could be fired.

That's terminated, let go, and kicked to the curb, with no pension, no bennies, no easy let-down.

Take that to Gary Delagnes and let him get a good whiff.

Posted by DocAmazing on May. 01, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

Since there are specific rules prohibiting SFPD personnel from initiating investigations and spying without articulable suspcion, police officers who do the FBI's bagwork would be in violation of SFPD regulations and could be fired.

That's terminated, let go, and kicked to the curb, with no pension, no bennies, no easy let-down.

Take that to Gary Delagnes and let him get a good whiff.

Posted by DocAmazing on May. 01, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

"As the Guardian previously reported, the 2008 decimation of San Francisco's sanctuary city legislation and the 2010 activation of the federal government's controversial Secure Communities program, which both happened during former Mayor Gavin Newsom's tenure, means that the city of St. Francis now ranks among the top 38 counties nationwide that are deporting "noncriminal aliens.""

Maybe because SF has so many of them? Get a grip, people. Illegal or non-documented, they are committing a crime by being here and therefore should be subject to immediate deportation whenever they attract the attention of law enforcement at any level. Not politically correct perhaps but where sanity prevails that is what should happen.

The loss of civil liberties is an unintended consequence of that liberal darling, diversity . Like the war on drugs, diversity mainly benefits the law enforcement - judicial complex,. Our runaway spending on prison guards is just one example.

Speaking of growth industries, haven't the ESL advocates have been unusually quiet recently? Of course it costs a lot more to bring non-native English speakers into the mainstream, money education institutions don't have but are required to spend anyhow because mom and dad still speak their native language at home. Meanwhile bright English speaking children, our future leaders and thinkers, who should be getting every bit as much help developing their talents are ignored in favor of non-English speaking minorities.

We are finding out the hard way, the expensive way, that the mixture of welfare state and open borders won't work. I wonder who benefits from tearing our country down this way? The liberal crazies are only implementing the policies, someone else is pushing the buttons.

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

Land of the Free? BWAHAHAH. Land of the pathetically dumb sheep and government puppets sealing the doom of their own descendants to live in perpetual slavery and ignorance.

I am ashamed to be a human being when all you filth can do is either LIE or believe lies. MAY YOU ROT IN HELL AND ENJOY THE SLAVERY YOU HELPED BUILD IN THE MEANTIME, SCUM AND WHORES OF MASONS AND FAKE ROYAL FAMILIES

Posted by USA IS A JOKE,especially the government and police and media on May. 06, 2011 @ 6:41 am