SFPD

Hearing on event security as SFPD pushes police state

|
()

Just a few weeks ago, Sup. Scott Wiener, civil libertarians, and I were raising concerns here about the SFPD unilaterally expanding its video surveillance reach. Then came the bombings at the Boston Marathon, which the SFPD used to seriously up the ante in the police state pot, asking for real time video surveillance up and down Market Street and banning backpacks at Bay to Breakers.

Now, I'm not one to stand in the way of reasonable security precautions. But we shouldn't just defer to the SFPD on whatever it says it wants because then we'll have cameras on every corner, spy drones overhead, stop-and-frisk, and an ever-greater portion of our tax dollars going to expand the police state. Because the cops will always want more tools to police us, tools they will always say they need to protect us – it's just in their nature. But it's up to the rest of us to strike the right balance and not lose our heads every time some whack-job resorts to violence.

Read more »

ABC shows more concern about expanding police video surveillance than Mayor Lee

|
()

The SFPD has quietly expanded its reach and authority to obtain video surveillance from in and around bars, clubs, and markets through a condition it has begun recommending on new liquor licenses, as I reported in today's issue, effectively bypassing controls on city-operated surveillance cameras established through extensive public hearings in 2005.Read more »

Sneaky surveillance

SFPD has been quietly seeking video footage of new bars since losing a public fight over the issue

|
()

steve@sfbg.com

After public outrage stopped the San Francisco Police Department from instituting controversial — and unconstitutional, say civil libertarians — new video surveillance requirements in bars and clubs more than two years ago, the department quietly began inserting that same requirement into new liquor licenses, a move met with concern at City Hall last week.Read more »

Hectic days in SFPD’s officer-involved shooting unit

|
()

Apparently, the one San Francisco Police Department sergeant tasked with investigating officer-involved shootings has been busy. Yesterday morning, the Guardian received an email from SFPD Media Relations officer Albie Esparza, who apologized for taking almost a month to respond to a Guardian request for information.Read more »

Will it fly? Drones in Alameda County and (almost) San Francisco

|
()

During what one official called the “show-and-tell” portion of a public hearing held yesterday by a committee of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, a representative from the Sheriff’s Office held up a drone so the crowd of 100 or so attendees could have a look. The small, lightweight device consisted of a plastic box to house technical equipment, a camera, and four spidery legs affixed with tiny black propellers.Read more »

Police gear up for round two on Tasers

|
()

On February 4, the San Francisco Police Commission will hold the second of three planned community meetings to gauge support for a pilot program to arm 100 SFPD officers with Tasers. The controversial proposal pits police Chief Greg Suhr, a proponent, against civil liberties organizations and homeless advocates who are mobilizing public opposition to the Taser initiative. Read more »

NY cops misuse Tasers; would it be different here?

|
()

In New York State, cops are routinely misusing Tasers, zapping suspects who are laready handcuffed, zapping people in the chest, zapping people who aren't menacing or carrying any weapon ... pretty much, it seems, zapping away at will.Read more »

City to cease using condoms as evidence in prostitution cases

|
()

The San Francisco Police Department announced today that they will stop using condoms as evidence in prostitution cases.Read more »

Bullets fly

|
()

When cops shoot their guns, sometimes they kill or injure bad guys. Sometimes it turns out that the person who was shot didn't do anything wrong. And sometimes the majority of the carnage involves utterly innocent bystanters.Read more »

Killing of suspect with box cutter may have been legal. But was it necessary?

|
()

Police officers have dangerous jobs, and when confronted with subjects who may threaten their lives, they have to think fast under stress. When a subject has something classified as a “deadly weapon,” police are justified by law in shooting to stop the threat. Read more »