Will Herrera fight the cops?


By Tim Redmond

The Police Commission held a long, long closed session tonight, and I'm sure they were discussing the big issue of the day -- the California Supreme Court decision that the cops insist makes all cases of discipline against peace officers totally secret.

I have no idea how the behind-closed-doors discussion went -- but I do know that Commission vice-president David Campos, who is acting as a courageous champion of public access here, told me several days ago that he was going to push his colleagues not to bow down to the police lobby. He wants to keep disciplinary hearings open, to the greatest extent possible. But that will require some courage from CIty Attorney Dennis Herrera, too -- the kind of courage Herrera showed in backing the city's decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses, in defiance of the established legal authorities. There's a way to do the same thing here -- to say that San Francisco will not simply give up on public scrutiny of police misconduct: Keep the hearings open, and force the cops to sue. Then fight them all the way, and try to make better law.


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