City attorney and the cops

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By Tim Redmond

City Attorney Dennis Herrera released his official opinion on how the Police Commisison has to respond the the utterly horrible California Supreme Court decision on secrecy in police discipline cases. I'm not happy.

I realize that the Supreme Court has spoken on this, and that the city attorney of San Francisco can't just openly defy the Supremes. But there are some (small) openings in the ruling; among other things, it specifies that records in police discipline cases have to be closed, but pointedly does not address the issue of open hearings. Herrera's opinion pretty much says there's not a damn thing the Police Commission can do other than shut down all public access to information about cops who have behaved badly. I like and respect Herrera, but I have to side with Poice Commission vice president David Campos, who told me this afternoon that "if there's even a small opening, we should try to pursue it."