[ 20. Dec 2005 ]

Video Made by Police Officers Shocks

Commander Rick Bruce in racist SFDP video

San Fracisco Police's real views of the people they serve and work with come to light.


A video that San Francisco police officers produced was recently discovered, and it caused a nationwide furor about police professionalism. The video ridiculed the citizens who pay police salaries, and displayed the contempt these officers showed for the profession. The "parodies" that the San Francisco police department (SFPD) video shows demean women and people of color, as well as homeless and transgender people. While there is a certain self-mockery to the video, there is a serious side. A coalition of SF residents and activists held a press conference in the Bayview District on Dec 7th, 2005, to decry the scenes depicted in the video. Overzealous, poorly trained or outright racist police have killed an inordinate number of people. The entire community of Bayview-Hunter's Point is poorly served by these same officers, who intended to play the video at their Christmas party this year.

Eighteen officers are under suspension, including a Captain. Out-take clips not included in the video have also been discovered, with scenes such as a black officer eating out of a dog dish. That officer had gained the nickname 'dog' because he complained about being treated like one by a sergeant. The Captain is claiming he was not aware his image was included in the video, saying the video-clips were from years earlier. He is also apparently claiming his children will need therapy due to exposure of this video.

The speakers in the press conference made it plain that the crime situation in the area is exacerbated by the poor attitude of the officers, who demean the residents rather than treat them as citizens. Two mothers of slain young men spoke at this press conference. Bay Area PoliceWatch has issued several demands, including that the officers responsible for the video be fired, that people who have been convicted of crimes based on testimony of these officers be notified; that a bias review of all legal proceedings that involved these officers be conducted; that the backlog of wrongful death disciplinary cases be dealt with by the end of 2006; and that grassroots voices be included in the Mayor's "Blue Ribbon Commission" that is examining the video.

Bay Area PoliceWatchs' Five Demands

1. FIRE THE OFFICERS responsible for the demeaning videos, including and especially the senior officers.
2. NOTIFY ALL DEFENDANTS who have been convicted (or entered guilty pleas) based on testimony of officers involved, so their attorneys can file appropriate motions.
3. CONDUCT A BIAS REVIEW of all legal proceedings in which the involved officers have taken part over the past five years.
4. CLEAR THE BACKLOG of wrongful death disciplinary cases in which Black families allege racial bias in the police killings of their loved ones. Clear the backlog by end of 2006.
5. INCLUDE GRASSROOTS VOICES and perspectives on the "Blue Ribbon Commission."

This article was published first @ :: on 17. Dec 2005