Response to the assignment of Sgt. Nate Steger –killer of Luis Góngora- to SFPD’s reform bureau

A slap in the face: Luis’s killer assigned to lead police reform

Sergeant Nate Steger – one of the killers of Luis Góngora Pat- has been assigned to the Professional Standards and Principled Policing Bureau. The Bureau is working with the Department of Justice, during its investigation of SFPD, to turn its recommendations into new policy.

Sgt. Steger’s assignment to the Bureau is a slap in the face to the family of Luis Góngora Pat and our community. It is an act of contempt by the SFPD towards all of us who are fighting for justice for Luis’s death at the hands of Sgt. Steger and Officer Michael Mellone, and the many other lives stolen by SFPD agents.

Sgt. Steger is still under investigation by the SFPD, the District Attorney, and the Office of Citizen Complaints for the homicide of Luis Góngora Pat. Yet SFPD has chosen to designate a murder suspect to oversee police reforms. This defies all logic. We can only assume that he is being placed there to secure that officers who kill civilians remain unaccountable and be rewarded in the process.

Sgt. Steger’s appointment is so egregious as to be a clear sign that the SFPD has reached rock bottom. Either SFPD leadership is so obtuse as to be incapable of understanding how vile it is to entrust a killer cop with pursuing reform of police or this is an escalated attack on our black and brown communities suffering the brunt of police brutality in this City.

SFPD has an innate ability to burn down bridges with the communities they pretend to serve. With the act of appointing Sgt. Steger to this Bureau, Interim Chief of Police Chaplin has just reaffirmed that we as a community cannot entrust SFPD to change. This decision shows an astonishing lack of good judgment from the interim Chief. The Department of Justice should be deeply ashamed for even accepting Steger’s designation to the Bureau as a possibility. This act puts into question the very nature of its investigation into SFPD. If the DOJ accepts this designation, they will be complicit in blocking efforts to scrutinize SFPD and encouraging impunity for illicit acts of violence by officers.

In response, we demand …

Luis familia niños peq (2)

  • the immediate removal of Sgt. Steger from the Bureau,
  • that Sgt. Steger and Officer Mellone be fired and banned from ever serving on a police force,
  • that Sgt. Steger and Officer Mellone be charged with murder by D.A. Gascón,
  • a formal apology be offered to the family of Luis Góngora Pat by the interim Chief of Police for the appointment of Sgt. Steger to the Bureau, and
  • a formal apology and acts of restoration from Sgt. Steger, Officer Mellone, the SFPD, the Mayor and the City for the killing of Luis Góngora Pat.

Luis Góngora Pat was a Mayan-Mexican family man executed illegally by SFPD officers. We will fight until Luis Góngora Pat is appropriately honored by this City with love and justice.

The Justice & Honor for Luis Góngora Pat Coalition

Familia de Luis

Luis’s wife, children and extended family in Yucatán


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