Download our SFPD Reform Tracker here (version3.6.17)! An excel sheet that compiles all the findings and recommendations from the three SFPD Assessment Reports published in 2016 and the 2015 President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
SFPD Reform Tracker: A contribution towards tracking progress in SFPD reform, in honor of Luís Góngora Pat, killed by SFPD April 7, 2016
March 6th, 2017
To the Board of Supervisors:
Eleven months ago, on April 7th, 2016, Sergeant Nate Seger and Officer Michael Mellone got out of their patrol car in the Mission District to approach Luis Góngora Pat, who sat on the ground, bothering no one, near the corner of Shotwell and 19th Streets. Within 28 seconds of exiting their vehicle, the officers fired five bean bag rounds and seven bullets at Luis. The autopsy of his body revealed that he was struck in the back multiple times, and killed by a sole mortal bullet wound delivered execution-style to the head, while Luis lay wounded on the ground.
Luis was a 45 year old indigenous Mayan Mexican, an immigrant worker and a family man who for a decade and a half supported his wife and three children in the small town of Teabo by sending remittances from his dishwasher and line cook earnings. In 2014, he and his brother were illegally evicted from their home in the Mission District during the peak housing crisis of San Francisco, after which they became homeless. Extended family members helped his brother get back on his feet, and the plan all along was to help Luis next. But his life was ended before then, another victim of police terror in the Sanctuary City of San Francisco.
Since Luis’s killing and despite mass protest, no significant reform of SFPD has taken place. We simply saw one police chief replace another—Chief Greg Surh for Chief Bill Scott. Nearly at the one year mark of Luis Góngora Pat’s killing, we see the first reform efforts pursued by the new Chief. Under the guise of reform, he has promoted six SFPD staff to commander rank and in doing so has created an even more expensive and top heavy SPFD. Among officers promoted is former Mission Police Station Chief Daniel Perera, under whose watch Amilcar Perez Lopez, Luis Góngora Pat and Matthew Hoffman were killed in the Mission in recent years. The new Chief is also calling for tasers for SFPD, which are—by far!—not reform priorities when it comes to Use of Force. To make promotions and tasers his first reform actions raises serious doubts about whether the Chief even understands the depth of reform required to transform SFPD into any type of agency acceptable to communities of color in this City. Deep philosophical and organizational transformation of the SFPD is necessary, but so far, SFPD reform is off to a very bad start.
- Our contribution, an SFPD Reform Tracker
On March 7th, 2017, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) of San Francisco will hold a follow-up session requesting the SFPD, the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Police Accountability (DPA, formerly OCC), and the Police Commission to report on progress made in adopting recommendations from three independent assessment reports of the SFPD (SFPD Assessment Reports) published in 2016, and the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (PTF Report). Overall, the reports call for an overhaul of the police department.
To facilitate review, analysis and discussion of SFPD reform, our Coalition has created an SFPD Reform Tracker that organizes and categorizes the findings and recommendations from these four reports into an accessible and searchable excel sheet. We hope a wide-range of individuals and groups will make use of the SFPD Reform Tracker to begin the much harder task of prioritizing areas of reform and tracking reform progress.
Methodology for Creating SFPD Reform Tracker:
- Copy-paste of report findings and recommendations. We simply copy-pasted all the findings and recommendations of the SFPD Assessment Reports and the PTF Report into an excel workbook. There is a worksheet for each report, plus a worksheet that compiles the findings and recommendations from the SFPD Assessment Reports.
- Categorized by Area of Reform. We have organized the findings and recommendations by categories or Areas of Reform. Category names were gleaned from the reports.
- Coded to identify report source. We prefaced each finding or recommendation with a code to identify the report source (BRP, COPS, CGJ, PTF; F for finding; R for recommendation), but otherwise identify each findings and recommendations by the same numbering used in the reports.
- Available online for free. The SFPD Reform Tracker is now available online on our website https://justice4luis.org/2017/03/02/sfpd-reform-tracker to be downloaded freely by anyone who wishes to track SFPD reform. You’re welcome, San Francisco!
- We can only go up! If you find an error in the SFPD Reform Tracker or have an idea for improving it, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This first version is marked (v3.6.17). You are welcome to create a better version and share it back under the same principles of open access, open data, noncommercial use.
- Overview of reports
Using our SFPD Reform Tracker, we can now see that the SFPD Assessment Reports total 181 Findings and 388 specific recommendations on how to improve culture, policies, processes, systems, training and personnel in the SFPD, and much more. The following table provides an overview of how each report clusters recommendations around priority areas (Areas of Reform):
- How to prioritize, monitor & evaluate SFPD reform
The SFPD Assessment Reports reveal an urgent need to focus reform efforts on the following Areas of Reform:
- Use of Force (102 recommendations)
- Bias (83 recommendations)
- Community Policing Practices (57 recommendations)
- Internal Discipline (50 recommendations),
- Personnel (42 recommendations), and
- Departmental Orders and Bulletins (21 recommendations)
However, the current BOS oversight of SFPD reform consists of a periodical and piecemeal review of findings and recommendations from the reports. We do not believe that this oversight process will be successful in ensuring that the SFPD carries out a transformational reform as suggested is necessary by the reports. Another process altogether is required if we are to see these priority Areas of Reform addressed integrally and systemically, and results evaluated to ensure that community expectations are being met.
Following recommendations from the COPS report and the PTF 21st Century for Policing Report, the correct starting point for SFPD reform should be the implementation of Community Policing Practices that shift the focus from a closed off, self-serving, unaccountable agency to an agency model in which community co-designs the priorities, policies, strategies, goals, processes and systems of the police department. Reform goals should reflect and respond to community priorities! In addition, each reform goal needs to be tied to a performance standard.
Once priorities, goals and performance standards are established, the next step would be to track reform progress. The BOS should establish (or require that SFPD establish) a public, transparent and appropriate mechanism for monitoring and evaluating both thoroughness and quality of the SFPD reform efforts.
We doubt that SFPD will easily concede to oversight from the BOS and community, therefore, we urge the BOS to tie the SFPD budget (both approval and funds release) to evidence that (a) reform priorities, goals, and performance standards have been established through best standards of Community Policing Practices and (b) milestone goals are being achieved by SFPD. Otherwise, we predict that the City will waste enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars without making a dent in the culture of bias, unwarranted use of force, and unaccountability of the SFPD.
- They Will Not Have Died In Vain.
The SFPD Reform Tracker is a contribution of our Coalition in honor and memory of Luis Góngora Pat, killed nearly one year ago by SFPD on April 7th, 2016. We hope that you appreciate and find helpful our effort to organize and compile the SFPD Assessment Reports, but, we must not forget how we got to this boiling point of reform…
At the time of Luis’s killing, there was already a deep sense of impunity, unaccountability and mistrust of SFPD in our communities. His homicide followed the homicides of Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, O’Shaine Evans and Mario Woods, and many other black and brown people at the hands of police in the years prior. Luis’s killing was the straw that broke the camel’s back. On April 21st, the Frisco 5— Ike Pinkston, Sellassie Blackwell, Edwin Lindo, Maria Gutierrez, and her son Ilyich “Equipto” Sato—waged a hunger strike in front of the Mission Police Station. Their rallying call was “Fire Chief Surh.” The end of the hunger strike on May 7th was punctuated with a storming of City Hall by hundreds of angered San Franciscans, resulting in multiple arrests.
During that same month, the family of Luis grappled with his death, grieved, navigated the first steps towards seeking justice, and repatriated his body back to Yucatán México. Luis’s body arrived to his hometown of Teabo on April 25th, on what would have been his 46th birthday and 16 years since his parents, wife and three children saw him depart in search of the American Dream. Instead Luis was killed by an act of police terror in the Sanctuary City of San Francisco; the American Nightmare for people of color.
A month after Luis was killed, SFPD killed again; this time by firing at Jessica Nelson-Williams (DOD 5/20/16). She sat in a car unarmed, pregnant. The political consequences of this killing led to Chief Suhr’s resignation. After an obscure search process by the Police Commission and under pressure from community to bring in a progressive reformer, the new chief of police was named, Chief William (Bill) Scott. As we said at the top of our letter, the Chief begins his reign with expensive promotions and tasers. This vision of reform is so obtuse as to raise serious questions about his understanding of how he even came to be Chief and whether he has the capacity to take on the task expected and required of him.
The District Attorney, the DPA (formerly OCC), and the Police Commission were also found seriously wanting in the reports under review. Luis is but one of the latest unsolved cases in a string of homicides by police for which there has been no consequences of any kind! When the law in effect grants SFPD officers complete immunity for killing people, affected communities are left only with protest and civil disobedience as a means to fight oppressive and systemic injustice. For this reason, a serious police reform effort also demands review of the External Oversight agencies (and the need for new agencies, task forces and partnerships) to improve SFPD accountability. We ask that the BOS call for a review session of the recommendations that focus on External Oversight agencies and Internal Discipline processes to ensure greater accountability from SFPD.
Board of Supervisors (BOS):
In memory and honor of Luís Góngora Pat, killed by SFPD nearly a year ago,
We demand definitive actions from the BOS to ensure an end to police terror against people of color in the City, hold SFPD accountable for harm caused in communities, and restore harmed families and communities,
We demand that the BOS ensure that the SFPD reform effectively and holistically addresses priority areas of reform including Use of Force, Bias, Community Policing Practices, Internal Discipline, Personnel and Departmental Orders and Bulletins,
We demand that the BOS require that best practices in Community Policing Practices be applied to co-define SFPD reform with community input, including co-design of priorities, policies, strategies, processes, systems, expected results, and performance standards,
We demand that the BOS establish a public, transparent and appropriate mechanism for monitoring and evaluating progress towards SFPD reform results and performance standards for priority Areas of Reform,
We demand the BOS tie the SFPD budget (both approval and funds release) to evidence that (a) reform priorities, expected results and performance standards have been established through best standards in Community Policing Practices and (b) milestone results are delivered by SFPD,
We demand that the BOS hold separate hearings to review findings and recommendations related to External Oversight agencies, including the DA, the DPA, the Police Commission, and the need to establish new agencies, task forces and partnerships to raise the transparency and accountability of SFPD.
The family of Luís Góngora Pat and the Honor and Justice for Luís Góngora Pat Coalition, on the 11th month anniversary of his killing by an act of police terror in the Sanctuary City.
 We invite you to learn more about Luis’s story by visiting www.justice4luis.org. For further background on Luis, we also recommend reading, The life and death of Luis Góngora: the police killing nobody noticed, The Guardian UK Report. (12 August 2016).
 “…[T]he reorganization and promotions will cost The City a total of more than $10 million in salaries for the Department’s top leadership.” Chief Scott promotes six SFPD command staff to new positions, http://www.sfexaminer.com/chief-scott-promotes-six-command-staff-new-positions/