tv [untitled] April 20, 2014 9:30pm-10:01pm PDT
rescuing downed u.s. pilots in the vietnam war. organization, lobbying, public pressure, congress ended up rescinding many of the harshest provisionses and [speaker not understood] specifically for the mongh [speaker not understood]. we forced the housing authority to bring in a court appointed monitor brought to us by the lawyers committee on civil rights, to work on race relation wren the african-american and asian american communities, and forced the housing authorities to invest up to a million dollars in community organizing, interpreters, and community builder that would serve both communities and public housing. finally, while at the caucus, i represented the family of [speaker not understood], a 34 year old chinese american man,
a father of three who had become intoxicated after learning that he had a new job that day. the police were called on a disturbing the peace call and within 34 second of arrival at his home, they shot and killed mr. kau in front of his wife, in front of his 6 year old daughter for the stated reason that all asians are martial arts experts and the police cannot defend themselves from this intoxicated man. the wife who witnessed the shooting was a registered nurse. she rendered her husband aid and was handcuffed, by park police. i want to make that distinction. he died in the driveway while had i wife watched and 6 year old daughter saw what happened. i spent sick years counseling the widow, helping to raise the children and working with the local community groups. so, i know that firsthand the
tragedy of a police shooting. we filed a million dollars lawsuit against the park police, which we won. we organized rallies and hearings in sonoma county and i personally flew to washington, d.c. to meet with attorney general janet reno at the time to ask her to initiate a federal investigation. ultimately there was no federal prosecution of the case. we did convince the u.s. commission on civil rights to come out to sonoma county and hold multi-day hearings to look at the issues, the patterns of police killings, of people of color and those suffering from mental illness. my work at the caucus also included being part of the national defense team for dr. win ho lee, chinese american in new mexico who was falsely accused of being a foreign spy based upon racial profiling and selective prosecution. in partnership with the national lawyers guild, the aclu and lawyers committee for civil rights, we worked as part
of a statewide coalition to fight racial profiling both on the state level while driving black and brown as well as on the national level by all levels of government. i left the caucus in 2001 and became the managing attorney of api legal outreach, a nonprofit devoted to serving the survivors of domestic violence, of human trafficking, of elder abuse as well as immigrant refugee communities. while at api legal outreach i continued my work on police use of excessive force and helped to form and advocate for a san jose based coalition formed around the killing of [speaker not understood] tran, a vietnamese woman shot inside her own home while using a vegetable pieler to try to make dinner for her children. in 2003 i represented the family draw of mr. she tau wu chinese american man shot in his own home near portsmouth square after his parents had called 911 in an attempt to get
mental health assistance. despite the fact his home was in the heart of chinatown at portsmouth square, none of the officers who entered the home that day could speak cantonese and none of the officers had any training in dealing with individual in psychiatric crisis. following that case chief heather fong issued the use of less than lethal wexv to many police units, the so-called bean bag guns. a few months later in 2004, i was involved in a case of jan wu who had a breakdown in the tenderloin. he what shot by the police with bean bag guns in the face and he ended up losing vision permanently in his right eye. it is from these two cases in 2003, in 2004 that we formed a working coalition that included mental health advocates, disability rights advocates,
asian american civil rights groups to push for the adoption of sfpd guidelines around language access for non-english speaking communities. we developed language identification cards, increased the use of language lines and developed protocols to monitor the use of language lines. it's not enough to pass a policy to say, you can use the at&t operator, you need to see by looking at the billing costs whether or not these services are being used by officers out in the field. it is also as a result of these two cases that we met with chief heather fong back in 2004-2005 and we expedited the training of sfpd officers in crisis intervention in mental health cases and prioritized the [speaker not understood]. i'm gratified to see the work we started in 2003-2004 and 2005 has continued to be a priority for the police commission today and i look forward to the opportunity to continue to improve services to
our limited english proficient communities and those in mental crisis. in 2005 i became one of the founding members of the asian equality movement dedicated to educating the api community in particular and advancing the cause of marriage equality. even as my second son was being born at cpmc hospital, i was there with a laptop and my books writing the legal brief which would be filed on behalf of the asian american community supporting the litigation for equal rights. i am proud and fortunate that my partner ivy lee that many of you know did not kill me that night as i worked through her delivery in an effort to attempt to make our world a better place for our children. in 2007 as the managing attorney of api legal outreach i worked closely with eric casada, with groups like fcc and [speaker not understood] to help launch the san francisco
immigrant rights legal and education network which i see from yesterday's rally continues to be a strong and progressive voice for our communities today. after sick years of working with survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, hate crimes and seen [speaker not understood] victim of marginalized communities, i joined the da's office to lead the prosecution of civil rights cases. while at the da's office i served in the sexual assault unit and was the lead prosecutor for cases of hate and human trafficking cases. i prosecuted several high profile cases involving white supremacist attacks on latinos in the tenderloin and against a homeless african-american man in the western addition who was slashed viciously across the face with a nazi switchblade. i increased our office's outreach to the lgbt community and in particular prosecuted a number of cases involving
translatinas in the 16th and mission corridor working closely with e lehman brotherstion la which i know has benefited greatly from supervisor campos's assistance. from my work as a community activist and as a da, i can speak firsthand to the importance of our city's sanctuary ordinance. in the case of the two mayan mexican cousins who were beaten in the tenderloin by white supremacist, both victims initially provided false names and addresses to the police. it was not until i was alerted at about 6 o'clock in the morning and i responded to the emergency room to find one of the victims that i spoke with the victim, that we could gain his cooperation after personally assuring him that he would not in any way be discriminated against because of his immigration status and, in fact, had rights under our city's sanctuary ordinance. in partnership with the san francisco human rights commission from the da's office, i also launched the san francisco coalition against
hate violence to address community-based concerns and to lower the barriers between community and law enforcement. as a result of our efforts to build bridges and trust with the community, we increased the successful prosecution of hate crimes by more than 300%. the work of that unit has been selected nationally as a model for community and law enforcement partnership and there will be a pbs documentary that is being shown next week at the federal building at a statewide human rights conference and airing on national television this summer. i'm going to pass quickly on [speaker not understood] the trafficking unit at the da's office where i initiated international prosecution of trafficking cases, the fruit vendors that you see around our city. many of them are being taken from pueblo mexico and brought herein voluntarily to sell fruits on our city streets. ~. finally at the da's office i
was part of the da officer involved investigations team and i personally investigated several police shooting cases, paged out to the scene of an offense after the shooting occurred. i interviewed witnesses of the crime, i assisted in documenting evidence at the scene of the crime, i interviewed officers who have shot individuals as well as individuals who have survived being shot by the police. so, what do i want to accomplish on the police commission? if appointed to the police commission, i would have three major priorities which would guide my work. the first is to provide a level balanced expertise to the commission. i have a unique background coming from a background of having been a public defender, been a da, been a civil rights attorney who has filed cases against the police, who has represented individuals before the occ and who has done investigations for the da's office.
i think that would bring a level of expertise and knowledge and ability to actually look at some of these cases before the police commission to see if a full and thorough investigation has been done. second, i would work to improve police-community relationships and to build the public trust in the police. i know these are difficult times for the police who are cutting off the crime lab scandal, the federal indictments and ongoing tensions after the police sheeting incident. but i have two decades of working in the community at a grassroots level and i think that i could work to build trust in the police and work with the fellow commissioners in a way that is honest and transparent even in times of disagreement on policy or issues. ~ shooting and finally and most importantly, i would work to serve as a true conduit for the concerns, large and small, of the communities of san francisco with an emphasis on those who are less able to speak for themselves or who have cultural or language barriers. for more than two decades i
have served the people and i've always drawn the direction in my work plan from the will of the people. i know the commission is frequently called upon to react to the larger cases, the shooting cases, the larger policy issues such as jttf or tasers. and these are important issues which the commission should address. but in addition to that, we need to deal with the everyday enter actuals between the people and the police. having met with several community groups and representatives, i want the commission to work on these issues as well as because many people and particularly in the asian american community have told me that they feel like their everyday concerns are being overlooked. when the police won't take a car break in report because there is no hope of identifying the suspect and the police ignore enforcement of our traffic violations when they turn a blind eye to graffiti because of a feeling that the da's office won't prosecute, these are the ways in which we are losing the battle for public trust and confidence. these are the community issues
which i would pledge to bring to the commission, issues raised to me by the community tenants association and other groups such as pedestrian safety, increased foot patrol, more outreach and education to the community, customer service, enforcement of our graffiti, and excessive noise ramous laws, public safety in our public housing units ~ as well as in public parks and our public transportation. we need a police department which can address all of these concerns, large and small, and we need a police commission that can help the department in moving forward and service all the people of san francisco. finally i know many people are here to speak on behalf of one applicant or another. i would pledge if appointed to work with folks of all different groups. there will be no greensticker, white stickers. there is one community in san francisco and i would meet with everybody to bring their concerns to the commission. thank you. ~
>> thank you. supervisor campos. >> thank you. thank you very much, mr. hwang, and very impressive, resume very impressive presentation. i want to ask you the same question that i had asked the other applicant and the other appointee for the commission on the issue of staffing, which is an ongoing concern for all of us, wondering if you can address that issue and how you would approach it as a member of the police commission. >> sure. i think not only do i support sort of the increased funding that's been provide, but i think i would look at the issues of how are he we doing at replacing civilian roles at the police force and getting more officers back on the streets. i would also support the idea that's been raised of bringing sheriffs to do some of the back end work around transport after an arrest has been made. i think we need to do everything possible to get more officers on the streets in foot patrols in direct interactions with the communities that they serve. >> thank you. appreciate that.
>> supervisor tang. >> i will ask the same question that i asked the other applicant, but i think you addressed a lot of it already. but really just in this role as a potential member of the police commission, you do have to work with all different sides whether it's different commissioners, the community, the police department, other city departments, just how do you -- are you able to be able to do that? i think you spoke to most of that already. >> if you can see from my resume, i've served on extensive commissions, the state bar, ethnic minorities commission, the elections commission as a proud appointee of jeff hadachi. so, i have a lot of experience in working with folks of different backgrounds and certainly everything should be done with civility, transparency, regardless of approach and position. >> supervisor mar? >> thank you, mr. hwang, for amazing work over the decades. and i think you would with be a tremendous addition to the police commission with dr. joe
marshall and angela chan. and i hope that that can happen. i guess what -- the difficulty for me is that you deserve to be on the police commission, but we have an equally deserving person that served for four years, one of the hardest working people i've seen on any commission with her heart in much the same place as you with a similar civil rights and multi-racial justice approach that you take i think as well. i'm just wondering, i know the mayor has another potential appointment with the vacancy of carol kingly seat as she ran for judge. my hope is you can be considered for that position. but i think angela chan in my opinion deserves to be rehe appointed baseded on her track record. i have to get going and i can't stay and listen to touch-tone testimony, but i have respect for you and hope you can be a police commissioner as well. thank you, victor. >> thank you. >> okay, supervisor tang? >> i want to thank supervisor
mar for had i comments and, of course, we do have a very difficult decision before us given the vast qualifications of both candidates. but to address your comment, i think that the decision is before us today between two board appointees and we cannot guarantee who the mayor will be appointing or who he is considering and i don't think it's fair for us to make that kind of a judgment call right now. so, i do believe that we should consider both candidates today. >> okay, victor, your presentation really answered a lot of questions. but one of the questions i know the commission had taken up this issue in the past, but i'd just like to know if there were ever to come up again, the issue of tasers, where would you fall on that? >> you want a quick answer? my quick answer is i'm comfortable with the commission's position. i don't support introducing tasers at this time. as i indicated to you in our one on one meeting, the last officer
involved shooting casey investigated was a case involving the park police. and in that case they actually used tasers. the tasers were ineffective due to the clothing worn by the person that they attempted to tase. i've seen cases firsthand where tasers were not effective. so, coming back to my quick answer, the answer is i'm comfortable with the commission's position. >> okay. any other comments? we're joined by supervisor kim. supervisor kim, would you like to ask a question? ~ at this point? >> no, i have no questions at this time. >> okay, supervisor campos. >> i just want to make the point, going back to the point that i think supervisor mar and supervisor tang raised. i do believe that we have the issue of the board appointment before us and that is where we need to focus on. but i do think that this is an example of two pretty qualified individuals. so, i would say that if the mayor is listening and
watching, that if commissioner chan is reappointed, i would hope that mr. hwang is appointed by the mayor. and if mr. hwang is a pointed here, i would hope that angela chan is appointed by the mayor. ~ appointed i think these two individuals deserve to serve on the police commission and i think that they both have excellent qualifications. >> supervisor kim. >> thank you, chair. yeah, i just want to make sure where we he were on the committee. i'm hearing -- i apologize, i was in another meeting. but it is really great to be here today ~. we do have actually as usual from my time on the rules committee, we always have some really qualified candidates, folk that have really spent time in the community that have acted as leaders and experts in the n this arena. i actually did have a question for mr. hwang. i was hoping that you could -- i represent sixth district, south of market and the tenderloin. and i know that you have done
some work particularly around disabilities and mental health. and i apologize again if you've addressed some of those in your presentation, but i was hoping you could talk a little bit more about your perspective on what you can do as a commissioner to improve sfpd's protocols around doing -- a lot of our residents may suffer from disabilities and also language access, if you are both disabled and don't speak english as your first language, kind of some of your thoughts as what you as a commissioner can do in this arena. >> sure, thea are issues i've been interested in working on a said more than a decade. we have the hearing by the u.s. commission on civil rights. we had a lot of experts come out and talk about these issues, how there is high incidence, high correlation between mental health and folks who end up being shot by the police. so, from that we developed a lot of early protocols, policies that continue to be before the commission today. and i think all of the policies and the protocols are moving
forward in a good direction. i think the question is how is it implemented. and i think that's where i may be able to contribute. somebody who has looked at thousands of police reports, where i can see officer may not be following the protocols already in place, they're not using the language access, they're not attempting to have bilingual officers do the interviews. they are using family or sometimes even youth to participate in interviews. that's where the technical level, my experience, i can give an added dimension to this commission. not just knowing this is the right policy, but this is actually how we see it on the street and how it's being implemented. >> thank you. are we done with questions, then? i just wanted to say, by the way, i appreciate -- i appreciate your answer on that. i think that's something our office interfaces a lot with the police department and the police commission on, is a level of sensitivity. and obviously working to implement a protocol around how we deal with individuals with
mental health, but in particular if you can't speak the language you're not able to articulate and communicate with sfpd officers [speaker not understood] and i think that is really important. i come from -- i think we have some wonderful candidates. i'm a little biased. i have known mr. hwang over 15 years now. he is someone who has been a leader in the asian american community, in the immigrant community. when i first met victor over 15 years ago, he was prosecuting hate crime cases, attorney were taking on at the time and really developed a lot of expertise there and around immigration and working with our immigrant community and our low-income residents as well on housing issues. and, so, coupled with that, i mean, very few people then decide to go into the prosecutorial arm of our city. i know that you got a few lumps from the decision you made. it's often a hard one, but if we don't have folks that come
from the community that are willing to go to the district attorney side and be a compassionate individual that is going to work on public safety issues, then you're not going to be able to bring that different lens, to bring more restorative justice, but also be able to fight for issues in our community whether it is ensuring there is a hate crime element, hate crime charge and crimes that occur in san francisco, or fighting around issues of domestic violence or human trafficking [speaker not understood]. so, what i appreciate about mr. hwang's application is he's going to be able to bring both to the police commission. and for me it's one thing to say that i want sfpd to improve on pedestrian safety efforts, to work on issues around racial profiling, to be better at dealing with those that are victim of trafficking or domestic violence, but the fact that you have worked with sfpd at such an intimate level and under how the department works
you're going to be specific in your efforts in how to make sure that sfpd continues to be an improved -- continue being a community police department. and i think that expertise will really enhance the work of this commission. so, really excited to support victor as a police commissioner. >> thank you, supervisor kim. >> any other questions? seeing none, thank you. >> thank you. >> before we get into public testimony, i'd like to call up a few people that represent department groups that interact with the police commission. i'd like to call up first jeff hadachi from the public defenders. then i'd like to call up sandy fewer from the san francisco byrd of education. she's the president.
~ board of education. shoe the president. [speaker not understood]. >> thank you very much, supervisors. the police commission ordinance was passed, they didn't have a provision for both the public defender and the district attorney to provide input. and i have submitted a letter on behalf of commissioner angela chan who i'm here to support in her reappointment. the question, i believe, is whether or not [speaker not understood] her record, she has earned a reappointment to the police commission. i believe she has. while i have great respect for victor hwang who i count among my friends, i believe that we need to reward individuals who are as hard working, as conscientious, and a personable a angela chan has been. you know, you spend a lot of time on these appointments and i'm sure you've read about people who don't show up to meetings, people who are not doing what they promised to do.
angela chan is not one of those people. she has worked hard and she has taken on difficult and unpopular issues. one of the issues that she took up was how officers should deal with mentally ill individuals. we had a slew of incidents from the early '90s where particularly in minority communities where language access was a problem, where people were killed unnecessarily by police officers. at the same time, officer were not receiving the level of training that they needed and that was evident [speaker not understood]. these are tragedies because these are situations that could have been prevented. for years and years the police commission wrangled over how to address mental health and policing. on one hand you had public safety. on the other you had the need to ensure that police officers
were safe. and angela chan took on this issue. it was a very difficult issue. she had to work with a lot of people to make it happen. and the & it resulted in the crisis intervention team. the crisis intervention team is a national model in mental health service delivery in san francisco. it trained an elite team of police officers on de-escalation techniques, navigating the mental health system and identifying early referrals to mental health services so these kinds of situations could be avoided. more than 240 officers have been trained this far. that is significant. and i can tell you as a public defender, we've seen fewer incidents because of it. it's absolutely critical that angela chan is reappointed to the police commission so she can continue her work in this area. she is also commit today
efficiency. one of the biggest problems that we've had is that when citizens want to make a complaint they feel that nothing happens. and before angela was appointed to the police commission, there's was a huge backlog of cases. there were cases that went back five years. it was unfair to the public. it was unfair to people who claimed that they were victims. it was also unfair to officers who were saddled sometimes with unjustified complaints because the process took so long. commissioner chan helped elimination this backlog. and if you saw the recent report by the occ, the office of citizen complaints, the system is working much better, much more effectively. the complaints are being processed much -- and investigated much faster. and it benefits all the parties. when i first met angela chan, she was a law student and she was working at juvenile hall
and i was impressed then by the passion she brought to a project that she was doing at the time to help young people transition from juvenile hall into the community. she has brought that expertise here. she sits down with police officers and youth organizations and implemented or helped implement the department of general order on juveniles. she co-wrote and obtained translation of the know your rights brochure which is used throughout the city in five different languageses and organized training both with police officers and young people to improve interactionses ~. i've seen -- i think we've seen the benefit of that in recent years. she also supported and renewed the memorandum of understanding agreement between the school district and the police department. as a native language speaker, she supports language access which, again, has been critical to huge issue.
our multi-lingual city, she's ensured that english is not a requirement for getting justice. she has spent significant time untangling commune indicationvs issues involving domestic violence and elder abuse ~ in communities where english is not a primary language. i can also say that she has great respect for the police department. she does. and she has a good working relationship with many of the officers. i've witnessed this. we have one of the best police departments in san francisco. it's not perfect, but the reason why it's because we have a strong police commission. it's important that the police commission have belts. there are only 7 members. this position is the people's position. and i know you have another position that the mayor can appoint, but this is the people's position. currently now you have three former prosecutors out of the seven. you have one former public defender