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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  May 23, 2018 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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i compartmentalize a lot in my personal life and professional life. that's what i would bring with me for any conflict that might arise, in addition to what i said around supervisor cohn. it might be an independent civil serva servant. if there was an assignment to the human rights commission with sfpd i would be the first to ask to be recused from that assignment and there's talented people who could handle that assignment. when i say civil rights and public safety as part of my job descripti description, like if i wanted to change an add policy so to prevent antiarab, antimuslim hate speech on our transit
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vehicles. that to me is a fundamental public safety issue. we had hundreds if not thousands of people seeing messages on our bus systems, our transit platforms that really aren't sharing in the values of san francisco. we worked with community stake holders across the board and mta leadership and others to change that ad policy as to ban hate speech. that to me is a public safety issue. even if, for example, i may need to ask for reassignment when it comes to public safety issues that are dealing directly with sfpd i would ask my executive director to reassign those to a talented staff member at hrc that could see those through. i see myself moving forward with civil rights and public safety issues. i think that public safety is something that all of us can impact and particularly some of our bigger agencies. >> supervisor safai: i'm going to -- i see supervise yee has been waiting. i have a few more questions but
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i'm going to move to supervisor yee. >> supervisor yee: thank you, chair. i think supervisor cohn asked a range of perspectives for you to express and she mentioned tasers. since tasers really is a hot topic at this point, i would just ask specifically what is your stance on tasers and whether -- and then related to that, whether or not you believe that it should be the policy that those regulations of policies around tasers should be made by the vote of the people? >> thank you, supervisor. tasers have concerned me. to put it frankly. i worry that they don't replace firearms and i worry they place
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deus -- deescalation of timing, space as part of the training. i'm also worried about the impact of tasers on our minority communities, particularly our african-american communities. i was a part of a taser policy working group that advised the san francisco police commission over the course over the last year on tasers. i was joined by the aclu, the bar association and coalition of the homelessness and other stake holders. at the end of the day the research that we did showed that after tasers were implemented by metro police departments across the country it resulted in a spike in officer involved shootings. so i'm in fact concerned that tasers don't replace firearms. i know a lot of the talking points around tasers might lead one to believe they do. i haven't found compelling research they decrease officer-involved shootings.
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as to your point, you know, i think it eludes to proposition h. you know, i think the san francisco police commission as the civilian oversight body for the san francisco police department should set policy for the department, particularly when it comes to force options and even more particularly when it comes to potentially lethal force options. i regret that we are at this place with prop h. i think what it does unfortunately is crowd sources policy at the ballot box on a very technical and potentially lethal weapon and i don't see that as the most responsible way forward on that issue. >> supervisor yee: thank you. just so that the other candidates are coming up, if you could answer the same question when you come up. >> supervisor safai: any other questions for this particular candidate? i have a couple questions to follow up as well. i'll give you two at a time. if you can make your answers
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briefer because we have 12 people here today. it's final. i appreciate the in depth response. so can you talk a little bit about your own personal experiences, maybe with interacting with the police department and how those experiences might benefit your work on the commission and/or -- and then also work with the community. the role that you all are in, you have to be able to work with all different departments, you have to work with -- you're in a position of doing disciplinary as as supervisor cohn said. first i would like to hear about your own personal interactions with the police department and how that would form your work and then secondly to drill in on one of the questions she laid out, what have you personally been involved in in terms of your line of work in doing disciplinary review? >> thank you. as for my personal intersections with law enforcement in san francisco, the few times that i have had personal interactions
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with the san francisco police department i want to be honest, they have been great. they have been great. but i will -- if we can broaden the definition of law enforcement to include the department of homeland security and tsa after 9/11, i will say that that is one area where i have felt unsafe. not because of anything that was done to me. it's because of a perception i had going into an airport with a beard or the motivation that i speculated on that something could have happened when they pulled me aside for a secondary search. you know, in the context of post-9/11 i have felt on guard with law enforcement in our airports. i think that's mostly my own bringing to the table. you know, i think that's the issue that we grapple with. a lot of the trust issues we
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have in our communities, some of them are real trust gaps based on personal interactions, some of them are perceived trust gaps that i shouldn't do this, i should shouldn't act that way because of our communities historical relationship with that law enforcement agency. on the personal issue i would leave it at that. then on the second -- sorry. >> supervisor safai: second question. >> then on the second question, i have not directly participated in disciplinary review in the sense that you are referring to where the police commission would exercise that responsibility. i have been a part of the leadership team at the human rights commission. i've been involved in hiring staff, overseeing a $4 million budget at my previous organization i over saw ten program officers based across latin america and investigated a range of human rights issues. i think at the heart of the disciplinary review process is are you able to look at all of the facts and make sound judgment based on those facts in
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an objective fashion. that's work that i did in 10 or 12 latin american countries. that's work that i've done with a range of human rights issues in our city. you know, i would bring a sense of independence, judgement to any disciplinary cases before me. >> supervisor safai: and then another question supervisor cohn talked about or referred to were the d.o.j. reforms. which of those reforms do you think is the most important and how do you think that you in your role as a commissioner would help to move those reform measures forward? >> thank you. so, you know, i think the d.o.j. recommendations in a whole as a use of force, hiring practices, recruitment retention offer a blueprint for how we build trust with our communities. if i had to narrow it down i
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would say recommendation 1.1 is critical. i think that it's 1.1 for a reason, i think that it's the most important. recommendation 1.1 talks about how between 2013 and 2016 of the 11 fatal officer-involved shootings nine of them involved people of color. the department of justice asked us really research that, bring in an outside institution and understand why it was the case that the overwhelming majority of those people were people of color. could it -- institutional bias could be at play and we need more bias training certainly. what are other factors that may have impacted that? could it have been that they were coming from a high stress situation into another high stress situation.
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was it around calls for service, was it around training, was it around who their supervisor was? i think some in depth analysis around that would go a long way in building trust with our communities and i think that we are all worthy of that effort. >> supervisor safai: supervisor stefani? >> supervisor stefani: thank you. i'm wondering how you would work around policies that bring all viewpoints into question. >> the first recommendation from the d.o.j. was community policing. there's those that interact with law enforcement or are touched by sfpd activity that the police
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didn department did not adhere to the rights of justice. like the right to be notified as to what you've done wrong. the right to present your case, the right to a fair hearing. this is a pal pable sense and the department of justice flagged this for us. i think if we can move forward just with that one very simple area -- so sorry, not simple. there's nothing simple about it. in just that one recommendation narrowly move forward on increasing awareness around the principals of procedural justice, what are the policies of when they are arriving at a scene and there could be an altercation? how does the sfpd interact with people on the scene? what are the rights of the people on the scene? i think that could go a long way in building trust. i think the way we can do that some of the infrastructure we have in place the chief has forums. i think that we can leverage the chief's forums. there's a great program, the
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community safety initiative, that my executive director cheryl davis was one of the cofounders of. you know, working with young people. i think that we need to have forums and use those forums to address procedural justice issues and know your rights capacity to start building trust. once we do that accountability is critical and making sure our department of police accountability is doing its out reach to make sure communities are aware of that recourse mechanism. >> supervisor stefani: thank you for that answer. another thing that i was going to mention and you did mention is the implicit bias training. i don't know if -- have you had a chance to take implicit bias training in the city? >> i have my and my colleague zoe would hate that i am mentioning her name, is one of the architects of that training. i just wanted to give credit where it's due. i think that it's powerful. >> supervisor stefani: i do too. i've had that training as county clerk and it was amazing. i think it's something -- one of my conversations with jill
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marshall was that he was going to work on training and that was the next thing he really wanted to work on. i'm wondering if you would commit to that as the police commissioner and how you see that playing out as a role? >> absolutely. i think two years back the department sort of leadership went through a bias training program at the time and that included command staff and others in leadership positions. i would love to expand that to all officers. i understand they are pressed for time. there's a lot of training that needs to happen. i can't imagine a more important training that has to happen at this political moment in our city. >> supervisor stefani: i agree. thanks. >> supervisor safai: meet and confer, what do you think about that and how do you think about
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hindering that concept? >> thank you for that question. i love our unions, organized labor, collective bargaining. i understand for a process as the tool that is used between management and labor to reach consensus under a wide range of issues that could have effect working conditions. i suspect your question is in terms of the department of justice recommendations, the 272 recommendations and which ones may or may not in fact constitute a change in working conditions. i would defer to our city attorney for guidance on which of the recommendations constitutes a change and which may or may not trigger the meet and confer process. that is something that i would need sort of guidance from from our city attorney lawyers and other experts. >> supervisor safai: have you ever worked with organized labor
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in this city? >> i have not. >> supervisor safai: have you attended -- another question that supervisor cohn asked in terms of everyone that's going to be speaking today, in terms of your presentation, have you attended police commission hearings, not just recently as it's been part of the news but more over the course of the last few years? >> you know, i was definitely at a couple meetings that lasted until midnight in november and march. i attended a couple other meetings. i would say, you know, i can't recall exactly how many but i've attended them. i would say more so within the last couple of years, not since i started at the hrc. >> supervisor safai: thank you. any other members of the body have anymore questions right now for mr. rao? okay. please have a seat. we will call you back up if we have further questions. >> thank you. >> supervisor safai: thank you.
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please call the next person. madame clerk, please call the next name. >> next applicant is julie soo. >> supervisor safai: miss soo, please come forward. you have five minutes to address the body maximum and then we will ask you questions. >> thank you, supervisors. i come before you today because i have the experience and the capacity to serve in this very important commission. since 2009 i've served on the commission on the status of women, i've served on the saint francis memorial hospital board and i also serve on state and national boards where i fight hate crimes, look at racial profiling. i've worked -- i've been a professional for the last 18 years at the department of insurance as an attorney. the last 16 which i've been an
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enforcement attorney levelling disciplinary actions against agents, insurance agents and brokers. it really takes the community and that's why i'm here bridges with the police force. i believe with everyone at the take we have better results. so for example with the domestic violence homicides, for a while we had at least a dozen domestic violence homicides per year. only with the justice encouraged panel convened by the department on the status of women and the commission on the status of women were we able to tackle that problem and now we have the family violence council. for a while we were able to reduce the domestic violence homicides down to zero. that is because we had representatives from the da's office, the police. also the courts, social workers, people from the school district. so i believe in a collaborative approach. when everyone is at the table we have better results.
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i also look at some very basic things of our citizens. they look for public safety. i have at least a dozen 89-year-old aunts, people who grew up with my mother elementary school through high school and still live isn't the city today. some solve them -- some of them drive, many don't. they don't ride public transportation when they don't feel safe. i would say the same thing with school children. the immigrant community is of upmost important to me, particularly the limited english proficient or the isolated immigrants that don't have english capacity at all. i worked on the equal access to ordnance service here. it lost by 36 votes but supervisor mark leno was able to pick that up. i conducted the public hearings on that and i worked with the city attorney's office on language and together we built
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something that is an important function for the entire city. i believe in a we and us versus them kind of mentality. so if everyone at the table we can look at statistics, data collection metrics and reports and that leads to accountability. the key issues identified in the 2016d.o.j. report talks about use of force, bias, community collaborative policing, accountability and recruitment. we can't have accountability if we don't have metrics and statistics. much of the report also talked about incomplete reports or inadequate reports and they even mentioned templates. if you listen to many of the audio tapes from the commission on the status of women, i have talked about templates, stand d standardizing recording and making it easier so we have numbers and accurate data. i do come from my previous background before i became an
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attorney was mathematician and statustician. it's important to measure deficiencies so we know where we are moving forward. i believe that i have additional relationships within the community. i'm not just someone who knows about the community but i am e mersed in the community and i believe going out into field trips. many people don't feel comfortable coming to city hall and i believe that it's vital for communers -- commissioners to be in the communities so they get an idea of is what on their minds. we will have a change in the mayor in 18 months from now and we may have another change in the mayor. we also may be losing a police chief. i think this position takes someone who has experience, who has some kind of consistency. there's still a learning curve. i'm used to sorting through tons of documents, tons of numbers.
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i've been with the democratic party platform committee as a cochair and i rallied at least 30 writers and taken public testimony to craft a single document on policy. >> supervisor safai: great. thank you. questions? supervisor yee. >> supervisor yee: i asked a question about the issue of tasers and where you stand with tasers and where you stand with whether or not there should be policies that is driven by public votes? >> so my initial reaction to tasers was that i am absolutely against them. they can be lethal to themselves. i've spoken to different jurisdictions many civilians,
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many city councils. they believe that tasers offer another often. i don't think that things should go to the ballot box. it's the job of the commissioners to take public testimony and public view into account as they are crafting policy. when you have something at the ballot box any little change has to go back to the ballot box. so you are delaying any kind of implementation of policy. you also have the process of developing recommendations of a policy, commission recommendation into general orders. that also takes time. as you -- this body has mentioned, the meet and confer process. that's another layer of time delay. yonl -- i don't think that things should go to the ballot box. right now with the body cameras that have been implemented i believe that another tool -- the police with adequate training are ready to consider another tool. i have spoken to some police officers as well and they feel
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that batons are potentially more lethal tan tasers. -- than tasers. >> supervisor safai: next question. do you want me to ask your favorite question? >> supervisor yee: sure. >> supervisor safai: have you attended any commission meetings? if you have how many over the last few years? >> i have not attended them in person in the last few years. i do work collaborative with police officers, particularly with domestic violence and human trafficking issues. i also attend task force involving the fbi, homeland security on these particular issues. when i was president of the commission on the status of women i was very concerned about lack of language access, particularly with domestic violence victims and also implementation of the justice data system and so i requested a meeting with -- a joint meeting
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with the police commission, thomas masuko was president and we worked collaborative on that. so we were satisfied that going forward there would be monitoring from both of our commissions on language access and accountability by police officers. >> supervisor safai: so this is your second time applying the last few years. what would you say about -- is different in terms of now, applying now verses then and what have you experienced or seen that motivated you to apply again for this position? >> i think i've been concerned because now we have the communi community being uncomfortable with each other. we have african-american men hauled away in the starbucks waiting to use the restroom. we have reports from african-americaning wanting to barbecue at lake merit. i see an escalation of hate
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crimes. in the 1990s on i worked on an asian caucus. if we put aside politics we can get something done. i saw the documentary or nora manetta and george w. bush when he was president did not want to round up our muslim american brothers and sisters because he did not want them to suffer the same same fate -- same fate he had when he was interned as a child. >> supervisor safai: thank you. supervisor cohn or supervisor stefani? >> i'll go. >> supervisor safai: supervisor cohn. >> you served on the women's commission for how in years? >> since 2009. >> you're still a commissioner there? >> yes. >> i like your background, i like the fact that you have a
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mass background. one of the things i've tried to do in my work in working with our police department has to do with the gathering of data and statistics when it comes to stops and searchs, when it comes to a myriad of stats. i think that would be an interesting perspective for consideration on the police commission. would you be willing to use that part of your background skills to help dive down because one of the things -- you might be familiar with com stat? >> yes. >> it's a vehicle and mechanism that collects a lot of data. part of our challenges is that data is not really easy to digest and to create reports. it's hard for us to know whether or not, say, officer with badge number 123 has a repeated history of unlawful searchs and
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seizures or has a uncanny ability to pull over people in the mission district. the point i'm trying to make is there's a story that can be told by the numbers and i think that that would be an interest -- that'sing in -- that's interesting in your background. however what does concern me is this is your second time applying to the police commission and i asked the question over a year and a half ago if you attended a police commission meeting and you said no. that was in my opinion a very difficult hurdle for me to just get over. here you come today asking again the question if you've attended a police commission hearing and the answer is still no. i'd like for you to reconcile how can you come to this body and ask for appointment to a commission you haven't attended? >> good question, supervisor. even though i have not attended i continue to work with different police task forces in my work on the commission on the status of women. i also monitor the meetings by looking at the agenda and the
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minute items and i've kept abreast of the issues that have happened on the police commission. i also attend town hall meetings when they are held by the commission. so they are off site. they are not necessarily in city hall or -- >> which town hall meetings did you attend? >> in the communities such as west portal and other communities where they are talking about public safety or there are community concerns. >> so to be quite fair, watching something on television and experiencing it in the committee room is a very important experience because the energy is so raw when you have to experience when they shut down the meeting because of protesting and you can feel the anger and the intensity. that doesn't translate necessarily on television and certainly doesn't translate in the minutes. i want to know there's a person that can withstand that heat. it's intense.
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>> i understand that and i have taken heat on different positions. some issues are not right on our platform and i have taken heat for that. i am used to dealing with a lot of emotion. i also take very seriously the work i do from day-to-day. i do take public testimony in terms of translating what has been passed by the legislature into regulation. >> thank you for checking my assumption and for highlighting that. my final question is for you to describe your work in communities. you described chinese seniors, you described some work within
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the women's community as a commissioner on the commission on the status of women. i want to hear about the work that you've done about the most -- the work that you've done within communities that are most impacted by the police.
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>> there's a growing immigrant chinese community. if we don't have things and message -- and language, we can never be good representatives. >> let's talk about the statistics. we are not always talking about police interactions. we are talking about this and the asian community. i want to talk about your experience and understanding in being able to connect with real fears within the district and with in the neighborhood. that is what i am trying to feed out. because of on one thing that i m hearing that concerns me is that you are focused on the trends, and understanding what the trends are. but less on what real people are experiencing on the streets. quite frankly, a lot of times
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these aren't even reports that are made, or reported. it is pulled through and you hear it at the barbershop, you know, to hear it in the streets. i want you to tell me the work, your level of understanding and being able to humanize a black man's experience and rationalize his fear for walking down the street. rationalize, -- you reference it by being black and that is trending, but being able to put, maybe, a friend or make it real. you know, people's lives and what it's like to be profiled, what it's like -- and being able to be empathetic and being able to understand. to walk into a grocery store and be profiled. to walk into a higher supply store and they want you to check your bag. that is the level of specificity that i want to see here from you
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on your level of understanding, when again, we are talking about community is that high hat -- have this interaction. >> i wholeheartedly agree with you. the statistics are usually underreported. i brought that up first because they don't even report. but the black and brown communities, it is... i went to st. louis and i was taken to where michael brown was shot and i met with community leaders. i think one of your members was there, and to find out -- this is a holistic approach. >> what reason did you go there? >> what reason? >> yeah. >> i went there to screen my film. >> i you went there not really to dig and, you went to screen a film? >> i went to screen out -- screen a film and i was invited by the community because i saw that -- >> the point is draw -- that i
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am driving, is like you almost went there to interact and get first-hand experience but actually went there for other reasons and it was convenient for you to be part of this panel, and convenient for you to experience ferguson. do you see? >> i would not say it was convenient for me, i again to the trust of the community for them to want me to go there and see what happens there. i also, if i may finish, i have past experience as a journalist. i was elected as a healthcare journalist. i was in oakland with the use of rising community organization behind a high school. a man who is one of the alameda county public health doctors said that if a young african-american man does not finish high school, his life expectancy is cut. if that doesn't shock everybody
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in this room, our entire community, then i don't know what would get to you. >> beyond the shock and all, beyond the headline, beyond the superficial, i met a gentleman, have you kept a relationship with him, did you help them get into college, did you help them raise any money, i am looking for real action. my other question is, for what reason are you interested in leaving the commission on the status of women that has done a phenomenal work? i applaud that commission. why do you want to leave that commission to go to the police commission? >> i feel like i can add more to the police commission. it's broader in scope. and we are also looking at sanctuary policies, and overall criminal justice. that is why i want to. >> all right. speaking of sanctuary policies, a former member of the board of supervisors has taken an interest in this position when it comes to sanctuary city. can you talk about your opinion on what she is saying?
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assuming that you, i mean -- >> i've been following it. i have not spoken to her personally. i know she earlier on had crafted policies when she was a member of the board of supervisors. i believe in sanctuary policy because we are less safe when people don't feel like they can come out and report when they are victims of crime. i don't believe that the policy was to harbour people who have felonies and in particular, violent felonies. >> you would believe with angela's position? >> if it is narrowly tailored, yes. >> thanyou why. i have no other questions. >> supervisor stefani? >> supervisor stefani: thank you. have you, yourself, had implicit bias training and how do you feel about bringing that to the police department? >> yes, we have called it unconscious bias training. i go through a lot of training as a state
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employee, estate attorney as well as a commissioner. and i am proud that i scored well on it not having a lot of bias. i think everyone carries some bias based on personal experiences, and i believe that, just as we had the family violence in that school district involved. , unconscious bias should start an elementary school, because all of these perceptions begin at a very young age. i think it's vital for every police officer. we can't have good recruitment and training unless we have suitable candidates who don't come in with particular biases and stereotyping against communities of colour. >> supervisor stefani: thank you. one of the other things you mentioned was your work on domestic violence and i want to thank you for your work and reminded me of a law that was passed recently. it allows a family member to petition a court to remove
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firearms from those who are a danger to themselves or others. and wants a judg once a judge da firearm should be removed, the police department then has to go in and make a welfare check and remove any weapons. it is my understanding, at this time the police department have not yet formed any policy around that. so as a police commissioner, would you be watching for state laws that come down that require the police department to enact new policies around laws that are as important as this? given era gun violence epidemic, it is something that is so extremely important. i want to know that people are watching when laws are passed in this state that requires police departments for -- to pass new things, and you would be watching for that and helping them implement them. >> indeed i would. at the department, on the status of women, we have a legislative a monitorinmonitoring group to r particular laws. the laws are empty unless they are in forest and they're monitored.
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i also would advocate that there are more women officers going on well for -- welfare checks when we had those kidnapping cases? -... from a personal experience with the police, it goes back to my grandfather. he recalls when he was nine or ten years old and that would have been in the not early 19 hundreds. a white mob went through chinatown and killed his uncle about the police did nothing about it because it was a chinese person. language wasn't an issue. my grandfather grew up bilingual. i had that particular experience. even back then, because of the chinese eight exclusion act and the exclusionary act, they could not testify in court, even if the perpetrator were caught. and then more modernly, my on my father's side of the family, i had a cousin who emigrated with his parents. my father's brother's family, in 1982 this country. a couple years later, he disappeared. there's been no word about what
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happened to him. his mom has since passed away. there has not been closure for that family. i have been heartened and that at least the police officers were dedicated on cold cases would check in periodically to see, and to inform what's been going on. >> any other questions right now from committee members? seeing then, please have a seat and we will call you back if we have any further questions. please call the next applicant. >> the next applicant is... >> hello. >> one more time, and slowly. >> please call me nana, everyone does. it makes things a lot easier. i have my law┬░ and my mba in
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finance. i am a member of the estate board of california. after completing graduate school, i worked or ernst and young, directv and now my current employer, google. i first role with google was as the north america payroll control and compliance lead to. i developed and implemented controls and compliance measures to ensure that all 55,000 north americans were paid in accordance with local jurisdictions rules, and regulations. and now i currently manage illegal operations team at google as well. my team responds to day to disclose -- disclosure requests from law enforcement. as a part of my role, i regularly interact with law enforcement for escalated requests and things that are circumstances where someone's life is at risk, that sort of thing. i have experienced bridging the gap between policy and operations. i think people tend to think you
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set a policy and that does it and it is great, and people follow it. and we move on. in a practical sense, that's not how it goes. when i'm developing policies, i tend to focus on, not just what the goal is, but i -- how they will be practically implemented. i think my experience there would be an asset to this commission. typically when developing policies, i leverage large data sets, and i'm familiar with us to make this vision. but that being said, there is this anecdotal part of it that typically isn't reflected in the data, and to the points heard previously, often times, the data maybe skewed, largely because people may not be reporting certain things, if we are looking at it in the case of the context of the police commission. leveraging large data systems is important and making policy decisions, but not the only factor.
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as a member of the commission, i would really like to work to strengthen ties between the community and police, and i believe that the san francisco police department, and the citizens of san francisco can work together to set the standard for effective policing and strong community relations throughout the nation. i think that -- obviously right now we are in a trying time between communities and those who police them, and, you know, when i was young i did not have such a negative perception of police. i speak to my mom about it frequently and she didn't either. i think we are at a time where policing and community relations are more strange than they've ever been. i think been sent -- that san francisco can really define effective policing techniques that set the trend for the nation. in addition to my operations work that i believe would be an asset to the police commission, as a manager or a large company,
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i am well-versed in disciplinary actions that come with a position like this. although they are not glamorous, it is necessary, and important. it is especially important what for the police commission and one area i am interested of learning more about. i think that a lot of people, their distrust of police comes from the fact that they don't see the discipline, and they don't see any sort of impact and complaints that they file against the police or anything like that. i think that's probably one of the first areas that i would like to look at. what level of trained... and to supervisor yee's question, in terms of tasers, i similarly have mixed emotions on the use of tasers. i think that they can be an
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effective tool, but the de-escalation protocols and procedures are going to be much more effective, because tasers can be deadly. and, so, it really may not impact, or may not help to prevent people passing results of interactions with the police. so i would focus on trying to identify de-escalation procedures. in regards to proposition h., it is unfortunate it came to this point. it is now on the ballot, because similar to another candidate's point, once it is voted on, changing it will be incredibly difficult. >> supervisor safai: ok, great. i will open it up for questions. >> i'll start. to wife for announcing your na name, twice. i appreciate that. where are you originally from? >> i am originally from pasadena. i grew up there and went to the university of southern california for undergrad. and university of indiana, i've
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lived in chicago, la and i lived in san francisco for just under a year. >> and so that is interesting to me because that is like, i think, in this particular case, a double edged sword. you want people with fresh eyes to take a look and smart people to look at with fresh eyes but you have limited grounding in san francisco, i will just say san francisco culture, overall, and help business is conducted, and how things get done. again, i don't see it as a plus or . maybe you can help me understand a little bit more about your interest in serving on such a highly charged commission being a newcomer to the city. >> absolutely. i view it as a positive. i think that coming with a fresh perspective, and not feeling, or not having experience of certain things, whether positive or make -- negative, can be more
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objective when it comes to trying to set policy. that being said, i think that i came to san francisco, and i love it here. within my company, i have the opportunity to work in many different locations, but i think that's an incredible city. being that it is so diverse and you interact with all sorts of different people. especially having recently left in the midwest, and coming here, there is such a diverse group of people, that i think it creates a unique challenge for the police and the police commission, but i think the opportunities are endless being in a city like this. >> supervisor cohen: it is easy to articulates the perspective of the advocate, the advocate who's advocating uncoupling -- coming to public comment in testifying and expressing their concerns. i want you to put on your hat as if you are a member of the police officer's association and protecting your members, talk to me about your understanding of the notion oakley -- "blue lives matter." >> that is an interesting
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question. i mean, just to be completely transparent. that phrase always bugs me a bit because i think-- >> supervisor cohen: tell me why. >> the concept of black lives matter was not a matter of saying no other lives matter. on a daily basis, being a black person, you are dismissed often. you are feeling at risk in areas where other people wouldn't. and anecdotal story. my friend gave me pepper spray and i had it on my keychain just, you know, in case anything ever happened. i was walking down the street one day and i walked past a young police officer, and i wasn't thinking much about it and i realize, oh, i have pepper spray in my hands. what if he considers this a weapon? that is scary. so i got rid of it. i think that is something a lot of people don't identify ways. a lot of people who aren't in marginalized groups don't identify with that genuine fear. weather warranted or not, at
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this young man did nothing to me, you know? i was completely fine and we did not interact. a brief moment of how my life could be at risk by having this. so when people, when the phrase, "black lives matter" came up, it was a call to action for people to understand that it's not, it's not always safe, or you don't always feel safe being a black person in this country, i understand that you don't always feel safe as a police officer, as well. but, being a police officer is a choice, right? that is a police -- a career choice. people understand the risks they are taking when they join the police department. so to say blue lives matter, i think is kind of minimizing the impact or at the emotion around the black lives matter movements. >> all right. talk to me now from the perspective, again, because this
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is a policymaking body, right? we want people that are able to think critically and divorce themselves of their bias. >> that's totally true. >> supervisor cohen: and understand we are all coming to the table with this bias. i want you to walk me through this exercise and talk to me a little bit about, maybe, some of the challenges, if you were an officer on the street and serving in pasadena, or chicago, or whatever you spend, what are some of the thing is, from a policy perspective, that you would like to see the police commission take up and take into consideration? >> , i think one use of force policy. and also de-escalation protocols. i think that the development of de-escalation techniques and the training around it, people have a knee-jerk reaction, right? is a commission, we would have to focus on ensuring the people feel well-trained so that when they are facing a life-threatening situation, they can react appropriately.
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and also, something that is wanted on both sides, in general, a stronger sense of community and stronger relationships. it's not easy for people on either side. when i say i'm not big fan of the "blue lives matter" phrase, is not that i'm not a fan of police. it is put a -- potentially just as hurtful, or there is just as much emotion involved on the police side if they ar they're g by someone who genuinely looks fearful, you know? i think, on the side of the commission, developing though stronger community bonds is also going to be something that we will have to partake in and really roll out and ensure that the relationship between the community and police is strong stronger. >> supervisor cohen: so described to meet your understanding of the role, and the power, and quite frankly, the authority of the police commission, and then described to me the relationship between the police commission and the
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department -- department of police accountability. >> okay. in terms of my understanding of the rule, it's really two fold. to set policy and focus on developing policies that are operation a bowl. as i said before, developing a policy that can't actually be implemented and rolled out to all members at the police department isn't helpful. and then also focusing on disciplinary hearings. in the event that there is some sort of issue involved with the police or someone does something outside of their policies, then determining what sort of disciplinary action should be taken. with the role of the department to police accountability, i know that they work to, often times, recommend one way or another, in terms of disciplinary actions, and helped you kind of facilitate the relationship between police and the community. that is at least my understanding of it. >> supervisor cohen: ok. that's a little bit of a different understanding than
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what i understand. but we can move on. so, you understand that these police commission meetings, i mean, they go between somewhere four or five or six hours to air, they are known to go for a long length of time depending what's on the agenda. do you have the flexibility to dedicate the time, not only in attending the meeting, but quite frankly, there is homework involved. you don't have an assistant, or maybe you do,. >> i don't. [laughter] >> supervisor cohen: i don't know, to be able to analyse the cases with critical thinking, particularly, we are talking about the discipline hearing aspect. one of the things that has concerned me in the past as they are commissioners that are serving, but are not doing their homework, meaning they are not coming prepared to the commission meeting. now the commission meeting is historically broken up into two
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chunks, right? you have the commission hearing that is public and closed sessions. >> correct. >> supervisor cohen: often times in closed sessions, it is not public facing so you don't see how unprepared commissioners are. that really concerns me because it's in the closed session that a lot of work gets done, specifically the disciplinary action. >> gossip. >> supervisor cohen: what kind of confidence can you give me do you will dedicate the time and to the energy to ask questions of the critical and exercise critical thinking skills, you to do your homework if the answers are not readily available to you all before you get into -- before you get into the commission meeting, while maintaining a full-time, and i would imagine, a very demanding job? >> i do have a very demanding full-time job, but my supervis supervisor, throughout -- -- throughout the chain, are incredibly supportive of this. in terms of meeting days, they
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are very flexible of my schedule. luckily at tech companies, we tend to be pretty flexible. and terms of the hallmark -- that's why i want to join the commission now. i am in a place in my life when i don't have too much outside of work that would detract from my ability to do this and do this well. disciplinary hearings, i'd view that as something very similar to anything i would have to see with an employee. >> supervisor cohen: have you ever served in his capacity where you had to discipline an employee? >> yes, but i can't elaborate on that. >> supervisor cohen: yeah, that's fine. there is a certain set of unique skills that one has, and i'm looking for that -- looking to hear and gain a better understanding as to the applicant's experience level, leadership capabilities, and traits. maybe you can describe, without going into any more detail, how you personally approached the discipline that was needed on the employee. >> typically, not just with my
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current company, but large companies in general, there is a protocol. exhuming this happens, this is the range of disciplinary actions that will impose on an employee. i assume that there is something similar for the police department, and if not i believe it would be helpful to develop something like that because that people can have an idea of where they fall, and kind of what the potential outcome will be. so, first i evaluate evaluate te circumstances, and i would compare it with that range. typically, there is multiple people involved, not just myse myself, who interview everyone involved, sorry i'm trying to be as vague as possible but sure the information. so, typically there's a lot of information -- interviews that happen and i have to make sure i am aware of what happened in those interviews and what information has been shared before any decision is made. and also understand what the person who committed whatever a
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fence it is, what their position is. whether they feel they are being unfairly punished, whether this is even a fair rule, often times, a person's reaction can tell you a lot about whether this will happen again and whether or not, and how you want to discipline them based on that. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. mr chair, i have no other questions. >> supervisor safai: any other members of the committee have any questions at this moment? supervisor yee? >> supervisor stefani: thank you for speaking on the phone early this morning. you mentioned something about building bridges and i was wondering how you would strengthen ties between the communities and the police. you mentioned that in your opening remarks. >> i think one of the first ways we can do that, is by being more transparent with some of the
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disciplinary actions to the extent that we are able to. i think that there is a distressed and the community that anything is happening, right? if someone breaks a rule, and then they see them out policing a few weeks later, the immediate thought is, nothing happens. and i think that's got to change. that's probably the first step that i would work towards taking, because i think that people are always going to assume within these closed-door sessions and nothing happens. >> supervisor stefani: and then again, my implicit bias question. >> each of the companies i work for i have taken a bit of implicit bias train and especially as a people management trainer. i have not taken the course you discussed previously but i would be happy to take it as a member of the police commission. >> supervisor stefani: is it something he would recommend that we have in our police department? i thought your answer was very eloquent, that , o , of course,t
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brings up implicit violence -- bias in terms of how people look at that. >> absolutely. similar to the point of the previous candidate made, while there are a lot of really important trainings, and a lot of things that the police have to do, i can't think of to do many things that would be prioritized about that. >> supervisor safai: just one quick question. i've asked everyone. have you attended any of the meetings, and if so, i know you just moved here recently, but have you attended any of the meetings? >> i have not. i understand supervisor cone's point. but no, i have not. >> supervisor safai: great. and we had some very good conversations and i asked a lot of questions there. if we have anymore questions, we will call you back up. >> thank you. >> supervisor safai: please call the next applicant. >> thank you board members for
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allowing me this time to present my qualifications for a position on the san francisco police commission. my name is mark, and i am a resident of district two. born in san francisco to an arabic family of small business owners who live and work in district seven. as you know, this is a pivotal time for our city. there is a crisis of faith in regards to how citizens of view those meant to ensure their safety. with a potential shift and command a looming, it is essential that sfpdm continues in its efforts to fulfil the 272 recommendations of the department of justice. this commitment will help build this trust through transparency, accountability, and civilian oversight. we have the opportunity to add to the diversity of the police commission. on the point of diversity, four years now, the arabic american community in san francisco has felt neglected in city hall.