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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  March 7, 2019 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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>> dramatic improvement for us. you will recall something several years that happened in the mission district, in a residential area, and very few of the residents were contacted and interviewed. and this is prior to us forming i.i.b., and we had to spend almost a year trying to reconstruct which individuals lived in that neighborhood at that time and what they may have seen, and try to gather their statements. it was very time-con tooconsumig and less efficient to do it retrospectively. and it is much better to do it as the individuals are there. >> and it is probably much more costly to do it that way, too, when you're waiting, because of all of the time you have to put in there. it is not time-efficient, so that means you're spending lots of hours, which means lots of public hours, trying to do something that is not very efficient and sometimes just doesn't work out, correct? >> agreed. >> thank you.
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>> chairman: supervisor mar. >> thank you. just a followup on supervisor brown's questions. i was wondering if you might be able to share your thoughts on how we might be able to apply some of the positive and affective changes that have been made in the criminal investigation of police department misconduct complaints to the sheriff's department's criminal investigations to avoid, you know, hopefully what in the future had to happen and dismissal of the charges recently on the allegations of the sheriff's deputies staging the fights in the jails. >> sure. our preference would be to be involved at the earliest stages of an investigation of this type. rather, i think, than sending potential criminal allegations to d.p.a., it
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would make sense to send those directly to us. we're not entitled to look at the administrative investigation. that is held completely separate. that is the problem we had in the case we were prosecuting, was that there was a co-mingling of interviews, and that can cause a taint in a criminal case and is not allowable under the law. so keeping those two streams has to be a starting point for any recommendations we make moving forward. so we can receive referrals from d.p.a., but we cannot receive their work product because they are -- i don't know in this situation how this will work with the sheriff's department, but they are part of the san francisco police department. so any of the work that they do as an administrative body is not appropriate for us in the criminal context. so the preference for our office would be to be involved in the very early stages of the criminal investigation. we attempted to do that in the jail fight case.
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we brought in the f.b.i. because we were concerned how large of a scale it might be. you will recall this was about setting up gladiator-type fights for people held in the jail. and the f.b.i. was immediately available and willing to help us. we opened our investigation the day that the public defender held a press conference and indicated this was happening. and we sent a letter to the sheriff asking that they stand down and preserve ac any evidence they had. if we were able to pick up that evidence and know that nobody else was conducting a similar investigation, and that could cause problems for us when the case comes to criminal prosecution. >> thank you again. i do have a few questions. how do we guarantee sheriff's compliance? so if they don't want to turn over evidence to your office or accommodate a
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request, how do you guarantee you get that information or evidence? >> we have a couple of tools available to us as prosecutors. so we can call a grand jury. we can call an investigative grand jury or an indicting grand jury, but we have to have some basis to believe that there is a crime. we can subpoena documents, obviously, and we can issue search warrants and arrest warrants. those are our legal tools that we can use to get that information. oftentimes, depending on the facts at hand, they may not be appropriate to use. and we obviously try to be diplomatic and collaborative in our interactions with another agency. so i don't generally resort to those tools unless necessary. the problems that we had in the current case unfolded slowly over time in an unusual way. it wasn't immediately obvious to us, all of the problems that were underneath the investigation. so once that happens, it is very hard for us, which
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is why we had to take a dismissal and start over with a team that had not been exposed to the administrative investigation. and we have to have them completely walled off and have no interaction with the first team within special prosecutions that started that prosecution. so it is quite difficult to unravel, unfortunately. >> would you say it is harder for your office to use some of the tools available to you when there is not cooperation because of your collegial relationship with the sheriff's department? >> i don't think that -- collegiality doesn't keep us from doing our job. what is harder is we don't have a lot of visibility into where the problems may be. it was not clear to the prosecutor in our office that was handling that prosecution that the two had been c co-mingled. when we asked the sheriff to step down from the
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criminal investigation, they indicated they were not conducting one. it was in a written form, so we took that to be a the truth, not a karbala casual statement, and we relied on that statement they that were not conducting a criminal investigation. it did not come out until much later tha the that that hay in fact conducted a criminal investigation. and we filed a case against the deputies, and the defense lawyers for those deputies honed in on the potential merging of those two investigations, and started to request the hard drives and cells phones to establish those investigations had been blurred. but that was outside of our accessability. we don't have any authority over it, or any ability to tell them, over a professional request that they stand down, but we don't have any ability to enforce that. >> do you think that is problematic? >> it was in this case. we don't know what caused
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all of that. i won't speculate. we prefer to handle it ourselves. because if we can handle it from beginning to end, as we do in many other kinds of cases, the cases brought again uber and lyft, and then we understand where our evidence is, what our weaknesses -- what we can compecompensate for that. >> ho do you get cases of alleged misconduct of your office? is it always from the sheriff's department? >> traditionally it would be the sheriff's internal affairs referring a case to us. in the instance of the jail site case, that came because the public defender held a press conference, indicating there was fighting in the jails, and we opened an investigation of our own. an individual can come directly to us -- that's very rare, but they have
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the ability to come to i.i.b. or any other part of our office and say they have been the victim of a crime in the jail, and ask us to investigate. i'm not familiar with that happening. most would come directly from the agency itself. >> you may not have this answer, but if you look at the table that was shown for 2016, 2017, 2018, do you know what percentage of those cases actually get charged or how many have been charged? >> so i don't believe -- we don't currently have any cases, other than the jail site case from the sheriff's department that we have open prosecutions on. i don't believe we have been referred any other investigations as of yet from them. >> and then just my last question, and you can tell me if my information is wrong, but i believe you have about $3 million in a unit that is dedicated to
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conducting alleged misconduct of law enforcement, at least for the past three years. have you ever charged a case in this area, and what is the current case load? >> so, the only case we have involving the sheriff's department is the jail site case. which we are now starting over again as an investigation within that unit. so we're starting from scratch to see if we can pull that back together. as i mentioned, we don't have any other referrals from the sheriff's department or individuals alleging abuse at the hands of the sheriff's department. we have a case that is proceeding to trial with alameda county sheriff's deputies who conducted a high-speed chase into san francisco that resulted in somebody being beaten in an alley. and we have multiple others that involve the san francisco police department that are moving towards filing or are
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already filed. and then we also conduct the investigations of all of those incidents, as you know. and most of those do not result in prosecutions, and most in-custody deaths do not result in prosecutions, and most have an drug overdose component. very few rise to the criminal violation. but we do an investigation to see if the california law allows us to bring criminal charges in those incidences. there is an average of six shootings a year in san francisco, and two to four in-custody deaths, and the use of force allegations varies. >> you opened a can of worms. i won't take time to address that -- >> i'm happy to. >> we can talk about that later.
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thank you, ms. de barry. >> thank you. my pleasure. >> and we have a representative from the department of police accountability. i believe director henderson is here to let us know how they conduct investigations. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> thank you guys for calling the hearing. i'm paul henderson. i'm the director at the department of police accountability. i'm not going to presume that everyone knows how my agency works and what it does. i'm just going to give you a brief overview of some of the work that we do, and then i'll talk a little bit about the conversations and thoughts
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that i had with the subject that we're here today for. so the organization investigates d.p.a., the department of police accountability, investigates complaints. we make findings about misconduct. we write and produce policy. and most recently we also do extensive and indepth audits. the agency has been around since 1982. the voters have -- the issue of oversight and accountability has gone to the ballot two or three times with two prop "g"s and one prop "h," and all of them collectively vote expanded and define what the authority is and the work that we do at the department of police accountability. i've been, as i said -- the agency has been around since 1982. i've been the executive director for a little over
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18 months, really working hard to professionalize the office and institutionalize standards about what we do, while trying to make that work more clear for the broader public. i will say some of the things that have changed recently with the agency has been stopping some of the long investigations that were taking place. so there has been like 16% of the case load at the office would drift into inaction because they had gone beyond the statute of limitations for how long the investigations were taking. and we've stopped that. we've had none -- no cases since i've been the executive director there. and i'm just talking a little about some of the work that we do and how we do it, and what has been happening recently at the agency because i think it is relevant, specifically, to this conversation.
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i was really concerned about having broader transparency and clarity about the work that we do, not just with the public, but with the agencies that we work with. and i'm deeply integrated with the police commission, and i work obviously closely with the police department in terps of how i conduct my investigations. but in terms of those operations, some of the things that you can see clearly about what that work is and how it works is both on my website, but on the police commission's website as well because things are published, and we have police commissions weekly where people are informed as to what the work that is being done in my agency is on a regular basis. i would say that one of the things that i think you can measure are the spike in complaints that have come in over the past 18 months, that has been as high as 61% increase in complaints that have come in to my office.
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but i believe that that's because people now know there is a place where they can go. many of these are from the public, to address some of their concerns that are followed up with investigations from my office. i think the outreach there is important. the information about my agency can be found in any police station. and we get referrals from a number of different ways. and i have an overview of this, if this is helpful, to explain what and how complaints come in. and this is a flow chart so people can understand how the process works. it is really similar to the work that is already being done at the department of police accountability. and one of the ways that you can see where it can go in, so we can continue
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doing the investigations in a way that has already been established for professionals. professionalism. i think it is only clear if you have very clear understandings with agencies that you're working with, what that can look like, and we've done that at the d.p.a. with the police department, with a series of department general orders that we were a at the table drafting, and m.o. u.s as well, and all of those clarify exactly what each step will be so there is no ambiguity as to whether or not information can be turned over, what information is turned over, what the jurisdictional issues are and what the agreements are between all of the agencies at the table. and i would imagine that something similar would have to be done in the current situation, given the conversations that we've been having. i will say what the intention is on my behalf,
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was to have these cases go into our recently created special investigative unit, which we put together with some of our most senior investigators, and some of our more senior lawyers working with our high-profile and serious cases. and so that is the unit that i've assigned to be working with the sheriff in these cases and taking over these investigations. i will say that this came about with conversations both with the sheriff who reached out to us initially, and with the late jeff adochi, who had reached out to me as well, to discuss and address his concerns about independence and asking if i would come to the table to work in creating the possibility or this option that we're talking about right now. i think as we've been talking about these
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things, we've been con flating some of the different things about citizen complaints and grievances, and maybe i can clarify some of these things about the separate tracks of criminal investigations, administrative investigations and civil investigations that go on. many times they are concurrent things, and i think that has led to some of the confusion of what we're talking about. but it is not an uncommon thing in any transgression, not just law enforcement agencies, but let's focus on law enforcement, to have several tracks moving forward concurrently. it is when the tracks are blurred that is problematic. many of the charter amendments and policies internally were designed specifically to make sure there are not the kind of transgressions that have
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taken place in the past, where there has been a mix up of what information goes to whom and how it gets there, and blurring the lines between the administrative processes, the criminal processes, and the personal processes all at the same time. i would point to the clarity in those lanes with the m.o.u., with the district attorney's office, which defines how it is investigated and turned over to the district attorney's office when there is a possibility of criminal charges. and on the back end, when grievances or transgressions come up from the district attorney's office, for that to be turned over to my office for investigation as well. i think that is a really important thing. what i presume in this case, which is a little bit unique, is that some of the properties from the sheriff involve another
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district attorney's office, but there is no need to guess what that relationship would look like because we already have an m.o.u. that could be adopted or clarified. and if it involved criminal behavior or criminal conduct, that would be turned over with notification to both the sheriff and the district attorney's office as well. i wanted to clarify that. but i'm happy to answer your questions about your thoughts with the process. and just to say that i think the goal here is two-fold, for us to be working in partnership with the sheriff, and that is both broader transparency and independent investigations, which is exactly what i think the d.p.a. has been doing and has been its mandate from its inception, and currently what we've been doing, i would argue, very
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well. >> thank you, director henderson. supervisor brown? >> yes. thank you, paul henderson, for being here today. i appreciate that. >> my please stay wit pleasure. >> so for a novice like me, and maybe many others in san francisco, when we're talking about this, and i used to be with the d.a.'s office, so you understand that process. >> yes. >> how many employees do you have right now? >> i heard, i think someone said 49. i thought it was 52. >> the reason i ask, do you have a complete separate, like, structure of your department that only deals with the criminal cases? because -- and have that kind of staff? and as you know, working with the d.a.'s office, you have a certain mindset when you know it is criminal or excessive force, anything like that that you have to deal with. so do you have separate staff that when something
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like that comes in, that you can jump right away? because when i was talking to the d.a.'s office, mr. barry, when they hear about it, they're on the case right away. and they're at the scene. how long does it take to normally get to you? >> you're raging som raising sof the things i wanted to clarify. let's say there is an officer-involved shooting. it is not uncommon for there to be up to four concurrent investigations going on at the same time. so within 20 minutes or so at the scene of a shooting, you will have representatives from the d.p.a., you will have representatives from internal affairs, you will have representatives from even the medical examiner's office and investigators from the direcdistrict attorney's office. so it is not an uncommon thing for an individual or a specific transgression to involve multiple
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agencies at the same time. the issue, and i think where the wheelt wheels have fallen off in the past, is how those agencies have corresponded with each other and how they have shared or not shared evidence back and back and backh with each other. or when it goes to statute of limitations, and different policies of how information and evidence is collected or not shared has been the problem in the past. which is why i have such strong feelings about these m.o.u.s, and why they've been a big priority for me with the agencies i been involved with. i think they've made not just my agency more efficient, but the agencies i'm working with more efficient as well. so they know when they come across transgressions, what do they do with it? and, more importantly, when do they do it. so as you discover it, you share that information. so my office's role would
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not be prosecuting the case in the criminal lane, but my office will be involved in turning the information over as it is discovered and on a regular basis with the district attorney's office. >> but that's for the police department, not for the sheriff's department? >> correct. >> that's what i'm saying. with the sheriff's department, how long before you -- from when the incident happened to when it is turned over normally -- i mean, it might be a little different, but average, that you receive that allegation and that you jump in for the criminals, not the administrative. >> i would anticipate it wouldn't be any different at all, and i would turn the information over immediately. so as i discovered it, i would turn it over many. >> how long does it take to get to you from the sheriff's department? >> well, we haven't done it yet, so -- >> oh, well -- >> but since you're talking about these specific cases that have been in the press, and i think the sheriff alluded
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to this and some of the other commentators alluded to this as well, they have already started giving us the information this week. so we have already started looking at those documents. and i will say, since i'm talking about it, just so we're clear, we already have the permits of authority from the employee -- employer, the sheriff, hennessey, to start reviewing those documents. >> usually when the incident happens, it goes through a couple of different people from the sheriff's department -- >> or not. it doesn't have to. >> and sheriff hennessey gives it to the d.p.a. -- am i correct? >> yes. but it doesn't nes recall necesy have to come from the sheriff. we can take complaints directly to us -- >> so it would have to come through the public defender's office, if someone complained, or a family member? >> yes, and more.
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it can come from a friend. it can come from the public defender. it can come from the d.a.'s office. it can come from the sheriff. that's the whole point, we have to institutionalize the process so people and agencies and agents know they can share the information. and then it is those agencies' obligations to make sure that the complaints are handled appropriately, both internally and externally. i think where we've had problems in the past is that externally the information wasn't shared properly. it wasn't shared expeditiously, and it wasn't shared efficiently. and all three of those things have led to a number of the problems that we're addressing now. >> and i think that's why a lot of people get confused. >> yes. >> and that's why family members will come to us with complaints. >> correct. >> and i'm really happy that your office is open to say, come in with complaints, with whomever it is, family members, friends, whomever -- >> otherwise you
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marginalize -- >> yes. so when someone comes with a complaint, you have to go to the sheriff's department and say, we have this complaint, give us what we need, right? >> correct. >> so then it really depends on, you know, how fast the family can move or a friend can move, or whomever, to actually get you to jump on it, right? >> which is why we want to make the process as easy as possible for people to contact us and let us know. i will say that oftentimes the evidence that they have independently is some of the evidence that we rely on to make our findings and present our cases. so that it's not just someone tells us something and the only way we can get evidence that is corroborative is from the sheriff's department or whatever the agency is. there are often sometimes
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extrensic ways. and i would remind everyone that many of our complaints come in anonymously. sometimes people don't even identify who they are or what the real problem is, but just tell us about incidences. i think this is a good thing, beyond the individual complaints we sustain against individuals, having the umbrella of policy recommendations and audit functions, allows us to look at patterns and practices independent of an individual transgression, to address bad behavior, trends, inappropriateness from the agencies we work with as well. i'll give you a specific example. oftentimes you may have permissive authority to do something, like put someone in solitary confinement, but there is a trend or indication that you tend to put trans latino women in solitary confinement more than anyone else, and here is what we've discovered, and
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here is a recommendation about what you need to do to stop that behavior. you know what i mean? it's a bigger picture. it goes beyond, i think, just an individual analysis that a complaint is made and then you get the information from that direct agency to help you conclude what has gone wrong and what recommendations you can make, and what an appropriate sentence, punishment, or response will be for the agency. >> so my last question is -- i mean, do you really -- i feel like we need out reach. if this is going to be -- because i don't think people understand this. they understand how to maneuver for a police department complaint. we have a commission, and offices of complaints, and we have these things and people know about them. but i just don't feel like the public knows about what you're office does and how you can help them. and i just feel like the outreach has to be much
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more -- >> rob robust. >> -- robust and in areas that would need that help. there are areas in my community, and i think others, that have members of their family that are incarcerated or are waiting for a trial, and they just don't know. >> i would agree with that 100%. i would say, which is why i talked about the spike in complaints to my office, nationwide, the trend is down for complaints to law enforcement agencies. state-wide, the trend is down with complaints to law enforcement agencies for oversight. in san francisco, i believe the spike we're having with the 61% increase is directly and specifically correlated to the outreach that my office is doing by appearing and specifically targeting disenfranchised communities and formalizing the process with the police department so our information about how to make a complaint is in every single station. >> are you going into the
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communities? >> absolutely, absolutely. we coordinated both with board members, when you guys have community events, and with the mayor's office and with different community groups that we partner with, the aclu, the bar association, just different groups all throughout the city to make sure that we have a presence and people have understanding with fliers and information. if you have a complaint, if you see something wrong, if something is bothering you, you can call us, give us your name, give us the facts, and it can even be anonymous. and that coupled with our language access, which i think is really important here in san francisco, and these were areas that had not been given as much robust attention with my agency -- >> not at all, actually. >> that's the past. this is what we're doing know. i'm looking forward to and being optmistic about the value that i think that my agency provides to the broader public, and the value i think my agency provides to law
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enforcement agencies of being able to give them feedback and direct information and transparent information about what is actually happening. and these are concerns that i think have plagued law enforcement agencies for a long time, with people not being clear or having obscured information and access to what the accountability looks like. we're trying to expand that. >> one last question -- i'm sorry for all of the questions. >> yes. >> i know you have attorneys and also investigators, right? >> correct. >> do you have social workers? >> it's -- that's funny you mention that. we don't have social workers on staff, but we've had social workers come and train and present to our staff specifically because we do so much public contact and public interaction. >> exactly. >> so much of my frontline staff is trained in terms of resources that are available -- it is not uncommon for people to reach out to us with ancillary problems.
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they want to make a complaint about the police, but they're also homeless. they want to make a complaint about the police, but they are also being evicted or have a substance abuse problem, or they made medical care or aids services, and that is not an uncommon thing at all. and because my agency is such a public entity, and part of its mission and objective is to maintain clear visibility and a service provider and referral for folks that come in -- those principles are integrated into the work that we do. you can't solve one thing without addressing the other. >> exactly. >> i would love to get a social worker on staff. >> okay. >> because i think that would be really helpful. but those principles are incorporated into how we address and work with the broad public that we interact with on a daily basis. >> all right, thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. henderson, and thank you for all of the good work since you've stepped into the d.p.a.'s office. i just had a few questions about your -- about the capacity of your office and your resources to take on more of perhaps even all of the future citizen complaints. >> yes. >> around the sheriff's department. especially given the fact that you said there has been a significant increase in complaints that you've been taking on -- or started to receive for the police department misconduct allegations. >> yes. >> and from sheriff hennessey's presentation, just on citizen complaints for the sheriff's department, the data that we see shows that it has been increasing as well from 2016. there were 27, in 2017, 33, and in 2018, the big jump to 80 with the -- >> let me speak to that just to put it all in
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context, in terms of the work my agency is currently doing. much of the capacity is defined in the charter. when prop "g" came along, it tied our mandate to the number of investigators in staff and law enforcement with the police department. so it is one per 1050. 150. so that defines what my agency looks like to make sure capacity is always addressed by definition with the agency i'm working with. and i would say, too, just in terms of the bigger numbers, and these are numbers i publish regularly in my annual report and on line and within the police commission as well, on s.f. gov. tv, which i'm sure you watch every wednesday, but we do a little over 2,000 -- we did a little over 2,000 complaints a year, and we conduct over -- currently we conduct over 700
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investigations a year. i'm working on the numbers now for 2018. those are our numbers from 2017. i believe we do have the capacity, as i mentioned, we just put together a special investigative unit to handle our high-profile and big cases that require extensive, indepth work. and moving forward, obviously it would require us to institutionalize some sort of process to address an ongoing pipeline of complaints. and then we need to have some further discussions. and we've been having discussions about defining what that pipeline would look like, which complaints would we be revealing, which complaints would we be investigating perately. separat. [please stand by] need to be cl.
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so this isn't a question, when you say are you getting all the cases? my response to that is, what are all of the cases? let's talk about what the cases should and could be. that involves more in-depth conversations, but i would say we've been having very good conversations with the sheriffs office and they've been receptive and welcoming to the process and eager to have outside and independent review of the work. and open to whatever my investigators are going to find and uncover. >> supervisor mar: an m.o.u. could guarantee the time lines are met? >> yes, that has to be a part of it.
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otherwise the ambiguity drifts into delays that are unnecessary. there are specific time lines, as there are time lines with the information that i get when i turn that information back over to internal affairs criminal division. or turn over information to the district attorney's office or get information from the district attorney's office or the police department as well when they uncover things. all of that could be defined in the m.o.u. i would say that leads to the unasked questions of what does the authority look like for the process to take place? i believe that's a three-step process that we've already begun with the permissive authority from the elected official from hennessey herself and the secondary step would be confirmation or could look like confirmation from the board and possibly charter amendment or ballot initiative, or something. but the first step of that, we're already there and already
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working. and for what we're doing with these cases, i think it's an opportunity for us all to be working together and continue this moving forward now today without having to wait next month, next week, next year, next session for something to happen. >> i was going to ask, you know, also m.o.u., if it was possible for the leadership of the sheriff's department to give up their full authority to impose a consequence, et cetera, which is probably the case, but that doesn't get to the systemic change that we want to make because a new sheriff or sheriff down the line could disregard current m.o.u.s, so we need systemic change. >> like i said, there are several steps to it. i think the first steps have taken place. that's a longer and more detailed conversation about
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institutionally how do we ensure that the process didn't dismantled or goes away, or is subjective to i like what you're saying or i don't like what you're saying, i don't like these reports, i don't like them anymore. you know what i mean. like that -- i -- i think the sheriff has been open to having the conversations at least with me and i can't imagine a circumstance where she would not be willing to sit down at a table to address what some of those solutions could look like long-term or would look like in her vision, the big picture to make sure what is being built, these new efficiencies, in terms of broader transparency and investigations don't disappear or are challenged from a change in administration, either from myself or herself, or the board or whatever.
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>> supervisor walton: two more things before we hear from the public. i know we also talked about types of cases we wanted to define. i think we should have a conversation about that. and all grievances are important and should be responded to, but we're not talking about my food is too cold, we're not talking about my shirt doesn't fit, we're talking about allegations of assault, civil rights violations, use of force, and in custody, death, at least those four things. >> i think that is the distinction in part between the citizen complaints and the administrative grievances. like i said, even with those categories that you just mentioned, there might be some overlap where even if my agency doesn't get involved in all of the day-to-day grievances that come up that the sheriff's department typically handles, when they touch upon those practice areas or third rail
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lines, they can be referred to for investigation to an agency like mine to review specifically to address both policy recommendations and possible audit evaluation as well. >> supervisor walton: last question. when you conduct an allegation of police misconduct investigation, who do you give your findings to? >> so my findings are presented -- we work closely with the folks that make complaints as well to keep them informed as to what is happening with their case and their complaints. but we present to -- depending on the severity of the case -- to the chief of police and to the police commission, depending on what kind of case it is. and so sometimes there are parallel lanes of jurisdiction over who we present our cases
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to, who we argue our cases, for lack of a better term, prosecution to the governing audience. and sometimes that is deputy chiefs. sometimes it's the chief of police. and sometimes it's the police commission. that's what we currently do. >> supervisor walton: who makes the discipline decision if allegations are proven to be valid? >> they are any one of those three agencies make the final determination. i make a recommendation and argue my cases to them. and then they make their determination. i sustain a finding and then i present the sustained findings. i sustain a finding internally and i present those sustained findings internally to an outside agency. that outside agency is the deputy chief, the chief, the police commission. that is what i currently do. >> supervisor walton: any more
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questions? thank you so much, director. >> thank you. >> supervisor walton: i want to thank everyone for being here. i know this has been a long hearing and we have a couple of other items. i do want to thank the public for your patience. we're now at the time for public comment. and i believe we do have speaker cards. thank you. these are the only two? and if you are prepared to speak, you can line up over here to my left. first speaker that we have cards for is ace on the case, gloria and anybody else can line up behind them. >> supervisor walton: you have two minutes for public comment.
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ms. barry, you can go ahead. >> good afternoon. yes, my name is gloria barry. i am thankful that you brought this hearing forward so is khreem. it's very important, it's something that jeff adochy did seek to have accomplished. i speak from a point of view of working in corrections for eight years. and i know the importance of having -- rather that oversight is necessary. it's not just necessary for murder situations or breaking of the arm of an inmate. sometimes it is important, if their food is cold all the time. you will have staff that repetitively violate that
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person's rights on a regular basis. and even when it comes to health concerns, i can recall multiple times inmates coming to me and saying, hey, ms. barry, i have this issue, that issue, whatever. and i remember one specific man he said he had chest pains. you have to remember with health the deputy is the first line that inmate has to request that assistance. and i remember taking a man to the medical unit. i said i believe i'm going to take you. he said you're the fifth person that i inquired about this and on that table he had a heart attack. [bell ringing] this is really important that we have some oversight over the sheriff's department because sometimes it could be a matter of death. health-wise. also, groveances go to -- grievances go to those deputies first. as a solution i recommend like the sexual harassment hotline that the sheriff's department
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has that for oversight, there is a line they can call and report these things happening within the institution. thank you. [bell ringing] >> give me a moment here. i'm sorry. i was in our office talking to -- i wanted them to listen, supervisor brown. first of all, let me introduce myself and give homage all of you new supervisors. welcome to city hall. i call it silly hall. okay? we're going to try to put the fill back in the mold and bring a little oversight. i'm glad you put this together, boss man. supervisor, excuse me, supervisors. we have two supervisors that just been elected. we have one supervisor that has been appointed. let me just say my name is ace, dammit, i've been here over 30 years. i'm glad that you did it.
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i was back there when he had problems with the police. let me give credit to our current sheriff. she's done a wonderful job. i don't give credit to everybody, and also paul, but dammit, i've been victimized. i'm not coming up here speaking on, i've been victimized by the police. went to p.o.a., they did nothing for me. paul, i we want to your office, you did nothing for me. i'm happy to announce all the charges have been dropped with ace. i can go see the queen now. for a year i couldn't go in there because of the sheriff's department and the police department. i had almost a stroke in the mayor's office when ed lee was here. if you allow me to speak -- [bell ringing] ten seconds. i'm not just an individual. i'm the czar of the out
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migration. newsom did that for me. and i'm the ambassador where we have the supervisor over there. we're going to talk later. now we got queen over there in room 200. we got black power here, but nothing to help us. all this power we got, the kelly, man and wife, you, london, where is the poor black folks? [bell ringing] >> supervisor walton: thank you, ace. >> supervisor walton: thank you, ace. next speaker. >> supervisors, thank you so much for holding this hearing. my name is christine lee. i'm a law fellow at the public
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defenders office and work in the bail unit. i was on assignment in late november to interview a client for the purpose of the bail motion. we collect stories in order to be able to advocate for our clients in this way. i went to interview a client on november 28 for the purpose of such a motion but it became apparent to me that he really needed to an emergent situation. this client, the night before, the emergency situation he had suffered from, he had routine cell inspection in his room in county jail 5. that would be in san bernardino. what happened at that incident, there was an issue with the sheriff's deputy. the client was severely beaten in the cell. so much so that he had to request to go to the emergency wing to receive medical assistance. at that time what he had related to me, they had taken him to the
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medical wing at which point he was chained and shackled to a bed and a taser placed to his head. the client related to me he was unable to be candid with the authorities and those medically examining him, because he felt threatened by the fact that the taser was pointed directly at his head during the entire examination. he was taken into a multi- -- [bell ringing] -- where he was severely beaten. one of the major issues he had after the medical inspection, if i remember correctly, he was saying he was placed on his stomach, his feet stretched so far behind his back as if to touch his shoulders and was held in that position for a few minutes. there were screams, he was crying and agitated the entire time. when i went to see him the next morning -- [bell ringing] -- it became apparent it was an emergent situation.
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all of that to say we were able to get help for the client. the client was able to not have to return because he was so terrified -- >> supervisor walton: thank you. -- the ability to remain there. >> supervisor walton: thank you. >> and eventually he was released. thank you very much. >> supervisor walton: next speaker. >> good morning, my name is roxanne, i'm a social worker at the public defender office and i'm here to share stories. the first incident that came to my attention was brought by my 20-year-old client who waited to come forward with his story until after he was released. he described being brought into a room and being surrounded by deputies so he could not be seen. he said he was on the ground, they pulled my legs out from under me and kept slamming my head on the ground. one of the toudeputies put his t
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on on my face. in november 2018, i noticed a scar 1 inch long on the left wrist of another 20-year-old client. when i asked him how he injured himself, he said it happened being brought to the hole when being disruptive. the deputies told us to look at the wall. i was looking at the wall but i wanted to see what they were doing, they said get down and put handcuffs on me and pulled my hands up so high that the handcuffs cut into my wrist. my client was injured being transported. he said, i was doing really badly when they took me to the safety cell. i was shaking. the deputy mocked me by asking, are you going to cry? i tried to say you don't know what it's like to be on this side of the cuffs. i didn't get the whole sentence
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out before they kicked my legs, they twistedmy arms and legs behind me. when they brought me to the safety cell, they did it all over. kicked my legs out, twisted me up and put pressure on me. i kept trying to say i was hurt, but every time i said something, they would make it worse. at this point, my 19-year-old client with no prior experience with the criminal justice system said i don't know if i would call what happened to me a beating because it happens to everyone. his mother asked me to share the following -- >> supervisor walton: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is donna and i'm a deputy public defender at the san francisco public defender office. november of last year, 2018 my office received complaints from several different clients about shakedowns that were occurring
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in the san bruneau county jail. they ran into with military style gear and made the inmates face the wall while they went into the cells and tore it up as they searched for contraband. if any inmates were slow to face the wall or turned their heads to look at what was going on, we received complaints their pants were taken off, beaten, locked up, or forced to crawl under a bunk or be tasered. these allegations of physical abuse are criminal in nature. assault and battery is a crime. apparently forcing inmates to crawl on the ground under a bunk and remain there for several minutes, even half an hour or longer, is a practice that is now used by the sheriff's department. i have no doubt that a neutral independent investigation would find these allegations to be credible. i asked my own clients if any of them had been hurt by the sheriff's department while in custody and they told me they
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had not been hurt. however, every single one of them corroborated witnessing these incidents and told me they were present during the shakedowns and witnessed the deputies hurt and abuse other inmates. i have a copy of a police report -- [bell ringing] -- that admits that a deputy forced one of the inmates to stay under his bunk and not move until instructed otherwise. it should be unacceptable for the sheriff department to handle an investigation of its own policies and personnel and should not be able to decide what discipline their coworkers get. inmates at the jail contain some of the most vulnerable populations at the mercy of those -- [bell ringing] >> supervisor walton: thank you.
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>> i'm the communications director for the transgender, gender variant and justice project. we support a lot of transwomen, trans-people, and intersex folks in jails, prison centers and locked facilities. are members are at a job training, so they couldn't speak to their individual experiences and it's a fairly exhausting and traumatizing process, begging people to recognize your humanity in the horrific conditions they've experienced. as an organization that supports trans-people in all of these different locked facility, we're clear that the violence faced by the community runs parallel to all spaces, including jails, prisons, detention centers and other locked facilities.
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it is a classic tactic used by a police officer, sheriff's departments and prison guards for a very long time, not just against trans-people, nonconforming folks, but people who descent from societal. and to pretend that a cage is a slave place ever is a waste of time, but while we are here trying to ask the question of how we can make the spaces safer, we're clear that the independent body to review the sheriff's department is necessary so we won't be arguing that point -- [bell ringing] -- what we want to name is the important factors that an effective review process takes place. so roles must be open to community members, especially those that don't have ties to law enforcement. the process including public records should all be accessible to community. the independent review completed in a ti