By Vanguard Staff
San Francisco, CA – This week it came to light that the San Francisco Police Crime Lab has been using an illegally created database—compiled with DNA collected from people alleging sexual assault—to match them to unrelated incidents.
San Francisco’s elected public defender on Friday expressed outrage at the recent revelations.
Public Defender Mano Raju called on the San Francisco Police Department to destroy the database immediately and end this practice, saying “it tramples on the constitutionally protected privacy rights of community members, and is an offensive abuse of state power.”
In light of the SFPD Crime Lab’s history of illegal conduct, the public defender said, including multiple drug lab scandals, “Police Chief Bill Scott’s suggestion that his own internal Investigations Bureau will ‘review the matter’ is an example of his department’s efforts to evade real accountability for its misconduct and to avoid reform through independent investigation.”
Raju said, “The secret practice of creating and illegally using a database with the DNA of individuals alleging sexual assault must end immediately. We also call for an independent investigation of the SFPD Crime Lab, real consequences for those responsible for this egregious breach of trust, and new policies and procedures to prevent further abuses.”
He added, “We ask for the release of information as to how many community members have been impacted and immediate redress for those who have been charged or convicted based on database matches using this illegal practice.”