ACLU of NorCal Opposes San Francisco’s Prop. E, Charges Measure Blocks Police Reform

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By Shriya Kali Chittapuram

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The ACLU of Northern California has made public its opposition to a March 2024 San Francisco ballot proposition that it calls a “dangerous and misleading proposal that knocks down three pillars of police reform: oversight, accountability, and transparency.”

The ACLU of NorCal charged, “The policies it (Proposition E) targets are hard-won, community-supported initiatives that directly address SFPD’s ongoing pattern of violence, misconduct, and discrimination against communities of color.”

Prop. E, noted ACLU of NorCal, “would let the San Francisco Police Department hide officer violence by reducing the information police collect when reporting use-of-force incidents. A review of SFPD data found that in the last quarter of 2022, the department was 25 times more likely to use force on Black people than on white people.

“Proposition E also dramatically increases secret surveillance by allowing the police to track and monitor San Francisco residents without safety policies, public input, or oversight to protect our rights. It eliminates guardrails and lets police use highly invasive surveillance technology—even face-scanning drones,” added the civil rights group, quoting the City Attorney.

Weakening use-of-force reporting requirements would make it easier for SFPD to hide police violence and harder for the public to hold officers accountable for misconduct. With SFPD’s history of scandals and persistent record of racial disparities in enforcement, Proposition E puts San Franciscans in danger,” said the ACLU of NorCal.

The group wrote in a statement this past week, “Proposition E altogether intensifies surveillance by allowing the police position to screen San Francisco occupants without the shields of wellbeing approaches, public information, or oversight to protect common freedoms.

The ACLU of NorCal said, “This would mean that authorizing Prop. E would not only strip the critical safeguards needed to protect civilians, but also prevent a way to hold police accountable. Prop. E will endanger civilians, pedestrians, innocent bystanders, as well as SFPD officers,” and would result in “high-speed vehicle chases for low-level crimes in one of the densest cities in America.”

Previous data from California Highway Patrol show that in 2018 until 2023, 38 percent of the vehicle pursuits by SFPD ended in a collision with at least one person 15 percent of the time.

The ACLU states the proposition is a “an obvious power grab by Mayor London Breed that puts her short-term political interests over good governance and public safety.”

ACLU of NorCal added that Prop. E heavily reduces the authority of the independent police commission and shifts it to the police chief appointed by San Francisco mayor, and urged SF leaders to “commit to and follow through on evidence-based solutions such as affordable housing, mental health care, and substance use treatment.”

The organization maintains the adoption of Prop. E will only worsen the existing issues in San Francisco, and provide no means of alleviating the challenges.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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