A recently passed ordinance in San Francisco could be subject to a veto, if the Police Chief has his way. And reports are that the Mayor is planning on siding with his Chief unless major changes are made.
The issue is whether or not three of San Francisco’s police officers should continue working with the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Task Force under current arrangements. The task force – which ramped up activities, surviellence, and interrogations of individuals after 9/11 – is accused of following and questioning people based solely upon their ethnic or racial profile, and what community they belong to. The three San Francisco PD officers have also been accused.
However, currently the SFPD officers are only allowed to use those practices if they suspect criminal activity – a policy designed to minimize profiling.
If the ordinance is not vetoed, it will require that the Police Commission approve any agreements with the FBI before officers can be engaged.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee finds himself caught between advocates of civil liberties and his hand-picked police chief now that the Board of Supervisors has narrowly passed controversial legislation increasing civilian scrutiny of police officers who work with the FBI’s counterterrorism unit.
Spearheaded by Supervisor Jane Kim, the ordinance – which passed on a first reading by a 6-5 vote Tuesday – requires future written agreements between the FBI and the Police Department to be approved by the Police Commission and prohibits police officers from engaging in surveillance activities unless the target is suspected of criminal activity.
Read the full article here.