Tuesday, March 11, 2014

OCC to 'Investigate Conduct' of SF Cycle Cops on Crowded Sidewalk

My complaint to San Francisco Chief of Police Greg Suhr sent yesterday generated action as requested on the part of the department, they've kicked the matter over to the OCC and that means the public will never learn what the investigators uncover, their summary report and findings and related outcomes because of privacy laws protecting the accused cops.

Isn't that special? When an average citizen is accused of law-breaking and we're put through the criminal justice system, our names and details of the alleged crimes and outcomes are all part of the public record. Each agency of the system - the cops, the sheriff, the district attorney - can and do drag your name through the criminal mill.

But cops are protected by the OCC and that agency won't ever confirm or deny any investigation much less be transparent about wrong-doing cops and the accusations against them. [UPDATE: A friends informs me that it's state law keeping the names of cops and such from the public.]

Still, it's something to have this development today and I'll pursue the matter through proper channels, including the police commission. Here's what the police department said today.

From Cpt. Chris Pedrini of the risk management office:

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.  Deputy Director Eric Baltazar of the Office of Citizen Complaints has been made aware of this incident and he has determined that his staff will investigate the conduct in question.   

This was sent by Christine Fountain on behalf of Chief Suhr:

By City Charter and Department policy, all complaints from members of the public regarding allegations of police misconduct or improper performance shall be forwarded to the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) (http://www.sfgov3.org/index.aspx?page=534). 

As this [complaint] contains allegations and/or concerns regarding police performance (riding bicycles on a sidewalk), we have forwarded this complaint to OCC. I have copied Assistant Director Eric Baltazar in on this email. As OCC is an independent department from the Police Department, the investigation will be conducted by one of their members, who should be in contact with you.

Updates published as they become available.

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