California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday said his office will not challenge an appeals court ruling against the use of money bail in San Francisco. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

California to oversee SF police reform in place of Trump administration

California is stepping in to oversee police reform in San Francisco after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would no longer collaborate with The City, local and state officials said Monday.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that his office will review and evaluate the San Francisco Police Department as it continues to implement 272 federal recommendations for reforming the department. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew support for the reform process in September.

“We picked up the ball and we’re going to run with it,” Becerra said at a news conference with interim Mayor Mark Farrell and SFPD Chief Bill Scott. “I can’t tell you how important it is to have independent eyes overseeing these reforms.”

The SFPD has already implemented more than half of the reforms since former Chief Greg Suhr started the process in early 2016. Suhr asked the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to review the SFPD amid outcry over the police shooting of Mario Woods in December 2015.

“This agreement gives our work validation,” Scott said. “It gives us credibility, it gives us transparency, and more importantly, this is about building community trust.”

Supervisor Malia Cohen later called the officers who shot Woods in the Bayview an “ethnically diverse firing squad.” Cohen said the announcement “brings us one step closer to truth and transparency to heal the rifts that we have been experiencing for generations.”

“Every officer in the department always wants to do what’s right and what’s best,” Cohen said. “That is why you see a decrease in officer-involved shootings, because we stopped being complacent and we got serious.”

Scott said use-of-force incidents dropped 18 percent in 2017 and there was a 9 percent decrease in citizen complaints last year, a change he attributed to the collaborative reform process.

The SFPD and California DOJ are expected to enter into a memorandum of understanding.

Rev. Amos Brown, local head of the NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church, said the U.S. DOJ began to review the department amid controversial police shootings in San Francisco and across the nation.

“The Trump Administration and Jeff Sessions have rolled back all of the initiatives of Mr. Barack Obama,” Brown said. “We still have miles to go and promises to keep.”Crime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Breed declares local emergency to counter threat of coronavirus

City officials warn against discrimination while they prepare for the possibility of an outbreak.

Educators warn of possible strike after district calls for budget cuts, layoffs

SFUSD faces up to $31.8 million shortfall in current school year

Tumlin apologizes after Muni subway suffers five breakdowns in three hours

Agency working on fixes for aging train control system and cars

SF approves facility for homeless youth in Lower Nob Hill

Approval of navigation center latest expansion in city portfolio of shelter beds

Man suing SFPD alleging officers beat him with batons

Cop attorney fires back: police were ‘interrupting a dangerous domestic violence incident’

Most Read