Police union opposes proposal to hang ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters at stations

SFPOA criticizes plan for injecting ‘political agendas and wedge issues’ into policing

San Francisco’s police union came out against a proposal Wednesday to hang “Black Lives Matter” posters at all police stations in The City.

In a letter sent ahead of a vote on the proposal at the Police Commission meeting, the San Francisco Police Officers Association said it “supports the notion that all Black and brown lives matter.”

But the directive to hang the signs “establishes a new precedent that raises concerns about introducing political agendas and wedge issues into the safe harbor of police stations,” wrote Rockne Lucia, an attorney for the SFPOA.

“Police stations are places for the citizens of San Francisco to seek help and assistance when they have become victims of crimes,” Lucia said. “They are not places for political endorsements or alignment with political organizations.”

The letter confused Police Commissioner Dion-Jay Brookter, who introduced the resolution and expects to have the full support of his colleagues.

“I don’t understand,” Brookter told the San Francisco Examiner. “They say that they feel this is something agendized or being pushed. That’s absolutely not it.”

Brookter said he came forward with the proposal because community members wanted a “small, significant token” of support for Black lives from the San Francisco Police Department in light of the current climate.

“I wholeheartedly want this to be visible,” Brookter said. “I want everybody that’s going into our stations to see it.”

He said the resolution is not in support of Black Lives Matter as an organization or entity but rather the broader movement.

This is not the first controversy involving the SFPOA and Black Lives Matter.

In 2016, the union ran a photo in its monthly SFPOA Journal featuring a black dog with a sign that said “Black Labs Matter” sitting by a white dog with a sign that read “All Labs Matter.”

The proposal will be voted on at the 5:30 p.m. Police Commission meeting.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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