San Francisco’s police union is going to court to try to stop the implementation of a use of force policy for officers that was passed Wednesday night by the Police Commission.
The new policy, perhaps most controversially, bans officers from shooting at moving vehicles in most instances as well as the use of the carotid hold. Late Wednesday at the commission meeting, it was debated whether to reintroduce the carotid hold in the use of force policy, but the commission ultimately voted against that.
Following the passage of the new policy, the San Francisco Police Officers Association on Thursday announced the lawsuit to prevent the Police Commission from implementing the new policy, claiming it violates the San Francisco charter and state labor laws. The suit was filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court against The City, Police Commission and Acting Chief Toney Chaplin.
“We’re a labor union and our members have a right to negotiate over working conditions,” Martin Halloran, the union’s president, said in a statement. “The commission wants to ignore those labor rights. The charter is clear that our dispute must go to arbitration, so we’re asking a judge to order the commission back to the table.”
The commission and union have been negotiating the policy since last summer. The commission declared an impasse Oct. 21.
According to Thursday’s statement, the police union is also pushing for the use of Tasers “to balance restrictions on force options in the new policy.”
The union also this week lamented its apparent exclusion from the selection process for a new police chief, which Mayor Ed Lee denies. The mayor on Tuesday announced William Scott, a deputy chief in Los Angeles, as The City’s new police chief. Scott will succeed Chaplin, who has held the post following former Chief Greg Suhr’s resignation in May.
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