Malia Cohen, a former San Francisco supervisor and member of the California Board of Equalization, was nominated to serve on the Police Commission by Mayor London Breed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Malia Cohen, a former San Francisco supervisor and member of the California Board of Equalization, was nominated to serve on the Police Commission by Mayor London Breed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Malia Cohen confirmed as police commissioner

Former Supervisor Malia Cohen’s nomination to the Police Commission cleared the Board of Supervisors without issue Tuesday, making her the newest member of the oversight board charged with disciplining officers and setting police policy.

Mayor London Breed put Cohen’s name forward for consideration last month after the supervisors rejected her previous nominees for two vacant commission seats, citing concerns about whether they were right candidates to drive police reform.

“Recent police killings and shootings of unarmed African Americans require that we rethink the role that police play in our communities, and this is an issue that Malia has been a leader on her whole career,” Breed said. “I’m confident that she’ll continue to move this issue forward on the Police Commission and will do so in a way that keeps our community safe while also advancing much-needed change.”

Cohen, an elected member of the State Board of Equalization, feuded with the police union during her two terms as a supervisor and advocated for reform after a series of fatal police shootings in 2015 and 2016.

She also pushed for an expansion of the Department of Police Accountability, then called the Office of Citizen Complaints.

In 2018, when former District Attorney George Gascon declined to charge the officers who fatally shot Mario Woods and Luis Gongora-Pat in two high-profile incidents, Cohen said the decisions undermined community relations with police.

“We seemingly hold the transgressions of police officers to a different standard of justice than the one we hold all other citizens,” Cohen said at the time.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve her appointment.

Cohen said she feels a “great sense of responsibility” being chosen to serve on the commission.

“I take to heart the recommendations of Mayor Breed in her road map for police reforms to fundamentally change the nature of policing in San Francisco, and to address systemic racism,” Cohen said. “As a police commissioner, I will join with my colleagues to ensure continual and transparent reviews of the policies and practices of the [Police Department]; and will always work to ensure that the voices from all of our communities—particularly persons of color—are heard.”

Cohen will serve the rest of a four-year term ending in April 2024.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimePoliticssan francisco news

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

Just Posted

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves in to West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Allison Zilnek and her younger daughter Marlow add Ibram X. Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” to their Little Free Library in Walnut Creek. (Courtesy of Allison Zilnek)
The hunt for little free libraries is alleviating the pandemic doldrums

By Amelia Williams Bay City News Foundation Some people collect stamps. Some… Continue reading

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Most Read