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.

Bay Area NewsCrimePoliticssan francisco news

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

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

San Francisco Police stand guard outside the Mission Police Station during a protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fired: California bill aims to decertify police for serious misconduct

By Robert Lewis CalMatters On a Wednesday afternoon in April 2018, Gardena… Continue reading

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that state employees and health care workers must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California orders vaccine or testing for health care workers, state employees

By Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and… Continue reading

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Touching relationship at heart of ‘Song of Summer’

Lighthearted SF Playhouse show ‘feels right for this moment’

Most Read