SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Local officials across the Bay Area are scrambling to take swift steps in response to the recent protests over the death of George Floyd and police brutality.
Local Bay Area mayors gathered Wednesday for a live town hall to talk about changes being made in regards to police misconduct and how cities are moving forward with reopening amid COVID-19.
Concord Mayor Tim McGallian spoke about recent comments and concerns over having a civilian oversight committee despite being against other police tactics.
Fremont’s Mayor Lily Mei was one seven Bay Area mayors on Wednesday’s panel and answered questions on what changes need to be made to her local police department after she gained criticism for refusing to kneel with protesters earlier this month.
“After we had some of these demonstrations we initiated a town hall where we had the police chief, city manager and myself available to answer these questions,” said Fremont Mayor Lili Mei.
“But It’s not just a one and one, it’s an ongoing dialogue and conversation that we’re really excited to have to be able to address with our community.”
One topic of discussion on Wednesday’s special edition of Inside Bay Area Politics touched on Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait campaign to bring immediate change to police departments across the country.
Online the nonprofits hashtag campaign #8CanWait is trending on social media and continues to be endorsed by many celebrities like Oprah and Ariana Grande.
In response to police brutality, nonprofit Campaign Zero has come up with eight police reforms that can be implemented fairly quickly and wouldn’t cost local, state and federal agencies any money.
The eight suggested police reform policies are:
- Ban chokeholds and strangleholds;
- Require officers to de-escalate situations;
- Require officers to give verbal warning in all situations before using deadly force;
- Require officers to exhaust all other alternatives before using deadly force;
- Require officers to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report incidents immediately to a supervisor;
- Ban officers from shooting at moving vehicles in all cases; and
- Establish a force continuum that restricts the most severe types of force to the most extreme situations.
- Require officers to report each time they use force or threaten to use force against civilians. Comprehensive reporting includes requiring officers to report whenever they point a firearm at someone and all other types of force.
“Many people wrote to us about 8 Can’t Wait,” said Fremont Mayor Lili Mei
“We wanted the community to understand where we are currently with those policies and so we issued an infographic right away, within a week, to let people see the actualities on how we’re addressing those issues.”
The #8CantWait campaign has created an ongoing list of cities across the United States that have enacted the suggested police policies.
Many cities across the Bay Area have adopted at least some form of the #8CantWait policies with the city of San Francisco being the only city in the area to have implemented all eight policies.
In Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf says they have to some extent “de-funded the police” stating that the city has been investing in new policies and practices.
“We have the lowest officer per crime staffing of any department in America,” said Mayor Shaaf.
Instead, the city is hoping to implement a new non law enforcement response team by creating a community based response unit.
“We are looking to migrate responsibilities that police shouldn’t hold and that is by creating a mobile community-based response unit with medics as well as mental health clinicians that can respond to the type of crisis that don’t warrant a badge and a gun.”
In Daily City, Mayor Glenn Sylvester believes most California police officers agree that George Floyd’s death is inconsistent with their training.
“California police officers are some of the best trained officers … all of them believe the unfortunate incident with George Floyd is inconsistent with the way we have been trained,” said Sylvester.
Mayor Bob Sampayan talks about the 18 fatal shootings by the Vallejo Police Department in the last 10 years and the biggest issue the department deals with — the shortage of police officers to enforce laws to help make the community safer.
Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm spoke on the recent protest and the possible changes coming to its local police department that could some local officers believe it could leave them without the tools needed to fight crime.
“We need to have our police officers involved in the conversation, so we’re doing it with them not to them,” said Mayor Schwedhelm.
“We are examining our use of force policies and we’re engaging in the community.”
San Rafael Mayor Gary Philips responds to recent criticism over cities decision to not cut its police budget. Mayor Philips also talks about recent response efforts towards the recent protests over police misconduct and how it department stacks up with 8CantWait’s policies.
Bay Area Cities identified on 8CantWait website:
- Alameda (2/8 policies enacted)
- Antioch (2/8 policies enacted)
- Berkeley (4/8 policies enacted)
- Contra Costa (2/8 policies enacted)
- Daly City (2/8 policies enacted)
- Fremont (2/8 policies enacted)
- Hayward (3/8 policies enacted)
- Livermore (⅜ policies enacted)
- Marin (⅛ policies enacted)
- Merced (2/8 policies enacted)
- Milpitas (2/8 policies enacted)
- Monterey (2/8 policies enacted)
- Mountain View (2/8 policies enacted)
- Napa (2/8 policies enacted)
- Oakland (⅝ policies enacted)
- Pittsburg (⅜ policies enacted)
- Pleasanton (2/8 policies enacted)
- Redding (⅜ policies enacted)
- Redwood City (0/8 policies enacted)
- Richmond (2/8 policies enacted)
- Roseville (2/8 policies enacted)
- Sacramento (⅜ policies enacted)
- San Francisco (8/8 policies enacted)
- San Jose (⅝ policies enacted)
- San Mateo (2/8 policies enacted)
- Santa Clara (2/8 policies enacted)
- Santa Rosa (⅛ policies enacted)
- Sonoma (⅛ policies enacted)
- South SF PD (2/8 policies enacted)
- Sunnyvale (2/8 policies enacted)
- Tracy (2/8 policies enacted)
- Union City(⅜ policies enacted)
- Vacaville (2/8 policies enacted)
- Vallejo (2/8 policies enacted)
- Walnut Creek (2/8 policies enacted)