SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Since 2019, there has been a dramatic decrease in deadly police shootings by officers in the San Francisco Police Department.
An agreement between SFPD and the DA’s office that could be responsible for those results is now in jeopardy.
“I want to be very clear. It was working,” Chesa Boudin said.
Whether or not the Memorandum of Understanding regarding officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths and use of force investigations between the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco County DA’s office was working, is not what is being called into question by Police Chief Bill Scott.
Chief Scott has unilaterally pulled out of the agreement because he alleges one of the DA’s investigators was pressured into withholding evidence in the first deadly force court case under the MOU against one of his officers.
“This is about the MOU itself and what that MOU is supposed to stand for,” Chief Scott said.
The DA has this to say in defense of his office.
“I can assure you when my office when my team makes mistakes we own them. And I can tell you that we did not make mistakes under my leadership in this case. And that’s what the evidence will show,” Boudin said.
Beyond that, the DA says because of a gag order he can’t get further into it.
Haaziq: “So, Christine, you get into it. If that is the case is the chief standing on solid ground here?”
Christine Soto Deberry: “No!”
The executive director of the California Prosecutors Alliance, Christine Soto Deberry played a key role in developing the MOU when she was chief of staff for then-District Attorney George Gascon.
“Listen, if there’s a disagreement about the memorandum the appropriate remedy for that is a conversation, where the chief can raise the concerns that he has to the D.A. and the D.A. can respond to those concerns. Either by changing patterns or explaining what happened or making some amendments to the MOU. But tossing out an agreement that has made San Franciscans safer from police use of force is not the answer,” Deberry said.
“It shakes public confidence, and it shakes the confidence of many of our leaders in this city,” Supervisor Asha Safai said.
Supervisor Asha Safai is among the city leaders who are troubled by the essence of the chief’s allegations against the DA.
“That’s why I have a call into him to understand further. I don’t believe that he would use one incident to tear up an agreement that has shown some positive impact. It sounds as though, from what I have heard him say is that this was a pattern of behavior from the District Attorney’s office, and that’s why he has chosen to withdraw,” Safai said.
If the two sides fail to work this out the cancellation of the MOU will take effect around mid-February.