SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott notified District Attorney Chesa Boudin Wednesday that the SFPD’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the DA’s office to independently investigate officer-involved shootings will end.
The other things the DA, under the MOU, could have previously investigated independently include in-custody deaths and uses of force that cause serious bodily injury, according to a press release.
The MOU’s termination will take effect in 15 days.
“As is stated in the letter, this is about the essence of the MOU itself and that that MOU is supposed to stand for,” Chief Scott said.
Chief Scott’s decision was influenced by a Jan. 27 San Francisco Superior Court hearing that determined the DA’s office has not complied under the MOU’s provisions when it came to those kinds of investigations.
“The spirit of that MOU is fairness, transparency, cooperation and an agreement that works for all concerned parties, including the police officers,” Chief Scott said. “The D.A. has once again showed his explicit bias towards police officers and crime victims in general and it appears that was the catalyst for doing what the Chief did.”
A San Francisco DA’s office investigator, Magen Hayashi, testified that she misled police investigators about the status of an underlying criminal investigation into a domestic violence incident and withheld evidence from a sworn affidavit — due to pressure from assistant DAs.
SFPD and the District Attorney’s Office agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2021, the release said.
Chesa Boudin’s office responded to this decision in a statement on Wednesday, writing in part:
“Since the MOU between our office and SFPD went into effect, our office has made enormous progress towards reducing police violence against San Franciscans and particularly people of color. It is disappointing but no coincidence SFPD chose to withdraw from this agreement during the first-ever trial against an on-duty San Francisco police officer for an unlawful beating. SFPD’s decision comes a week after an SFPD fatal police shooting in which police falsely characterized the decedent as being in possession of a firearm and weeks after a criminal case was dismissed after officer excessive force came to light. “
Chief Scott says this decision has nothing to do with oversight and everything to do with a process that is fair.
He says he’s now working to find alternatives for independent investigations.
“I have also, as was put in the letter, reached out to District Attorney General for guidance on how we can get through this with the appropriate independent oversight,” Chief Scott said.
Scott’s full letter to Boudin about the MOU’s termination could be viewed here.