‘Top Cop’ Kamala Harris’s Record of Policing the Police

  • Politics
  • ‘Top Cop’ Kamala Harris’s Record of Policing the Police

Ms. Harris began her second term as attorney general the next year by outlining steps to make policing fairer and more transparent, saying “we must acknowledge that too many have felt the sting of injustice.” Still, she hesitated, refusing to endorse AB-86, a bill opposed by police unions that would have required her office to appoint special prosecutors to examine deadly police shootings.

In San Francisco, the police killed 18 people during Ms. Harris’s six years as attorney general. But if there was a single flash point, it was the shooting of 26-year-old Mario Woods in December 2015. Widely circulated cellphone videos showed officers surrounding Mr. Woods — disturbed, strung out on methamphetamines and armed with a steak knife. Five officers fired 46 rounds, hitting him with 21.

A series of rallies followed, and an 18-day hunger strike by five men who came to be known as the Frisco Five. Many believed that Ms. Harris would take action, as her predecessor, Jerry Brown, had done in 2009, when he obtained a court order placing the police department in Maywood under his oversight after widespread misconduct.

In a letter to Ms. Harris, Jeff Adachi, then San Francisco’s public defender, urged her to exert her authority in the Woods case and several other shootings. “An investigation,” he said, “would settle the pressing question of whether the racism evidenced in these incidents is endemic.”

Ultimately, it was the Justice Department that intervened, led by Mr. Davis, the former East Palo Alto police chief, who had become director of the agency’s office of community-oriented policing services. Mr. Davis said his work was bolstered by warnings from Ms. Harris that she would investigate the San Francisco police if necessary.

“We weren’t absent,” said Venus Johnson, a former associate attorney general who advised Ms. Harris on criminal justice issues, adding that there were frequent discussions with San Francisco officials. “We weren’t putting our heads in the sand. We were actively involved.” (The city later adopted some recommendations from a 68-page Justice Department report that found disproportionate use of force against people of color. In 2018, the district attorney said he would not bring criminal charges in the Woods case, though he called the shooting unnecessary and disturbing.)

Did you like this article? You can read it and many others @ NY Times!

From The S3 News Community

Check out posts from our own content writers


Here's the latest news

Ladies and gentlemen, we are back.  The Masked Singer has returned with a brand new season and thus we're here to drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out which celebrities are under all those masks. The first mystery was already solved...

The Masked Singer Season 4 Premiere Unmasks the Dragon

WASHINGTON — For the birthdays of her Supreme Court clerks, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would often bring a cake baked by her husband, Marty, a tax lawyer and deft chef, serving it at a celebration in her chambers.When the clerks...

Ginsburg Clerks Remember Her as a Mentor Who Treated Them Like Family

The Tampa Bay Lightning's captain has yet to suit up in bubble hockey. Now his team is one of the last two vying for the Stanley Cup. Stamkos posted 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 57 games during the...

Steven Stamkos: Is the Lightning captain playing in Game 3?

Photography courtesy of Instagram/@asiafiasco via @inclusivestylisttoronto"It’s a way for people emerging in the industry to know that they’re not alone." By Odessa Paloma Parker Date September 23, 2020 icon-facebook icon-twitter While there’s been a bigger push in recent years for...

How Inclusive Stylist is Changing Representation Behind the Scenes

The new layer is color-coded, includes a count of new cases per 100,000 people, and indicates whether the count is going up or down. A new layer in Google maps shows coronavirus case levels at the county and state levels.Google...

Google adds a COVID-19 layer to Maps app to show health status at county and state levels
Load More
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap