San Francisco Police Commission Meeting 5/19/2021 Summary

The San Francisco Police Commission oversees the policy, top leadership and aspects of budget decisions of the San Francisco Police Department. The Board of Supervisors, which appoints some of the commissioners, ultimately controls the budget of the department. I live tweet meetings at #sfpolicecommission, along with a few other dedicated watchdogs. Below is a high-level summary of the most recent meeting. Any factual mistakes are my own.

5/19/2021 Meeting Documents 

A welcome conversation with District Attorney Boudin

I want to be careful how I phrase my summary of last Wednesday's Police Commission meeting, but also be real. So first, the good news. It was great to have District Attorney Boudin join the Commission to talk about overlapping issues, specifically prosecution of regular cases from SFPD and prosecution of police officers who've shot or otherwise hurt people. SFPD wants to work as an untouchable silo, so any effort to draw their practices into some sunshine is welcome and necessary. Particularly when members of SFPD and other police-rights-at-any-cost activists are working overtime to shut down all criticism and accountability, and would love nothing more than to see Boudin’s head roll. Plain facts from Boudin are a relief in this toxic environment soaked with lies (folks: no, crime isn’t increasing). I've included key elements of the conversation between the Police Commission and Boudin below.

That said, having witnessed Boudin in multiple types of meetings now, I hope that he watches the video of his presentation and uses it to improve his communication skills going forward. His natural reaction to any perceived criticism, unfortunately, even from the closest of friends, is defensiveness. Yes, we know it's hard to reform a corrupted institution overnight. No rational person expects you to be a superhero, Chesa. We want you to succeed. We need you to succeed. But leaders seek out constructive criticism, don't hear threats in every question, no matter how gentle, and are constantly striving to improve. And this is available to you, too, friend. Unfortunately, you're not doing yourself, or the work, any favors by wearing armor into every conversation. Real talk.


Before you go, take action! Volunteer for/donate to Wealth and Disparities In The Black Community, founded and led by Phelicia Jones. WDBC has been working on police reform and justice for victims of police violence since the SFPD murdered Mario Woods back in 2015.

Previous SF Police Commission Meeting