a san francisco police car

San Francisco police need to better train officers to avoid racial bias, according to a report from a blue ribbon commission created by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. The panel, formed after revelations that officers sent racist and homophobic text messages, blamed a “code of silence” that allows bias to go unreported. The report also found that African Americans are disproportionately  stopped and searched by police in San Francisco. Forum discusses the findings and criticisms of the report.

More Information
Panel Finds SFPD ‘Code of Silence,’ Outsized Influence of Police Union (KQED News)

Blue Ribbon Panel Finds ‘Code of Silence’ within SFPD 12 July,2016Michael Krasny

Alex Emslie, reporter, KQED News
Anand Subramanian, executive director, Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement
Jim Dudley, retired deputy chief of patrol, San Francisco Police Department; lecturer, San Francisco State University
Supervisor Malia Cohen, member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors

  • geraldfnord

    The police should not be an occupying army; Peel knew that. Neither should they be our first-line mental-health system, or have to live with the anger engendered by a rich society with a poor welfare-state.

    • Peji

      Agreed. And the onus seems to be on the police to handle every conceivable situation with restraint with no expectation that society will respond in kind. Kids must also learn to respect police as they become more racially enlightened. My fear is that it will become so dangerous to be a cop, both politically and physically, that no one will be willing – their lives are on the line at all times. Society needs to help them do their jobs.

  • Wade Hudson

    How can the department dissolve the code of silence? What other departments have? What data documents that officers in those departments report, or interfere with, misconduct at higher rates?

  • Ben Rawner

    Are police departments supposed to checking every person in the departments’ texts? Not only would that be prohibitively expensive and time consuming, what about employee privacy rights? “Hop outs”? How about they are doing their jobs. Drug sales and use are rampant in the TL. If police officers see shady people standing on corners, they should let them be because they are a minority? How exactly is the police department supposed to do their job?


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor