SF Police Must Take Anti-Intolerance Pledge

SFPD (Reuters / Stephen Lam)
Reuters / Stephen Lam

In response to perceived intolerance in the ranks of San Francisco police officers, officers will be asked to take a pledge promising they will not tolerate racism, sexism, or homophobic behavior and will report any evidence of such among their fellow officers.

The campaign to step up vigilance regarding intolerance was catalyzed by two different events. The first was the Dec. 2 shooting of Mario Woods, 26, a black man who was armed and had already stabbed another person when he was confronted by police. The other was the discovery of a white officer’s use of a black slur in text messages when referring to officer Yulanda Williams’s promotion to sergeant, according to CBS San Francisco.

After she found out, Williams, the leader of a minority police officers’ group, helped launch the idea of a pledge. The pledge reads:

I, [Full Name], pledge to serve the people of San Francisco faithfully and honestly without prejudice.

I will not tolerate hate or bigotry in our community or from my fellow officers.

I will confront intolerance and report any such conduct without question or pause.

I will maintain the integrity of the San Francisco Police Department and safeguard the trust of the people of San Francisco.

I will treat members of the community as I would hope to be treated myself.

I will pursue justice with compassion and respect the dignity of others.

For those who would suggest there is any place for the stain of intolerance, I pledge, Not on My Watch.

In the Woods case, only one of the five officers involved in the shooting was white.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr claims that the idea of a pledge and the “Not on My Watch” campaign were planned before the Woods shooting.

On Saturday, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown San Francisco to protest Woods’ death, reported local ABC 7. The demonstrators chanted: “For justice, for Mario Woods” and “Fire Chief Suhr.”

A police department-affiliated website http://notonmywatchsfpd.org/, has created a 10-minute video with the police chief, officers and civic leaders to help people understand how to report their complaints about police.

The police officers’ union reportedly approved the pledge, although San Francisco Police Officers Association president Martin Halloran indicates that the recitation is is voluntary. Police cadets who graduated in January read the pledge.


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