"I have bias, everybody has bias."
-- San Francisco Police Department Chief Greg Suhr speaking before SF's Public Safety Committee, Thursday, April 2
SFPD Chief Greg Suhr hasn't had an easy time of it lately, between his racist-text-sending officers and a crime lab that might have fucked up the DNA evidence in "hundreds" of cases. So Thursday's Board of Supes Public Safety Committee meeting, the focus of which was the texting scandal, must have been a rough one.
According to the Ex, when asked by Supervisor Eric Mar if the texts were “a few bad apples or is it a broad based problem,” though, Suhr wouldn't answer directly, instead saying “I have bias, everybody has bias.”
“The text messages took me completely by surprise," Suhr told the committee.
According to the Chron, the department will finish its report on the 14 officers being investigated for sending horrible text messages, including an audit, Surhr says, “to see if there is a red flag common denominator" between the offenders, by the end of the day.
By this afternoon, KRON4 reports, the department is expected to start proceedings to fire three of the offenders: Noel Schwab, Rain Daugherty and Michael Celis, with "more suspensions to come soon."
Update: The SFPD just released a statement regarding the suspensions.
Today, after conferring with Director Joyce Hicks of the Office of Citizen Complaints, Chief Suhr determined that all 14 members of the San Francisco Police Department engaged in text messaging violated Department policy to varying degrees.
Eight of the members engaged in text messages of such extreme bias (racist and/or homophobic content), and Chief Suhr believes their conduct is incompatible with the duties of a police officer. These officers’ text messages are of such despicable thinking that those responsible clearly fall below the minimum standards required to be a police officer. These officers have been suspended, and their cases have been forwarded to the Police Commission with the singular recommendation of termination. (Note: One of the eight members referred to above has already resigned.)
Two other officers participated in single texting events that included inflammatory texts which did not rise to the level of the other eight officers. These two officers offered explanation(s) that should be heard by the Police Commission. They have been reassigned to non-public contact positions. Their cases have been forwarded to the Police Commission, which can mete out discipline up to and including termination.
The remaining four officers engaged in single texting events with Mr. Furminger that were determined to be violation(s) of Department policy, but not violations that involved “hate speech” (e.g., leaving an assigned area of responsibility, failure to notify anyone of Mr. Furminger’s message(s), dismissively responding to Mr. Furminger in a manner unbecoming an officer). These officers will be disciplined by the Chief of Police who can suspend an officer without pay for up to 10 days.