The San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA) can always be counted on to be on the wrong side of history, and to say all the wrong things. This week's statement on the Police Commission's decision to put up Black Lives Matter signs in all SF police stations is no exception.
The commission voted unanimously on Wednesday night to require all San Francisco police stations to hang a 32-by-24-inch Black Lives Matter poster in every station in the city, and the police officers' union is less than happy about it.
"This resolution is merely a small gesture to show that this commission and our department stands in solidarity for the support of Black lives," the commissioners said in a statement following the vote.
The POA submitted a letter to the commission voicing their objection to the resolution, saying that the poster amounted to political speech that did not belong in police stations. The union, which represents some 2,000 SFPD officers, said that any directive that stations "prominently display posters in support of [a] political organization, establishes a new precedent that raises concerns about introducing political agendas."
Damali Taylor, the vice president of the Police Commission, minced no words earlier this week about the union's letter, telling ABC7, "The letter talked about this being political speech which is absolutely horseshit, if you excuse my French."
And as Taylor tells KPIX, "What we are talking about here is not about the Black Lives Matter organization or entity. We are talking about an expression of values that Black lives matter to the San Francisco police department."
SFPD Chief Bill Scott voiced his full support of the resolution saying, "I can speak on behalf of the command staff and members of this department. Black lives do matter and they matter to this police department." He added, "This is not at the expense or in lieu of anybody or anyone else’s life."
President of the POA, Tony Montoya, declined KPIX's offer to speak on camera, but issued a predictably obtuse statement, saying, "The Police Commission should put away their soap boxes and stop their political grandstanding… It’s time for the commissioners to get beyond hashtags, posters and politics."
Montoya has been busy the last few months denouncing moves being made by our new progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin, including ending prosecutions for contraband seized during arrests.
Most recently, Montoya got in a dustup with the SFMTA on Twitter, telling them to "lose our number" over a tweet saying that Muni would stop offering free transport to officers in riot gear to quell protests.
In May, after the SFPD banned all "Thin Blue Line/Blue Lives Matter" paraphernalia, the SFPOA bragged on Facebook about how their similarly patterned face masks were selling like hotcakes to people all over the country (with likely problematic views on racial justice).