Against police racism in San Francisco, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Ñ Don’t Stop: The #Frisco5 Fight Back as Chief Suhr [of San Fransisco police] Resigns

25 May 2016

For this segment of #ÑDontStop we go back to The Bay in San Francisco, we first spoke with teacher Nancy Pili who told us how the community has fought back against the troubled SFPD. The Frisco 5 and their hunger strike brought attention to the corruption and racism within the SFPD and demanded that Chief Suhr be fired. After a racist text message scandal, a growing number of police murder victims including Alex Nieto and Mario Woods, the community decided that Chief Suhr had to go. Could Mayor Ed Lee be next? Ñ Don’tS top sat down with 2 of the Frisco 5 as they reflected on their struggle.

A black woman physician says she tried to help on a Delta plane, but a flight attendant didn’t believe she could be a doctor.

San Francisco, USA police kill unarmed woman

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 May 2016

About 200 protesters gathered at City Hall on May 9 for a peaceful demonstration to call for Mayor Ed Lee to fire SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, and for a boycott of San Francisco corporate restaurants until Suhr is gone. Video by Alejandro Galicia Diaz

By David Brown in the USA:

San Francisco police chief resigns after cops kill unarmed woman

21 May 2016

On Thursday morning, San Francisco police officers shot and killed an unarmed woman who had been driving a car that police suspected was stolen. Within hours of announcing the death, Police Chief Greg Suhr announced his resignation at the request of Mayor Ed Lee. This purely cosmetic gesture will do nothing to address the class roots of police violence in San Francisco.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, was sitting in a parked car in the Bayview neighborhood of the city and allegedly drove off when police approached her, immediately crashing into a truck and becoming stuck. Two unidentified officers claimed that she was not responding to commands and one of them shot her once in the chest as she tried [to] separate the two vehicles. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she died.

No weapon was found on the woman and the officers have not claimed that she presented a danger to anyone. This was the third fatal shooting of a suspect in San Francisco in the past six months and comes shortly after new revelations of widespread racism and criminality in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Protesters have been demanding Suhr’s resignation for several months, including a 17-day hunger strike that ended earlier this month.

Suhr, who was appointed chief by Lee in 2011, had always refused to resign, claiming he was carrying out important reforms to the department.

In a press conference at City Hall Thursday afternoon, Mayor Lee told reporters: “I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform, but following this morning’s officer-involved shooting…I have arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward.” Later, Suhr announced his resignation, saying of the shooting, “This is exactly the kind of thing, with ongoing reforms, that we are trying to avoid.”

These ostensible reforms included $17.5 million proposed by Lee to train officers in de-escalation techniques after police shot and killed 45-year-old Luis Gongora in April. Police claimed that Gongora, a homeless man, had lunged at them with a knife, but surveillance footage near the shooting showed police rapidly approaching Gongora with guns drawn and firing within 30 seconds of getting out of their cars.

That killing followed the slaying of 26-year-old Mario Woods in December 2015. Woods had been suspected of assaulting a man earlier in the day, and had a knife when he was surrounded by police. Again police claimed Woods presented an immediate threat, but video taken by bystanders showed Woods completely surrounded and walking slowly when police shot him 20 times.

These are just the most recent cases of police killings in San Francisco in recent years which include Amilcar Perez-Lopez, who was shot in the back by plainclothes officers who claimed he was lunging at them with a knife; and Alex Nieto, a City College student who was killed when police mistook a Taser he had for a gun. No officers have been prosecuted in these cases.

In addition to these killings, nearly 20 officers have been directly implicated in two different exposures of racist and homophobic text messages. In April this year, text messages of Officer Jason Lai to at least four other officers were released showing regular use of racial slurs and disparaging remarks against African-Americans, Indians, Hispanics, and Asians. Lai is himself of Chinese descent. One of the more extreme texts referred to black people protesting the Baltimore police killing of Freddie Gray as “a pack [of] wild animals.”

Far from being an aberration, a similar set of texts with Sgt. Ian Furminger at their center, were revealed in February 2014, implicating at least 14 officers. These texts talked about burning crosses and encouraged the killing of “half-breeds.” Captain Jason Fox was the highest-ranking officer identified in this scandal.

In both cases, the racist texts were only brought to light in the process of unrelated investigations into the officers’ criminal activity. Lai was under investigation for sexual assault. Although prosecutors declined to press charges on that accusation, he was eventually convicted of illegally accessing Department of Motor Vehicle records for personal reasons. Furminger’s texts were discovered in an investigation of his theft of drugs and money from residents in the city’s impoverished Tenderloin district. Furminger was convicted on four felony counts in February 2015.

More broadly in law enforcement, three San Francisco County sheriffs were charged in March of this year with forcing prisoners in the county jail to fight and betting on the results.

The racist views of individual cops are the manifestation of a more fundamental antipathy of the police force towards the working class as a whole. In the more impoverished parts of San Francisco, law enforcement exists as a particularly well-armed and financed gang that kills and robs with impunity.

According The Guardian there have been a total of 390 people killed by police so far this year, nearly three a day.

San Francisco, USA anti-police brutality hunger strike update

This video says about itself:

USA: Protesters raid City Hall after ‘Frisco 5‘ hospitalised during hunger strike

6 May 2016

Hundreds of people gathered at San Francisco’s City Hall, Friday, after five hunger strikers protesting police brutality against minorities had to be hospitalised. The ‘Frisco five’ are now receiving medical treatment after 16 days of hunger strike.

Artist Honors The Black Mothers Who’ve Lost Their Sons To Police Brutality: here.

Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, USA

This video from San Francisco in the USA says about itself:

4 May 2016

Hundreds joined the hunger strikers “Frisco Five” in a march to City Hall, where they were hoping to speak with the mayor.

This video from the USA says about itself:

#BLM [Black Lives Matter] Take Protest to San Francisco City Hall

4 May 2016

The ‘Frisco Five’ hunger strikers and their supporters overran San Francisco’s City Hall, to demand the resignation of the city’s Chief of Police Gregory P. Suhr.

Hunger strike protest against lethal San Francisco, USA police violence

This video from San Fransisco in the USA says about itself:

Meet the Frisco Five

3 May 2016

The Frisco Five are two rappers, an educator, a supervisorial candidate and a grandmother on hunger strike until San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr is fired or resigns.

From the New York Daily News in the USA, by Shaun King:

The ‘Frisco 5’ are now 12 days into a hunger strike, demanding justice outside the San Francisco Police Department

Monday, May 2, 2016, 2:39 PM

Is this what we’ve come to?

Racism and brutality by American police departments is so awful and so often left completely unchecked, that good people are literally starving themselves to death just to get justice. Four men and a woman have been camping out for 12 straight days in front of the San Francisco Police Department’s Mission station, on a full hunger strike, with the hope that their efforts will not only bring attention to injustice in the city, but lead to the police chief, Greg Suhr, being terminated.

The “Frisco 5,” as they are called, are doing something incredibly brave, peaceful, and non-violent — yet San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has refused to even meet with them, instead asking the activists to “email him,” according to the San Francisco Examiner. As compassion and momentum continues to build for these five wonderful warriors, their bodies grow weak from malnourishment.

While I have nothing but deep admiration for Sellassie Blackwell, age 39; Ilych Sato, 42; Edwin Lindo, 29; and two educators, Ike Pinkston, 42 and Maria Gutierrez, the lone woman, age 66, I am absolutely embarrassed that this is what needs to be done in 2016 to get justice. But make no mistake about it, this is absolutely what it takes.

The activists are using social media to spread the word, using the #Frisco5 hashtag to tweet and Facebook about the ordeal.

The Daily News was unable to immediately get comment from Mayor Lee.

The system itself has failed us time after time after time. That’s how 1,207 people could be killed by American police in 2015 without one single conviction among them the entire year.

A 0.0% conviction rate defies all logic and statistical probability.

Many of those shootings, unfortunately, have taken place in San Francisco. Even when filmed or witnessed, not a single ounce of justice has followed.

In 2012-2013, at least 14 different officers from the San Francisco Police Department were caught sending horrendously racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic text messages. The powers that be stalled and stalled and let essential deadlines pass until the officers were no longer allowed to be terminated for their actions. This is a disgrace.

Now even more bigoted messages are emerging from a new set of officers.

Elsewhere, the second-highest ranking law enforcement officer in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department resigned in disgrace Sunday after being caught sending bigoted emails. In fact, police departments all over the country are discovering the exact same type of bigotry among their officers.

That we have to starve ourselves to have these grievances addressed appears to be our sad reality right now.

America in 2016 is not nearly as different from 1966 as we hoped it was.