The San Francisco chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling on city and public safety officials to investigate what the group considers racial profiling when a black off-duty police officer was pulled over and allegedly harassed in San Francisco's Bayview District Thursday evening.
The Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, president of the NAACP chapter in San Francisco, said that off-duty Officer Lorenzo Adamsum, who had been on disability for back problems for several months, was roughed up and mistreated by three white officers when he was stopped for a traffic violation in the Bayview District Thursday night.
Brown, speaking at the corner of Third Street and Newcomb Avenue this afternoon where the alleged incident occurred, said after Adamsum was pulled over, an officer "immediately asked if he was on parole."
Brown said the officers treated him improperly because of the color of his skin. Adamsum refused to comply with the officers whom Brown described as disrespectfully violating his rights when they failed to initially ask for registration or other paperwork.
Brown said the officers then pulled Adamsum out of the car, wrestled him to the ground and had him handcuffed and detained. It was not until later that the officers realized Adamsum was a fellow police officer, according to Brown.
"This kind of treatment must not be tolerated anymore in this city," he said. San Francisco police Cmdr. Charlie Orkes responded to the claims made by the NAACP by saying that the department will conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the incident.
Although unable to provide a detailed account, Orkes said the officer was pulled over around 8:20 p.m. because the car he was in had no license plate and dark tinted windows. Orkes said the off-duty officer did not identify himself as such and it was discovered later that he was armed. The traffic stop eventually turned into a physical confrontation, Orkes said. Brown vowed that the NAACP "will be vigilant in protest of this type of racial profiling."
Adamsum has retained civil rights lawyer John Burris, the attorney confirmed this afternoon. Burris declined to comment further about the case.
The NAACP is asking the mayor's office, the police commission, police Chief Greg Suhr and the city's Human Rights Commission to investigate the incident and to hold the officers accountable, according to Brown.