San Francisco Police Chief Apologizes for Terrorism Comments

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 AM PDT
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San Francisco Police Chief Apologizes for Terrorism Comments

AP

George Gascon says he is sorry for offensive comments he made.

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San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon apologized for  remarks he made Thursday on the threat of terrorism that drew criticism from  members of the city's Middle Eastern community.
     
Gascon spoke at a breakfast at San Francisco's Ferry Building  before construction and trade groups, at which he discussed a $412 million  June 8 bond measure to build a new police headquarters and implement other  seismic upgrades citywide.

According to Gascon, he also discussed possible terrorist threats  to the headquarters at the Hall of Justice as another reason to support the  measure. He said he mentioned domestic terrorism but also the threat of  international terrorism from Yemen and Afghanistan, and also noted  significant populations from those countries residing in the Bay Area.

His office issued a statement apologizing "to those in the  Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities who were offended by his  comments."

"Chief Gascon did not intend to upset the community and he is  mindful of the importance of cultural sensitivity, not only here in San  Francisco, but nationally," the statement read.

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American  Islamic Relations said that it, along with other local Arab and Muslim  groups, sent a letter to Gascon in which they expressed disappointment.
     
The organization said they have asked the police chief to meet  with leaders from the Arab and Muslim community in San Francisco to talk  about possible negative impacts of his comments.
 

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