San Francisco

San Francisco Supervisors Vote Down Independent Police Auditor Proposal

Citizens and elected officials in San Francisco on Tuesday called for more accountability in the Police Department, and one of the options the Board of Supervisors considered, an independent police auditor, was voted down, 6-5.

Demonstrators including the mother of stabbing suspect Mario Woods, the man who was fatally shot by police in December, stood outside City Hall on Tuesday demanding action. Police accountability for the lives lost through officer-involved shootings was their biggest concern.

"The travesty in all this, as a mother? The system," said Gwen Woods. "I know no one will be held accountable."

Supevisor John Avalos proposed the board vote to withhold $30 million from the Police Department budget if it refuses to submit quarterly progress reports.

Supervisor Malia Cohen, who successfully helped pass Proposition D, requiring all officer-involved shootings be investigated by the Office of Citizen Complaints, was proposing something different. She wanted the board to approve a ballot measure that proposes making the office independent of SFPD. But the divided board voted against it.

"[The office] currently does not have the ability to do an independent audit of the San Francisco Police Department," Cohen said, "and auditing is important because it helps account and chronicle the data we need to continue to move in the right direction."

The proposal specifically called for the Office of Citizen Complaints to be renamed the Department of Police Accountability and would have required the DPA to conduct an audit every two years of how the Police Department handles claims of officer misconduct and use of force.

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