Nearly Half of S.F. Police Uses of Force Involve Blacks

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San Francisco police have used force on more African Americans this year than on any other racial group, according to police data, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Police have reported 2,787 instances in which officers have used force since Jan. 1, 45 percent of which involved African Americans. Hispanics and whites have each been on the receiving end of officers’ use of force in 23 percent of incidents, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have accounted for 8 percent. “The data warrants further analysis, and the SFPD is looking to partner with an academic institution to delve deeper into the numbers, including examination of factors leading to these reported uses of force,” said officer Grace Gatpandan, a police spokeswoman.

The Police Department requires that officers report all uses of force, including pointing a firearm at a person, using physical control, striking someone with a fist or object, using a carotid choke hold, or using a firearm, baton, pepper spray or a less-than-lethal beanbag round. The most common is pointing a gun at a person, which until December was not a reportable use of force under department policy. On May 19, an officer shot Jessica Williams, an unarmed black woman who allegedly drove a stolen car at officers. The shooting prompted the resignation the same day of Police Chief Greg Suhr. Acting Chief Toney Chaplin is one of three finalists Mayor Ed Lee is considering to replace Suhr.

 

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