About 20 San Francisco police officers will be suspended because of their alleged involvement in what the mayor and police chief call videos that mock minorities and treat women as sex objects, the San Francisco Chronicle says. “This is a dark day — an extremely dark day,” said Chief Heather Fong, “for me as a chief to have to stand here and share with you such egregious, shameful and despicable acts.” One officer produced the videos over the past two years, intending them as morale boosters, said his attorney, who called the suspensions a politically motivated attack on free speech.
Videos depict officers responding to a variety of mock calls. One video shows a homeless black woman railing against white people after apparently being hit by a patrol car, followed by an officer grumbling about having to deal with her. Another video shows an officer ogling a woman he has stopped for a traffic violation. One shows two officers who go to a massage parlor and radio dispatchers try unsuccessfully to reach them — the suggestion being the two are having sex with masseuses. In another video, a female officer is shown putting on lipstick in the middle of a mock drug raid. Mayor Gavin Newsom called the videos the tipping point that will lead to changing police department culture. “Enough is enough,” said Newsom, who promised dramatic changes, including the creation of a panel to review police department operations.