The police officer whose amateur video raised concerns about racism, sexism, and homophobia in the San Francisco Police Department hopes his filmmaking skills can help undo the damage and refocus the debate, reports the New York Times. Critics say he is making things worse. Officer Andrew Cohen was suspended and reinstated last month with 23 other officers connected to the video, which depicted officers in skits that mocked the homeless, gay men and lesbians, African-Americans, and others.
Cohen now is promoting a new 28-minute video that shows the difficulties of police work in crime-ridden neighborhoods. Peter Ragone, a spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, said the mayor and Police Chief Heather Fong had no part in the effort. Ragone said many people, including fellow officers, had asked Cohen to “stop trying to promote himself.” Called “Inside the S.F.P.D.: The Bayview,” the new video includes officers from the city’s Bayview station, where he worked when he shot it, in dicey confrontations, arresting suspects, rescuing bloodied victims and rounding up drug dealers in a troubled neighborhood. In interviews, officers speak about the dangers of police work.