SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) â After months of national outrage and protest over racially charged police killings, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi recently joined other Bay Area public defenders last month criticizing the lack of indictments of officers who kill unarmed black men.
At aÂ conference the public defenders released a statement that the criminal justice system has no credibility when it fails to hold police officers accountable for the killing of black and brown people.READ MORE: San Francisco DA Boudin Files Charges Against SF Sheriff’s Deputy Accused of Sexual Assault, Threats
Adachi, who is the only elected public defender in the state of California and has held the post since 2002, said that most police officers are trying to do the right thing by serving their communities.
âThe problem is that you have a culture within the police department, which I think encourages bias.â He explained these biases occur on racial and unconscious levels. Adachi cited the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland as examples of how communities see that officers arenât being held accountable for their actions.
Locally he referred to the police shooting of Alex Nieto who was shot numerous times and killed by police while walking on Bernal Hill. Police said Nieto had reached for his Taser when they opened fire. âPolice officers are not being held accountable for murder or killing or whether you call it manslaughter, however you define it. There is no penalty for officers that are committing crimes.READ MORE: Notorious Norteño Gang Member 'Lil Rhino' Sentenced For Carrying Out Jailhouse Attacks
His department of over 90 attorneys gives legal representation to more than 20,000 people a year. His office has now commissioned a study to identify racial disparity in the San Francisco criminal justice system.
According to the president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, the SFPD is one of the most diverse departments in the nation, which undergoes continual diversity training.
According to Adachi the SFPD stops black men at four times the rate of their white counterparts. âYou might think that means black men are committing more traffic violations. Thatâs not true. In San Francisco, the black/ African-American population is less than six percent, yet 56 percent of the people in the jails are African-Americans. People rely on stereotypes on these ideas and notions they have about whoâs dangerous and whoâs threatening.”MORE NEWS: U.S. Postal Service To Hire 1,000 People In San Francisco Bay Area
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