SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A group of current and former Bay Area district attorneys on Monday called on the California State Bar to ban prosecutors seeking election from receiving political and financial support from law enforcement unions.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar and former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon held a virtual news conference to call for the state bar to end police union influence on local elections.READ MORE: UPDATE: All Lanes of Westbound I-580 In Oakland Reopen Following Police Activity
The group argued that prosecutors cannot ethically investigate and prosecute police misconduct when police unions, sheriff’s offices and correctional divisions offer their endorsements and financial support. That conflict of interest also erodes public trust in law enforcement, they said.
“I think it’s apparent to all of us today that America has a crisis of trust in law enforcement,” Boudin said. “It’s a crisis that you can see unfolding on the streets all across this great country.”
The group chose to call for the change as protests engulf the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.READ MORE: Oakland School Board Discusses Reinstating Popular Police Mentoring Program
Ideally, the group said, the American Bar Association would make similar changes to prohibit endorsements and campaign contributions from law enforcement unions and groups.
“We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us to restore trust in our profession, but trust must be earned, it cannot be demanded,” Verber Salazar said. “The first step to earning that trust back is ensuring the independence of county prosecutors is beyond reproach.”
The group advised supporters of their proposal to follow the hashtag #CureTheConflict on major social media websites for updates on a potential ban of law enforcement union endorsements and campaign contributions in local elections for prosecutors.MORE NEWS: Supply Chain Crisis: Shipping Industry Leaders Meet In San Francisco, Warn Backlog To Stretch Long Past Holidays
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