SF Police Oversight Must Rein in Disreputable Officers

It is time for the San Francisco police oversight department to investigate San Francisco officers using vulgar language and making racist comments on social media. 

SFPD General Order 2.01 (14) PUBLIC COURTESY: While on or off duty, members shall treat the public with courtesy and respect and not use harsh or uncivil language. Furthermore, General Order 2.09(I) states, “All members are reminded that they are strictly accountable for their conduct at all times, whether on or off duty. Members who maintain personal social media accounts and disseminate information related to their media employment must understand their social media accounts may discredit the Department.”

It appears that one officer associated with SFPD is using uncivil, political and racist language on social media. On January 13th, San Francisco Police Commissioner and former public defender John Hamasaki posted on Twitter, “We need to remove politics from social media.” He courageously continued on February 5th, “I spend a lot of time focused on the misconduct of police and prosecutors, not because each one of them is evil, But each of them IS responsible for standing by while their colleagues do evil if they don’t report it.” Amen John!!

On February 2nd, the officer at issue tweeted, “The gang-infested LA sheriff’s dept apparently turned over their social media account to QAnon rep Marjorie taylor greene.” Followed by a February 4th tweet, “White racist supremacists have been pushing them (mug shots) to push their racist agenda through the media for decades.” Last summer, the officer posted: “Can we get a 911 for white people who get upset when they see a person of color? Like punch “K” on your phone three times.” These tweets are so infested with race that one would expect this officer to have “Thug Life” tattooed across his torso.

On February 7th, the officer vulgarly attacked the 9.9 million voters that supported last fall’s Prop 22: “F*ck Prop 22 as a ballot measure, a record label, and as a crew. If you voted for Prop 22, then F*ck you too.”

On February 1st, the same officer tweeted, “What would you do if you saw a grown man trying to pepper spray a nine year old girl?” This post came out of nowhere, without context or reference to another post, and seems to indicate that perhaps this officer lacks the balanced disposition to serve our city.

Under section I of the San Francisco Ethics Commission’s Statement of Incompatible Activities, it prescribes who must comply with SFPD’s General Orders: “For purposes of this Statement, and except where otherwise provided, ‘officer’ shall mean a member of the Police Commission and the Police Chief….. ‘officers’ and employees are subject to Department policies.” Thus, police commissioners, 60% of whom are former public defenders, are defined as “officers” exactly as if they were patrolling the streets. 

It was San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki that posted all of the radical tweets in this article, making it a point to capitalize all colors but “white.” 

On September 18th, 2020, I issued a public records request to Hamasaki to specifically verify that he was the actual person behind the tweet for the need to have a “911 for white people.” He responded, “Happy to confirm that was my response.”

On his Twitter account he identifies himself definitively as a “San Francisco Police Commissioner.” which means that as an “officer” his tweets can be considered damaging to the reputation of SFPD and the city.

As disreputable as Hamasaki has acted, his February 5th tweet does apply to the Police Commission’s public-defender wall-of-silence: “each of them IS responsible for standing by while their colleague post evil and they don’t report it.” 

Fellow police commissioners, so that you don’t stand by while your colleague posts evil:

  1. Should someone with “officer” Hamasaki’s limited vocabulary, prejudicial hatred towards Caucasians, and unstable mindset be required to recuse himself during the commission’s disciplinary hearings because of his own violations of the SFPD General Orders?
  2. Should Hamasaki be completely removed from the commission because of the reputational damage and embarrassment he is bringing to our city?
  3. Should citizen complaints versus Hamasaki violations be directed to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the San Francisco Ethics Commission, or the Department of Police Accountability?
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