12-10-2005, 02:59 PM #1
Just wondering what others think of the San Fransico police video that had made so much news.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco is suspending 20 police officers who participated in video sketches portraying police ogling women, ducking emergency calls and going to a massage parlor on duty.
But the lawyer for the officer who produced the tape said that it had been intended as a parody and that officials had overreacted to an attempt at edgy humor and "social commentary."
Attorney Daniel Horowitz said on Thursday the San Francisco Police Department should expect a lawsuit if it did not reverse course on the suspension of officer Andrew Cohen, who made the videos.
Mayor Gavin Newsom called the tape, which had been prepared for a Christmas party and leaked on the Internet, offensive, sexist, homophobic and racist.
Newsom urged investigations by the city's human rights commission and a second city commission on the status of women.
Police Chief Heather Fong said on Wednesday, when the suspensions were announced, that the public release of the videos marked "a dark day" for the San Francisco police department.
The skits portray officers in the predominantly black Bayview-Hunters Point district as unresponsive to emergency calls but eager to make drug busts. The skits also portray male officers as sex obsessed.
One skit has officers going to a massage parlor while on duty.
But Horowitz defended the videos as a form of "social commentary" and said Fong's reaction showed how out of touch she was with rank-and-file officers.
"She wants everybody to think this is a happy police force and it's not," said Horowitz. "They feel very resentful."
Newsom appointed Fong, the first Asian woman to head a major U.S. police force, in January 2004.
She assumed office in the wake of the police department's "Fajitagate" scandal in which top officers were accused of covering up a street brawl over fajitas outside a bar. The fight involved a son of the former police chief.
Fong was not immediately available for comment.
Horowitz said the filmed skits attempted to use edgy humor to show how police at Bayview Station were viewed in the community.
"The officers feel perceived they're stereotyped," Horowitz said.You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape.
12-11-2005, 06:32 AM #2
Here's a link to a local newsite that has clips. The clips have been entertaining many throughout the SF Bay area, but we're in a climate that's seen the 49er training tape debacle and the earlier SFPD "scandal" when the vice squad discovered a cop couple had starred an online porn flick. The most substantive claim so far is misuse of equipment and related code of conduct violations.
Most people polled by news orgs or discussing this at places like craigslist don't really seem to care. If anything, most are probably wondering why officer Cohen was dumb enough to upload the vids--everyone should know the 'net is one of the last places to put something private.
12-11-2005, 08:05 AM #3
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- Flanders, NJ
Whenever you do something like this, you have to anticipate that it will eventually be seen by persons other than the intended audience.
It looks like they were trying to imitate Reno 911. Especially in an allegedly politically enlightened area of the country like San Francisco, you would think that racial and sexual orientation jokes would not be recieved well. The problem was, they didn't think.
This video does not reflect the officers inability to deal with a criminal situation in an objective manner. It was dumb, but it certainly is not criminal or anything to get fired over. They will recieve some punishment, but this was dumb, not criminal.
It also wouldn't surprise me if this tape shows up when one of these officers is being cross-examined in a really big case...
12-11-2005, 01:24 PM #4Originally Posted by xolotl
These were my first thoughts when I first heard about this. Why in the h*ll would he put it on the net???------------------------------------
These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
12-11-2005, 02:58 PM #5Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
Not too bright putting it on the web. But few people would have seen it if the Chief and the Mayor hadn't made a big deal out of it. I wonder what their agenda is?
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