11 December 2005
Mayor Newsom gets "out in front" to spin the negative flak from his actions
According to the San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate, Mayor Newsom was being proactive and showing leadership when he trumpted his condemnation of the "egregious" video's made by some members of the SFPD. According to the article, this situation and his response was "...almost forced upon him by circumstances" and that they had to go "...into crisis communications mode" according to mayoral aides [unnamed of course].

While I am supportive of the need to appear pro-active and appear to be leading (especially with the relative lack of those qualities on other, more important issues) I find myself, shockingly, agreeing with former Mayor Willie Brown in that the "...chief and the mayor may be too far out front on their alleged outrage".

As is evidenced by Captain Bruce's response to the situation, the Mayor and Chief acted as judge, jury and executioner by summarily deciding the facts of the case and handing out punishments. Perhaps, just perhaps, the response could have been: "We are investigating an alleged incident of possible racial and gender insensitivity that might be a violation of workplace rules" rather than saying that it "is shameful. It is offensive, it is sexist. It is homophobic, it is racist, and we're going to make sure it ends.'' SFPD officers receive training on not making assumptions based on race, gender and sexuality, perhaps that Mayor should too? His blanket condemnation (which he is now spinning) was "racist" in assigning blame (there were officers of all races represented in the tapes), "sexist" as it implies that only male officers were involved (yet there were just as many women involved, in fact they seemed to be presented in a position of power (being cops and all)), and "homophobic" in assuming that none of the officers involved were homosexual. This sort of supposition on the part of the Mayor is exactly the kind of thing that one is taught *not* to do in sensitivity training.

The Mayor's promise to form a "blue-ribbon panel" to investigate the SFPD and "recommend reforms" screams of a deeper, darker plan that many should be concerned about. What sort of "reforms" could such a panel recommend?

This is something that we, as citizens, need to keep an eye on.
A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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