SFPD Formally Unveils First “Black lives matter” Banner at Bayview Police Station 20-099

On September 14, 2020, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott and Police Commissioner DionJay Brookter formally unveiled the Department’s first “Black lives matter” banner in the lobby of Bayview Police Station. Joining Chief Scott and Commissioner Brookter were Bayview Station Captain Troy Dangerfield and Reverend Aurelius Walker of True Hope Church.

Commissioner Brookter authored the resolution requiring the display of such banners, which was recommended to him by members of the community and unanimously approved by the Police Commission at its July 15, 2020 meeting.

“We have the rare opportunity to address pervasive racial inequalities, which often go unaddressed,” said Commissioner Brookter. “This resolution is a community-driven call to action. We recognize the efforts of the San Francisco Chief of Police and the Department to expeditiously implement reforms that support bias-free policing. I thank Commissioner Taylor for her tireless commitment and vision for the future and fellow Commissioners for their support. The Commission is committed to listening, learning, and engaging in purposeful dialogue that will lead to positive change. We believe this is the first step of many in that direction.”

Working in tandem with the resolution’s author and members of the police commission since the resolution’s adoption, SFPD members department-wide opted to go beyond the measure’s basic requirements. The oversized banner now measuring 27 by 54 inches explains why the department’s values of “safety with respect for all” require acknowledging why Black lives matter — “definitively and resoundingly” — to all members of the San Francisco Police Department.

“Recent events have challenged our profession to rise to the moment in ways that are unprecedented in our modern history,” Chief Scott said. With the ‘Black lives matter’ banner we are formally unveiling today at Bayview Station, I think the San Francisco Police Department makes very clear: we are listening to the public, and we are answering definitively and resoundingly that Black lives matter to all of us. I want to thank all the members of the San Francisco Police Commission for their leadership in this effort, and especially the members of the San Francisco Police Department, who rose to the moment, and embraced the meaning of Black lives matter in ways that are heartfelt and moving.”

Mr. Rome Jones, Bayview resident, and District 10 Youth Commissioner said of the banners, "The show of support is an important step in the right direction. It’s my hope that with this poster, SFPD is making a commitment to embody the statement as an institution."

The poster employs the Pan-African colors of red, yellow, green, and black in lettering related to Black lives matter terminology, while San Francisco Police Department and Police Commission lettering employs blue coloring.

The PDF version of the poster can be accessed here.

To view the Bayview Station event, use this link: https://vimeo.com/457909177

The full text of the banner reads as follows:

Black lives matter to the San Francisco Police Department

Prologue:

Reaffirmation of our Values

As our Nation and our City grapple with the reality of social and racial injustices facing our communities of color and specifically the past and recent deaths of Black people resulting from police interactions, The San Francisco Police Department reaffirms its strategic statement and our values to the Black community that we stand for “Safety with Respect” for all.

Our strategy statement and our values are anchored on the following tenets:

We will engage in just, transparent, unbiased and responsive policing; do so in the spirit of dignity and in collaboration with the community; and we will maintain and build trust and respect as the guardian of constitutional and human rights. When any member of the San Francisco Police Department or Police Commission is asked the question “Do Black lives matter to the San Francisco Police Department or Police Commission?” the answer is definitively and resoundingly – YES!

Answering Yes is not enough, however. It’s important to the members of the San Francisco Police Department that you know why Black lives matter to us.

The following is our “Why” from every corner of the SFPD:

SFPD Command Staff

We are committed to respect, dignity, equity, inclusion, and healing.

Field Operations Bureau

Central District Station

We celebrate diversity and value voices of change.

Southern District Station

Actively seeking justice and equality for black lives gives us as police the opportunity to fully live up to our oath and achieve true nobility.

Bayview District Station

We, the officers at Bayview Station, choose to be so assigned to serve a community that has been historically underserved and discriminated against. Black lives have always mattered to us, and we will continue to guard Bayview residents in partnership and with pride.

Mission District Station

Black lives matters, to us, means there is an expectation of equality in all aspects of American life such as education, health care, employment and the application of the law.

Northern District Station

We reaffirm our oath and duty to respect the sanctity of Black lives, to continue our long practice of impartial and unbiased policing with procedural justice while recognizing the impact of policing on Black communities.

Park District Station

Black lives matter to us at Park Station because we want to be a part of bettering our society and institutions by overcoming systemic racism and racial inequality, in all of our interactions as well as in society and all of its institutions.

Richmond District Station

There has been systematic oppression for so long that it is time for a change. Equality is required by all and for all.

Ingleside District Station

We have seen hate in every form, we have seen racism, we have seen oppression. We are here to fight for justice for all who have been victims associated with this kind of motivation. Black lives matter to us in our city. We represent each culture and diversity. We value Black lives among all the lives. We are stronger with Black lives among all lives, and we stand against racism.

Taraval District Station

Taraval Station hears the call for a practice of racial equity from the police, and is committed to unbiased and fair policing.

Tenderloin District Station

Black lives matter to the officers at Tenderloin Station because we believe all of us, regardless of race, are brothers and sisters. Racism in any form will never be tolerated within our ranks.

Special Operations Bureau

Black lives matter because the sanctity of human life, equity, and marginalized voices matter to us.

Investigations Bureau

Black lives matter to us means seeking peace and justice for victims, affected families, and the community.

Strategic Management Bureau

Some policing history has undermined trust, but will not set the standard for the future. Shared humanity and transparency builds trust. We are all in this together.

Airport Bureau

Since 1619 the value of Black lives has been at the epicenter of our challenges as a nation. Caring for Black lives is not a movement but rather a way of existing that should permeate every aspect of being an American.

Administration Bureau

We hear the call. Not as a statement against us, but as in invitation to bring us together with inclusion, dignity, respect, and honor.

Epilogue:

As eloquently stated by our Nation’s 44th President, Barack Obama, “I know that there’s some who have criticized even the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ as if the notion is as if other lives don’t matter. We get ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Blue Lives Matter’. I understand the point they’re trying to make. I think it’s also important to understand that the phrase ‘Black lives matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African-Americans that needs to be addressed.”

Through our comprehensive and self-initiated Collaborative Reform Initiative one of our priorities is to address those vulnerabilities as well as address long standing disparities associated with policing in Black communities. To learn more about The San Francisco Police Department Collaborative Reform Initiative and about our progress in addressing these issues, please go to our website: www.SanFranciscoPolice.org/reform

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