In a recent debate with Jane Kim, his opponent in the race for San Francisco’s seat in the State Senate, Scott Wiener said he respects Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem. But while he’s served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Wiener has repeatedly voted against police reform.
Wiener has had multiple chances to stand with people of color in San Francisco calling for police reform. But every time there’s been a contested vote on police reform, he’s voted on the side of the Police Officers Association against reform:
- July 20, 2016: Wiener voted against a proposal to put a portion of the SFPD budget on reserve until the department demonstrated that it was making progress on several reforms including its Use of Force policy, and its processes for hiring and disciplining officers. Wiener continued to oppose this even after John Avalos reduced the amount of the budget reserve from $200 million to $20 million!
- April 19, 2016: Wiener voted against a resolution in support of Mark Leno’s bill to give the public access to records of police misconduct. The ACLU says the California Police Officers Bill of Rights is one of the most restrictive in the country. Even states like Texas, Kentucky, and Utah make records of police misconduct public!
- June 23, 2015: Protesters literally turned their backs on Wiener and his resolution to prioritize hiring more police over funding education, jobs, and housing.
#SFBoardOfSupervisors room packed with community standing to turn our backs as #ScottWeiner introduces resolution pic.twitter.com/eEtKda1ITl— nancypili (@nancypili) June 23, 2015
- December 16, 2014: Wiener opposed a non-binding resolution calling for police reform in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown and the protests in Ferguson. The Examiner later reported that the lobbyist for the SF Police Officer Association threatened to break off ties with any Supervisor who supported the resolution.
As Mark Leno’s failed attempt to make modest reforms to the Police Officers Bill of Rights shows, any meaningful police reform efforts in California will require state legislators who are willing to stand up to the law enforcement lobbyists. Leno has been a champion for police reform, and this November voters will decide whether Jane Kim or Scott Wiener will replace him.
Here in San Francisco, there is a growing consensus that the Police Officers Association is the biggest barrier to police reform. Wiener has been endorsed by the POA in every election he’s run, and every time there’s been a contested vote on police reform, he’s voted with the POA against reform.
So it’s great that Wiener respects Colin Kaepernick’s protest calling for police reform. But Scott Wiener's actions as an elected official disrespect Kaepernick and everyone else who is working on the reforms needed to address the crisis of police shootings of unarmed black and brown Americans.
And hey, @kaepernick7: if you’re serious about making police reform happen in California and San Francisco, then we need you to support Jane Kim for State Senate! Jane has a track record of standing up to the Police Officers Association. She voted for all of the reforms listed above. Will you join us in standing with Jane?
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Wiener wants Leno’s job but he opposes the signature police reform measure that Leno has been working on. That’s a deal breaker for us, and it we think it should be for anyone else who is serious about police reform.
And if you want to see an unjustified proposal, check out Wiener’s resolution saying that police staffing levels should be based on population:
And then check out this Budget and Legislative Analyst report that finds “a minimum staffing level based on population is not considered a rigorous and analytical staffing methodology. Rather, any changes to the SFPD’s minimum staffing level should be based on a workload-based assessment that accounts for department-specific conditions, as well as a comprehensive
examination of historical workload data.”
If Wiener was such a strong opponent of police violence, why did he vote against opening up records of misconduct? Why did he vote against making a small portion of SFPD’s budget contingent on demonstrating progress on hiring, discipline and the Use of Force policy? Perhaps because he calculated that the POA endorsement was of more value to him than the votes of those who care strongly about police misconduct and impunity.