Two civil rights groups filed a complaint Wednesday alleging a San Francisco police inspector violated department rules and city law while working with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The complaint (read below), filed with the San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints, comes in the context of a years-long battle by civil rights groups representing Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities to enshrine San Francisco Police Department policy into law when it came to city cops working with the FBI.
The groups won that battle in 2012 with the passage of the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance. The ordinance allows SFPD officers to participate in FBI counterterrorism investigations "only in a manner that is fully consistent with the laws of the State of California, including but not limited to the inalienable right to privacy guaranteed by Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution, as well as the laws and policies of the City and County of San Francisco and, as applicable to the Police Department, that Department's policies, procedures, and orders."
In the incident detailed in the complaint, the San Francisco branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Asian Law Caucus allege that an SFPD inspector not only violated the law, but that the department failed to report it.
The complaint alleges that SFPD Sgt. Inspector Gavin McEachern violated the ordinance and a handful of department policies when he and an unidentified FBI agent approached software engineer Sarmad Gilani in June 2014, at Google offices in San Francisco.