George Floyd’s Killing Spurs SF DA’s New Push for Police Accountability
This week, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin unveiled a proposal that would require the city’s Civil Service Commission to ban the San Francisco Police Department and Sheriff’s Department from hiring officers with prior misconduct records. Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced the proposal on Tuesday as a resolution co-sponsored by seven other supervisors. Walton and Boudin claim that this new policy change would boost police accountability and protect the public from police misconduct. On Monday, Boudin joined four other current and former prosecutors in asking the California State Bar to prohibit district attorneys from accepting campaign donations from police unions. Boudin and the other prosecutors cited the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man by Minneapolis police officers, for their support of the proposal.
- Chesa Boudin, San Francisco district attorney
Future of Policing
When cases of police violence against black people become public, protests often follow. There is talk of police reform, including the need for implicit bias training and reducing the use of force, in order to prevent such travesties from occurring again. In recent years, however, many protest leaders and some academics have increasingly called for more drastic change — through slashing funding for law enforcement.
- Alex Vitale, professor of sociology, Brooklyn College
- Jody David Armour, professor of law, USC Gould School of Law
Protesting Amid the Pandemic
The public outrage to George Floyd’s killing has motivated tens of thousands of people across the nation to protest, even in the midst of a pandemic. Transmission of the coronavirus is highest in closed spaces with poor ventilation and while being in close proximity to a carrier. While most of the protests have been outdoors and many protesters are wearing face coverings, social distancing is difficult to do in a large crowd. But racial inequality also results in poor health outcomes that are reflected in higher COVID-19 mortality rates among blacks and Latinos. Prolonged periods of stress can also result in poor maternal health for pregnant women, which is a growing concern for clinicians treating pregnant women during the pandemic.