Governor Brown Signs the Mitchell Bill Banning Grand Juries in Fatal Police Actions

A message from BASF/JDC Executive Director Yolanda Jackson

The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Criminal Justice Task Force played a very critical role in getting the Mitchell bill passed. The board voted for BASF to get involved by writing a letter to legislators; by sending task force members to Sacramento to support this bill in San Francisco; and by sending a letter to Gov. Brown requesting he sign the bill. I am very proud of BASF and the task force.

canstockphoto22610040The following are four more areas in which the task force continues its work:

  1. protocols for use of police body cameras in San Francisco
  2. required implicit bias training throughout San Francisco Police Department
  3. rules around improved data collection by SFPD and
  4. assessing the effectiveness of and raising awareness about the role of police oversight (Office of Citizens Complaints)

BASF’s Criminal Justice Task Force has representatives from the District Attorney’s office, the Public Defenders office, the police department, Sheriff’s department, Mayor’s Office, police commission, human rights commission, ACLU, courts, USF Law School and various other lawyers. This is a brilliant group of thought-leaders and doers.

About the Criminal Justice Task Force

In January 2015 the BASF Board of Directors convened a Task Force on the Criminal Justice System, composed of prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil rights attorneys, law professors, the judiciary, members of law enforcement (police and sheriff) and police oversight agencies.  The Task Force formed several subcommittees to examine current practices regarding the collection and retention of data in detentions/arrests, use and policies regarding body cameras, training regarding bias (including implicit bias), use of grand juries in police-involved shootings, and civilian oversight.

As a whole, the Task force meets monthly while the committee work is ongoing.  Each committee has undertaken a comprehensive examination of current practices of the San Francisco Police Department and the surrounding bay area law enforcement agencies.

A bipartisan and thorough analysis of best practices, their political and practical implications requires a dedication of time, spirit and know-how by all Task Force members.

The Task Force will meet through April 2016 and may expand its work the following year.