The San Francisco police videotape farce

The rest of the country is accustomed to regarding San Francisco as a nuthouse (apologies to Rick Moran), so the supposedly scandalous prank videotape produced by Officer Andrew Cohen, and the reaction thereto by the city's Mayor and Police Chief have raised few eyebrows nationally.

However, this may be one instance in which the nutjobs who run the city have outpaced the nutjobs who vote them into office. Debra Saunders, the sensible columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle has put her finger on the real issue:

IF ANYONE should be suspended because of the brouhaha surrounding videos shot by members of the San Francisco Police Department, it is Chief Heather Fong. Her job is to run a solid department that fights crime, which means she has to punish rogue officers who hurt law—abiding citizens, but also stand up for street cops who endure a lot of abuse as they strive to make this city a safe place.

Instead, she showed up with Mayor Gavin Newsom for a press conference Wednesday and supported the mayor's call for as many as four whole investigations —— by the SFPD, a "blue ribbon commission," the city Human Rights Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women —— as they announced that 20 officers will be suspended for their amateur—hour videos.

Andrew Cohen, a liberal from Berkeley who is the father of two mixed—race children, is nobody's racist, and plenty of people know it. The offending video was for private viewing only, at a retirement party. The people who apeared in the video did so voluntarily and were making fun of themselves. The funsters included people of all races, both sexes, and probably some claiming alternative sexuality, this being San Francisco.

Quite frankly, the Mayor and Police Chief look like idiots, and even San Franciscans recognize that. A champion of free speech when it involves pornography in libraries and sexually explicit anti—AIDS advertising at bus stops, the city's leader suddenly turns blue nosed when it comes to non—PC joking around by the cops who live under tremendous stress, working in the city's most dangerous neighborhood, undermanned.

People who know him fairly well tell me Gavin Newsom is a very smart feller. I dunno. To me he looks a lot like the white version of David Dinkins: well—dressed but clueless.

Thomas Lifson  12 09 05

The rest of the country is accustomed to regarding San Francisco as a nuthouse (apologies to Rick Moran), so the supposedly scandalous prank videotape produced by Officer Andrew Cohen, and the reaction thereto by the city's Mayor and Police Chief have raised few eyebrows nationally.

However, this may be one instance in which the nutjobs who run the city have outpaced the nutjobs who vote them into office. Debra Saunders, the sensible columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle has put her finger on the real issue:

IF ANYONE should be suspended because of the brouhaha surrounding videos shot by members of the San Francisco Police Department, it is Chief Heather Fong. Her job is to run a solid department that fights crime, which means she has to punish rogue officers who hurt law—abiding citizens, but also stand up for street cops who endure a lot of abuse as they strive to make this city a safe place.

Instead, she showed up with Mayor Gavin Newsom for a press conference Wednesday and supported the mayor's call for as many as four whole investigations —— by the SFPD, a "blue ribbon commission," the city Human Rights Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women —— as they announced that 20 officers will be suspended for their amateur—hour videos.

Andrew Cohen, a liberal from Berkeley who is the father of two mixed—race children, is nobody's racist, and plenty of people know it. The offending video was for private viewing only, at a retirement party. The people who apeared in the video did so voluntarily and were making fun of themselves. The funsters included people of all races, both sexes, and probably some claiming alternative sexuality, this being San Francisco.

Quite frankly, the Mayor and Police Chief look like idiots, and even San Franciscans recognize that. A champion of free speech when it involves pornography in libraries and sexually explicit anti—AIDS advertising at bus stops, the city's leader suddenly turns blue nosed when it comes to non—PC joking around by the cops who live under tremendous stress, working in the city's most dangerous neighborhood, undermanned.

People who know him fairly well tell me Gavin Newsom is a very smart feller. I dunno. To me he looks a lot like the white version of David Dinkins: well—dressed but clueless.

Thomas Lifson  12 09 05