Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief William “Bill” Scott, the department’s highest-ranking African American officer, is headed to San Francisco to try to get their police force back in shape.
With the San Francisco Police Department rocked by scandal--including racist texting among the officers and police targeting minorities--Chief Scott was appointed by the city’s own mayor, Ed Lee, to lead the department. “Deputy Chief Scott has seen firsthand not just what it takes to implement a series of reforms, but the efforts it will take to transform a department … to build trust,” Mayor Lee said.
Replacing acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin, Chief Scott, who has 27-years of experience is excited to get to work with force, which includes nearly 2,000 officers.
This all comes after former Police Chief Greg Suhr stepped down in May at the request of the mayor with all of the controversy surrounding the department he was in charge of. Turns out, in a study specifically requested by Mayor Lee, the San Francisco PD used more force on people of color, and stopped and searched them much more often than white people. Also, nine of the 11 people who were killed during use-of-force incidents in that time frame were people of color.
Chief Scott hopes to change the department’s reputation and character throughout the city, wanting the officers to be more like watchful guardians versus brutal dictators. “That means if we’ve got to take somebody to jail, we’ll take them to jail,” Scott said. “But when we need to be empathetic and we need to be human, we’ve got to do that too.”
It’s going to be difficult, but Chief Scott seems like he is certainly up to the challenge. He's a brotha, which is inspiring and great to see in terms of diversity. But what's most important is that he definitely has the right attitude and spirit going in, so hopefully there’s change in San Fran under his leadership!