Legal group files formal complaint with city
San Francisco - As concern grows over NBC Bay Area undercover footage that captured San Francisco Police Department Officer Joshua N. Fry threatening a group of Latino and Asian peoplewith deportation, the FREE SF Coalition - including Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, African Advocacy Network, CARECEN-SF, CA Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), CA Immigrant Policy Center, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Community United Against Violence (CUAV), Dolores Street Community Services, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, La Raza Centro Legal, Labor Center for Immigrant Justice, Legal Services for Children (LSC), Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Pangea Legal Services, and Root and Rebound - issued the following statement.
Additionally, one of the coalition’s members, the Asian Law Caucus, filed a formal complaint earlier this week with the city’s Department of Police Accountability (formerly Office of Citizen Complaints).
"We are deeply disturbed by the recent undercover video that captured an SFPD officer threatening a group of Latino and Asian people with deportation. That an SFPD officer racially profiled and threatened people of color with deportation in perhaps the most well-known sanctuary city is shameful and an affront to our deepest values. Authorities must treat all people fairly, regardless of their background, where they were born, what they look like.
Unfortunately, this is far from the first time that an SFPD officer has made deportation threats or actually contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). In December 2015, the SFPD arrested and detained local father Pedro Figueroa after he sought the police’s help in locating his stolen car, and turned him over to ICE. Mr. Figueroa’s case made both local and national headlines and led to a significant strengthening of our local Sanctuary and Due Process ordinances. But this video footage demonstrates the lesson clearly did not stick with the SFPD.
It is especially concerning that this incident has occurred at a time when the Trump Administration has ramped up deportations and fomented widespread fear and panic among immigrant communities.
Due to years of community organizing, San Francisco’s Sanctuary and Due Process for All ordinances are among the most powerful protections in the country. But when officers like Officer Fry make these cruel threats, that further undermines community confidence in an agency repeatedly plagued with scandal.
We call upon SFPD Chief William Scott to send a message that actions that seek to undermine our Sanctuary ordinance are wholly unacceptable. We demand the firing of this officer and a launch of an independent investigation to ensure that no other officers were involved in making these threats."
The FREE SF coalition, formerly the SF Immigrant Rights Defense Committee, successfully led efforts to pass the Youth Due Process Ordinance in 2009, the Due Process for All Ordinance in 2013, and updates to the Due Process and Sanctuary ordinances last year.