Immigrant rights coalition calls for firing of SFPD officer caught on video threatening deportation

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.


Investing in Immigrant Rights Coalitions

We stand at a crucial moment in the history of California and our nation. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to stand up for our values of justice and inclusion and to defend our immigrant communities from rising hate and intolerance. Check out this video from the California Immigrant Policy Center below on the necessity of investing in regional immigrant rights coalitions to build statewide power:

Migrants in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha

 Photo above: Speakers at Migrants in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha   training through Pangea Legal Services, ASPIRE, and Asian Prisoner Support Committee]

Photo above: Speakers at Migrants in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha training through Pangea Legal Services, ASPIRE, and Asian Prisoner Support Committee]

Every week, people gather in places of worship to reconnect with the divine and community, as well as to receive encouragement and challenge to live out their faith. This year, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI) and Free SF have invited a team of speakers to share their migration story in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha. As a commitment to uphold the dignity and sanctity of every human person, IM4HI and Free SF’s Migrants in the Pulpit / Bimah / Minbar / Sangha, positions migrants to speak to congregations’ faith values that broaden and humanize the immigrant experience.  

In light of San Francisco’s history as a Sanctuary City and Sanctuary Movement by people of faith, Migrants in the Pulpit / Bimah / Minbar / Sangha is an important and enriching opportunity for congregations to hear from those directly impacted by today’s immigration policies, start conversations about immigrant justice among faith communities, and to affirm the power of migrant voices in our city and within our congregations.

If you are part of a congregation and would like to invite a speaker please contact Sarah Lee at for further consultation. See info guide and FAQ here.

FREE SF Coalition hails ruling blocking Trump's Sanctuary Order

San Francisco - Today, in response to the federal district court ruling which affirmed the Trump administration cannot pull funding from sanctuary cities, the FREE SF coalition, including Asian Law Caucus, Causa Justa::Just Cause, California Immigrant Policy Center, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, La Raza Centro Legal, and Legal Services for Children, issued the following statement.  

We are heartened that the Trump administration's crude attempts at anti-immigrant bullying and intimidation have once again been blocked.  

The administration is trying to coerce cities into being part of the cruel deportation machine and help make immigrants disappear, in total violation of the Constitution. Yet, as today's ruling reminds us, it is well-established law that the feds cannot seize our local resources to carry out their dirty work.  

Sanctuary is ultimately about upholding our deepest principles and values. We believe that all people are created equal and have a right to due process and equal treatment.  Local policies that keep law enforcement out of deportations are a vital step to protecting family unity and preventing racial profiling.    

We pledge to not only protect these policies, but to continue the fight to build a true sanctuary of economic, social, and racial justice for all. We urge the state to pass the CA Values Act (SB 54) to protect communities across the state from the administration's deportation machine.  

The FREE SF coalition led efforts to pass San Francisco's Due Process for All Ordinance in 2013 and to update the Due Process for All and Sanctuary ordinance in 2016. 


We are Ready to Resist

Today, in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump, The FREE SF Coalition - including Asian Law Caucus, Causa Justa::Just Cause, CA Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, CA Immigrant Policy Center, Dolores St. Community Services, La Raza Centro Legal, and Pangea Legal Services  - issued the following statement. The coalition is joining a national wave of protest and resistance to oppression today. 

Today we face a stark reality: a new federal government where hateful, oppressive forces hold most of the levers of power. Discrimination and exploitation are on the rise. But here in the streets of San Francisco, vibrant communities are also rising, uniting in solidarity to fight for a better world for all.

FREE SF pledges to passionately defend San Francisco's powerful Due Process for All and Sanctuary Ordinances.  Won by the courage of immigrant community members themselves, these policies recognize immigrants' deep community roots and protect vital civil liberties for all. And they boldly project our values of equality, freedom, and common humanity to the nation and to the world.

We know that to fuel mass deportation, the federal government will double-down on the demonization of immigrant community members - our loved ones and neighbors - who have had arrests or convictions. Against the rhetoric of division and scapegoating, we must never lose sight of the sacred principle that all people are created equal. We must acknowledge that too many people caught up in the justice system are in fact victims of racial profiling, criminalization, and disparate treatment. And as we work to challenge mass incarceration, we must never turn away from rehabilitation and redemption.

The fight to uphold Sanctuary and Due Process is part of a larger movement. We stand proudly with immigrant communities, undocumented communities, Latinx communities, Black communities, API communities, LGBTQ communities, Muslim communities, working people, people demanding police accountability, and all San Franciscans committed to justice. 

Together, we must work to achieve the true "sanctuary" of economic, social, and racial justice for all.