(SANTA CLARA, CA, 5/10/18) — The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, this week demanded that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) take substantial steps to change the prevailing culture of Islamophobia and blatant racism within the police force.
In a letter to the department, CAIR-SFBA detailed the deeply disturbing allegations by a Muslim SFPD officer who blew the whistle on the department’s long-standing history of “blatant racism and bigotry.”
Muslim officer blows whistle on ”˜blatant racism’ in SFPD
The officer recounts being asked by fellow officers if he was aware of any “towel heads” and having his locker vandalized with the ISIS flag drawn on it along with the words “Go Back” sprawled next to the flag. His official complaint to the city enumerates other incidents occurring that amount to unchecked racial bigotry and Islamophobia.
To compound the problem, SFPD’s Internal Affairs investigation was allegedly leaked to the accused officers who have since engaged in retaliatory behavior which targeted the Muslim officer for bravely coming forward.
In a statement, CAIR-SFBA Legal Fellow Jeffrey Wang said:
“The reported misconduct occurring within the SFPD is unbecoming of a city that is often lauded by outsiders for its role-model history of inclusiveness and highly regarded for its expansive community and culture. We hope the SFPD commits to effectuating institutional change beyond making empty promises by implementing measures to root out racism and bigotry in the ranks.”
In the letter addressed to SFPD’s Chief of Police William Scott, CAIR-SFBA called for the department to:
- Immediately implement Muslim and Middle Eastern cultural-sensitivity education and training in SFPD’s periodic training bulletins, as well as in SFPD Academy’s curriculum; and
- Implement independent review mechanisms to ensure that such additions are successfully executed.
CAIR-SFBA also echoes the demands made by San Francisco Public Defender Mr. Jeff Adachi in asking that SFPD ensure that officers are able to freely report similar incidents of harassment and bias without being intimidated and fearful of retaliation by the department.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.