As thousands took to the streets in protest of racist, anti-Black police violence, the San Francisco Police Department chose to violate the City's Surveillance Technology Ordinance and the Board of Supervisors' authority and control over surveillance decisions in San Francisco. From May 31 to June 7, SFPD established real-time access to the Union Square Business Improvement District's privately-owned camera network — demonstrating the lawlessness and lack of accountability protesters were demanding be addressed.
Now is the time for the Board of Supervisors to ban city use of private networks of surveillance cameras. We’ve just seen the SFPD violate the existing ordinance by using such networks against Black-led protests. In doing so, the SFPD invaded the privacy of protesters, targeted people of color, and discouraged further protests. Perhaps more than any other moment in our lifetimes, public safety demands trust between community members and the agencies sworn to keep them safe. Police lawlessness and high tech surveillance further erode the frayed fabric of our collective accountability. Call on your Board of Supervisors to take action today.