ACLU Accuses San Francisco Police Department of Racial Discrimination


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) over its alleged racial discrimination against Black people.

The ACLU of Northern California and the law firm Durie Tangri LLP are part of the lawsuit against the SFPD.

In a statement, the ACLU alleged the SFPD “has a long and sordid history of racial discrimination” against Black people. The police department allegedly targeted them for arrest because of their race.

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The civil rights group claimed that in 2013, the SFPD partnered with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to target Black people for selling small amounts of drugs in the Tenderloin District.

The ACLU noted that the police department is aware that people of different races are engaged in drug sales in the Tenderloin District. However, all of the 37 people arrested and prosecuted at the time were all Black.

In a statement, Novella Coleman, staff attorney at ACLU of Northern California, commented that the SFPD’s “racially discriminatory law enforcement is well-documented.” She added that the police department failed to address the problem adequately.

SFPD’s tolerance of racist policing is well-documented

In addition, Coleman cited the fact that multiple studies consistently documented the SFPD’s “tolerance of racist policing.” The city commissioned some of those studies.