"The Morning After"
SFPD Officer Andrew Cohen
Andew Cohen, Special to Fog City Journal
July 6, 2007
The obnoxious alarm buzzer fails to mesh with my dreams and the
daily 4 a.m. reality check sets in. On this particular morning
however, I get to bask in the afterglow of our
first major victory in our fight against Mayor Newsom, Chief
Fong and the City & County of San Francisco for their inappropriate
and hasty actions in response to a police produced comedy video
to be played at a 2005 station Christmas party.
Although this victory is somewhat empty, in that I am still without
my gun, my star and the dignity that was stripped along with them,
not to mention my continued assignment in the SFPD Records Room
(aka Banishment), I smile nonetheless.
After my attorney, Michael Rains, argued this case in the articulate
and confident fashion he is known for, the 1st Appellate Court
opined that Chief Fong abused her discretion by ordering
Cohens temporary suspension for reasons that are NOT
authorized by the Charter
What appears glaringly apparent is the lower courts decision
to uphold the Chiefs reasoning in the beginning of the VideoGate
debacle, showing how the political machine in the City of Saint
Francis continues to churn without any regard for peoples
lives or future well being. What was so difficult for the Superior
Court Judge to see, that the Appellate panel fully recognized
immediately? My translation: Dirty Politics as usual.
The Mayor and the Chief were wrong in the beginning of this debacle
and they are wrong today for continuing this charade. Homicides
are becoming an epidemic in this city and other forms of crime
are continuing to rise. Perhaps it is unfair to point the finger
and suggest that this rise in crime is the fault of any one faction,
or person thereof, but one issue to point out is that the morale
problem couldnt get any worse within the Rank and File officers
within the SFPD.
This problem IS directly related to the inefficacy of our Chief
coupled with the micro-managing stronghold and puppeteer act of
Gavin All Mighty. If there is any nexus to be found
here, it is this morale issue and the willingness of the effected
Officers to perform their duties without first considering the
liability factor which is weighing increasingly heavy on their
Handcuff the Officers, and you place everybody else at greater
risk. This is a no-brainer.
It is high time that police officers everywhere are treated as
human beings and not as robotic pawns. We are held to a higher
standard because of the awesome authority bestowed to us. For
this, we take an oath to protect and to serve the citizenry of
our respective jurisdictions, and this means risking our own lives
for complete strangers. If for nothing else, it is because of
this that we in law enforcement are due the benefit of the doubt,
and the absolute right of due process. We who got caught up in
the Cops Gone Wild video travesty were not offered
either of these. Now we are forced to fight back and we will be
relentless in this daunting task of fighting City Hall.
In the meantime, we will continue to bask in the aftermath of
this little victory and you can rest assured that your police
force will continue to give you the best service that we are able
to give. Beyond that, you will have to tell it to the Mayor.