Supervisor Mark Farrell to Introduce Package of Public Safety Reforms

***STATEMENT***

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2015
Media Contact: Jess Montejano, Legislative Aide, 415-554-7752


Supervisor Mark Farrell to Introduce
Package of Public Safety Reforms

Supervisor Mark Farrell will call on the Sheriff to immediately rescind his Department gag order, request the City Attorney draft legislation mandating the Sheriff coordinate with the District Attorney prior to transporting prisoners back to San Francisco, and submit a Letter of Inquiry to the Sheriff regarding Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez


SAN FRANCISCO - At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, in response to the Sheriff’s July 16, 2015 letter requesting legislative clarification from the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Mark Farrell will introduce a package of public safety reforms, including:

(1) Legislation confirming the Board of Supervisors’ support of the existing Sanctuary City and Due Process Ordinances and calling for the Sheriff to immediately rescind his department-wide gag order banning any communication with federal immigration authorities;

(2) a formal drafting request to the City Attorney’s office for legislation mandating the Sheriff receive confirmation from the District Attorney that the office will prosecute any outstanding warrant prior to transporting a prisoner to San Francisco from another jurisdiction; and

(3) a Letter of Inquiry to the Sheriff inquiring why the Sheriff held Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez in county jail for more than two and half weeks after he should have been released.

“The public safety of San Francisco residents unequivocally comes first,” stated Supervisor Mark Farrell. “Our Sanctuary City law has been a pillar of public safety policy for decades in San Francisco, but unfortunately this Sheriff has implemented additional ideological policies that fly in the face of not only our local laws but federal law as well, and it must come to an end,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell.

Supervisor Mark Farrell’s legislation that he will introduce at the Board of Supervisors meeting today is straightforward. The legislation affirms support for the City’s Sanctuary City and Due Process Ordinances and calls on the Sheriff to immediately rescind his March 13, 2015 memo that ceased all communications with federal immigration authorities.

On March 13, 2015, the Sheriff issued a memo that ordered the Sheriff’s Department to cease all communications with federal immigration officials. On July 13, 2015, The Deputy Sheriffs Association, which represents the rank and file members of the Sheriff’s Department, issued a letter to the Sheriff stating that, “the Department’s refusal to coordinate, much less cooperate, with federal law enforcement agencies recklessly compromises the safety of sworn personnel, citizens, and those who merely come to visit the San Francisco area.” On July 14, 2015, Mayor Lee also issued a letter directly to the Sheriff requesting that he immediately rescind his departmental policy immediately in the interest of public safety.

Additionally, Supervisor Mark Farrell will formally request that the City Attorney continue drafting legislation that would mandate that the Sheriff receive confirmation that the District Attorney would bring charges against an individual before the Sheriff’s Department is allowed to expend City resources transporting any prisoner into San Francisco from another jurisdiction.

“I believe this is a public safety question, not an immigration issue, and it is time we re-framed the discussion,” stated Supervisor Mark Farrell. “Regardless of the specific charges, it makes zero sense to transport an individual in custody outside of our jurisdiction back to San Francisco, only to have the District Attorney immediately dismiss the charges, and the Sheriff release the individual onto our City streets.”

Supervisor Mark Farrell will also formally submit a Letter of Inquiry asking why the Sheriff, seemingly in violation of the 4th Amendment and other federal and local laws, held Sanchez for more than 14-days in jail after the District Attorney dismissed charges on the 20 year-old outstanding warrant. Supervisor Farrell has asked that the Sheriff respond to the Letter of Inquiry in writing by July 28, 2015.

“Donald Trump, Fox News and everyone else who sought to take political advantage of the recent tragedy should be ashamed of their behavior,” said Supervisor Farrell. “Nevertheless, we cannot be afraid to examine our existing laws and policies and look at common-sense reforms.”

Supervisor Farrell’s legislation calling on the Sheriff to immediately rescind his department gag order will be sent to committee and receive a hearing before a full vote at the Board of Supervisors, which is anticipated to be in September. Supervisor Farrell expects to formally submit his legislation creating new requirements for the Sheriff's Department in early September when the Board of Supervisors returns from its August recess.

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