Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three Trimetsers Of Justice?

Despite what you may think, justice in America, or at least in San Francisco, is a painfully, and I might add ridiculously, slow process. I found out today that when you lodge a complaint against an SFPD officer it takes about nine months to go through the system. If there is a lot of information or there is disciplinary action to be meted out or the officer in question has multiple complaints against him... it can take over a year!!!

With that kind of sluggishness I can see why so many people never lodge complaints against officers- by the time it, potentially, gets addressed you could easily be looking for new digs in an Assisted Living Facility because you do not want to be a burden on your Grandkids.

I find it interesting that allegations of threats and intimidation against a woman on a bicycle by a police officer can be dragged out for ages when it is a certainty that had I driven my bike at the same police officer and then told him I would knock him down with that bike I would be looking for bail and a lawyer having been taken from the scene in handcuffs.

What comes as further food for thought is that this story has spurred a really silly discussion about just who rides around with a gun. This is not the discussion I was hoping would come from this, but I have yet to become the Supreme Leader of the Interwebs so I will just have to go to my happy place. This becomes somewhat more necessary when I read comments at places like SFGate.

In the mean time, I seriously hope that the next person that this officer threatens/intimidates/hits... lodges a complaint as well. It is a slow system, but eventually it has to spit out something.


  1. This sucks...totally sucks.

    9 months? I'm hoping that the (good) media attention that this incident is getting helps expedite your complaint. And, hopefully it gives others who have had similar experiences the courage to speak up as well.

    Want to join the anti-hate blogger gang? Bullies are bullies, no matter what avatar they hide under...I know you're a tough cookie and these comments will roll right over you :)

  2. yes the happy place!!!
    yes, im calling in sick, i can be reached at the happy place. ommmmmm
    cant wait to visit that place again <3

  3. If it makes you feel any better, it's not just in officer-involved issues that things take for freaking ever. It took fully a year for a road raging car v. bicyclist case that my wife and I witnessed to get *almost* to trial, and then the prosecutor dropped it because there was "conflicting witness testimony." The driver followed (stalked) and on purpose struck the bicyclist with his car, causing injury, and he got off with *nothing* because witnesses *a full year later* were saying inconsistent things. I told the prosecutor over the phone that this was utter bullsh*t, that my wife and I witnessed a crime, and she just kept apologizing. The system is designed to protect who the system primarily serves, meaning *not* the victims.

    This sucks, and I'm thinking about y'all.

  4. yeah, agreed that the timing is super slow. a friend of mine was a victim of a violent crime over a year ago as of last month, and her case STILL hasn't gone to trial yet. the DA's office keeps pushing it off and off.

    so, we just can't forget, but i doubt there's anything we can do to expedite it either.

  5. I am reminded of a comedian long ago who said that things like this were like elephant sex.

    It occurs at a very high level, there is a great deal of noise, trumpeting, mindless motion, and it takes 22 months to get any results, and after that you have a new elephant.

    I'm hoping this is not elephant sex.

  6. Well said. I appreciate the comparison you made to how you would be treated in a similar situation.

  7. Adrienne- Was there any resolution involving your complaint?

  8. Anon- because the officer would not identify the others in the car with him, and he, of course, proclaimed his innocence, it was found that there was no case and the matter was dropped. The complaint is part of his permanenet record and hopefully others make complaints about his appalling behavior. In the meantime, he has to live with being a creepy, violent, bully and that can not be a pleasant place to be. He is his own punishment.