Activists, including Cat Brooks with the Anti Police-Terror Project, announced their plans for a weekend of virtual training and ceremonies and a car caravan on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at a virtual press conference Friday.

Oakland Activists Lead Car Caravan, Virtual Events Inspired by Teachings of MLK

Organizers with the Anti Police-Terror Project every year mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with demonstrations that underscore King’s revolutionary teachings — the ones that made him a target of political criticism and law enforcement.

This year the activists have adapted their events to the pandemic, hosting virtual training and ceremonies. Their three days of events were to culminate in a car caravan from the Port of Oakland to the Eastmont Mall at noon Monday.

Photo courtesy of James Wedick.Photo courtesy of James Wedick.

Retired FBI Agent Explains How Probes Like Those Into S.F. Corruption Work

The FBI arrest of former San Francisco Department of Public Works head Mohammed Nuru on fraud charges in January kicked off a cascade of raids, charges and investigations that have spurred the departure of several other city department heads. Such investigations can take years, and are relatively difficult to complete. James Wedick, who retired from the FBI in 2004 after nearly 35 years with the bureau, spent years investigating corruption and was responsible for the bureau’s corruption squad in Sacramento.

Advocates Fire Back at ‘Ineffective’ Drug Dealer Injunctions

Nearly four dozen groups announced Wednesday their opposition to San Francisco’s efforts to combat rampant drug dealing in the Tenderloin by using injunctions to increase penalties for dealers.

On Wednesday morning, a coalition of 45 organizations, including the public defender’s office, homeless advocates, immigration rights groups, drug policy organizations and youth-based nonprofits, held a press conference to express their opposition to the strategy. In a Dec. 3 letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, they said the injunctions are “draconian and wasteful,” and do little to address concerns around drug dealing and overdoses.

Some Mission District residents have been encouraged to put post-it notes in their windows to signify their interest in joining neighborhood meetings with police.

Police Pushing Amazon Surveillance Cameras for Mission District Residents

A new collaboration between residents and the San Francisco Police Department to address crime and homelessness may result in an increase in surveillance cameras — specifically, Amazon’s controversial Ring products.

The collaborations have emerged after residents reached out to Mission Station for assistance in managing tents, drug use and trash on their streets.

The science on the key ingredient in the top-selling U.S. weedkiller, Bayer's Roundup, is still in fierce dispute as the company settles thousands of lawsuits claiming health impacts for billions of dollars.

Scientists Split Over Herbicide Risk, Leaving Public in Lurch

Identifying clear guidelines for the level of exposure to glyphosate that could cause cancer or other illness is a contentious business. Monsanto owner Bayer denies glyphosate, the active ingredient in weedkiller Roundup, is a carcinogen. The European Union and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back that view. That’s despite a finding from the World Health Organization in 2015 that glyphosate probably is a human carcinogen.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party state convention at Moscone Center.

City Encourages Corporate Homeless Sweeps by Failing to Condemn Them, Critics Charge

Mayor London Breed’s apparent toleration of an unsanctioned homeless encampment “sweep” by a corporate event company this month has led her critics to ask whether the policy of City Hall is to turn a blind eye to privatized harassment of people living on the streets. The sweep, which occurred just past midnight on the morning of Sept. 10 outside the old Honda dealership on 12th Street, resulted in the disposal of eight people’s belongings. Neither the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing nor the mayor’s office clearly rebuked the actions of the event company, Non Plus Ultra.

Inmates take in fresh air at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County.

On the Inside of an Outbreak: How COVID-19 Spread in San Quentin

We had zero infections inside San Quentin since the lockdown was implemented. We thought we’d be going back to school soon, attending college classes, self-help and enjoying contact visits with family. But, on May 30, buses pulled up from a Chino prison where COVID-19 had run rampant. One hundred and twenty-one men exited those buses, some showing symptoms of COVID-19, according to medical personnel working in the prisons receiving area.

WeCopwatch trainer David Whitt teaching a copwatch college session in San Francisco in 2018. Now, due to social distancing guidelines, the curriculum that is normally taught in person during copwatch college has been made available online.

Interest in Community Police Watch Training Soars as Courses Go Online

Berkeley Copwatch is one of several Bay Area organizations that instruct observers in how to record interactions between the public and law enforcement officials that are seeing a surge in demand for their services. The groups have shifted their tactics and focused more resources on online course delivery in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the surge in protests. They’re also ramping up misconduct tracking efforts and social media campaigns as the public focus on police brutality heightens.

security-camera

S.F. Police Accessed Private Cameras to Surveil Protesters, Digital Privacy Group Reveals

When a tech executive helped bankroll a private network of security cameras in San Francisco, it was touted as crime-fighting technology that would not be directly in the control of law enforcement. But a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy advocacy group, shows that the San Francisco Police Department gained remote access to this private camera network for days at a time during protests in late May and early June. The privacy group says that access was a violation of San Francisco law. The camera network in question is managed by the Union Square Business Improvement District. Emails obtained by the foundation show that the group received, and approved, a request from SFPD to obtain remote access to the cameras for 48 hours on May 31.