San Francisco police and the Drug Enforcement Agency are on a mission to rid city streets of drug dealers; the only problem is, they’ve only arrested black people.
During a joint mission dubbed “Operation Safe Schools” designed to crack down on drug dealing near elementary schools, 37 suspects were arrested, all of them black, according to the SF Weekly.
The operation was conducted between 2013 and 2014 in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and South of Market districts, and defense attorneys claim their clients were racially targeted for being black.
Sheigla Murphy, a sociologist cited in the documents, told the San Francisco Chronicle the arrests were disturbing.
Other races do, in fact, sell controlled substances in the Tenderloin.
In one arrest, officers ignored an Asian woman trying to sell them drugs in favor of a black woman. The incident was recorded on video and provided to defense attorneys
Most of the suspects were arrested with only a small amount of drugs and would have faced merely probation, but because they were arrested by federal agents, they face longer jail times under federal guidelines.
The arrests, which defense attorneys claim are racially motivated, have done nothing to ease accusations of racism in the San Francisco Police Department.
This week, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr was called before the Board of Supervisors, where he admitted there may be a racist mentality in his department.
There are 14 SFPD officers currently under review over a number of homophobic and racist text messages discovered during a 2009 investigation by the FBI.
The text messages referred to black people as “monkeys” and said they were less than human, implying it would be okay to “put an animal down,” the Inquisitr reported.
Suhr has said he expects to recommend terminations for the officers, according to the San Francisco Appeal.
During the Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Supervisor Eric Mar told the San Francisco Appeal the text messages demonstrate racism and bigotry in the police department.
“All our law enforcement agencies must uphold all of our resident’s civil rights and maintain a justice system that is free of bias. It is extremely worrisome how these prejudices play out on our streets and in the courts.”
The men and women arrested under Operation Safe Schools are charged with distributing illegal drugs within 1,000 feet of a school and with distributing controlled substances. They face a minimum of one year in jail and six years probation, according to SFBay.