The San Francisco Chronicle has a number of articles on excessive force and the SFPD. Reading some of the stories, I was very lucky. The police routinely beat, pepper spray, choke, club and hit citizens when it isn’t called for. And what’s worse, the Police Department does nothing about it.
According to the Chronicle, the SFPD has 100 violence-happy members among its force of 2,200. These officers are then promoted to supervisory positions and train rookie officers, thus instilling a police culture where violence is rewarded and possibly encouraged. And of course taxpayers pay a considerable burden defending all the civil suits. The City has paid out more than $5 million in judgments and legal settlements between 1996 and 2005.
Heaven knows what the costs are for the victims, both physically and mentally, short-term and long-term.