An African American SFPD cop is alleging that three of his fellow officers beat him up last night in what the NAACP is labeling "racial profiling."
According to SFPD, the incident took place at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Bayview District between Third Street and Newcomb Avenue during a traffic stop.
The officer making the claim, Lorenzo Adamson, Jr., a 15-year veteran at the department, says that three Caucasian officers pulled him over on a vehicular violation while he was off-duty. He claims they verbally harassed him by first asking him if he was "on parole," then pulled him out of the car, threw him onto the ground, and physically assaulted him. After Adamson identified himself as a cop, the officers fled, according to NAACP President Amos Brown.
Earlier today, the NAACP held a press conference to demand that the Mayor's Office and Police Commission conduct a "thorough" investigation of the incident. In response, SFPD Commander Charlie Orkes gave a statement on behalf of the department today at The Hall of Justice.
Officer Gordon Shyy, a spokesman with the Department, confirmed that Adamson was pulled over at a traffic light for "multiple" traffic violations, including not having a license plate and having dark-tinted windows on the driver and front passenger sides. After being directed to pull over, Adamson at first failed to comply. After he finally pulled over, SFPD says the situation "deteriorated to a physical confrontation," but that, before the assault, "at no point did he identify himself as a police officer." Adamson, SFPD claims, only identified himself as a cop after the assault began.
Shyy added the off-duty officer was carrying a firearm, which was spotted during the confrontation.
Adamson was transported to the Bayview police station after the incident, and was cited for criminal charges for the traffic violations and obstructing and delaying an officer. He was released shortly afterward, according to the SFPD.
SFPD became aware of the allegations this morning through media sources announcing the NAACP press conference.
Brown received information on the issue from "someone" this morning, but wouldn't elaborate. He and the NAACP say they plan to follow this case until it is resolved.
According to Brown, this case is evidence of "racial profiling," and says it is clear that the SFPD "has no respect and communication with the black community."
"Black people are in a hostile environment," Brown says. "We must not profile black men as convicts. That's the ignorance we're dealing with."
However, the SFPD responded, saying "it is not a racial profiling case, we do not condone racial profiling. The vehicle that was stopped had no license plate. Any police officer is going to see that and stop that car to investigate."
This case is being investigated by SFPD's Internal Affairs Division.