Saturday, June 9, 2007

Newsom Named In SFPD Video Suit

You may remember last month when the police officer involved in that now famous satirical video filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against the city and the police chief. Today they added one of the chief critics of the video to the lawsuit -- Mayor Gavin Newsom.

ABC7 News Team, Vic Lee, Reports Wakeen McCoy, the lawyer for those officers, amended their lawsuit today by adding the mayor as an individual defendant. McCoy says he'll be able to depose Mayor Newsom to find out if his self-admitted drinking problem may have impaired his decisions in this case.

It was a controversial video that led to the suspensions of 24 officers a year-and-a-half ago. They say the video was a parody of themselves, meant to be shown at Bayview Station's Christmas party.

Instead, an angry Mayor Gavin Newsom and Chief Heather Fong unveiled it at a news conference.

"It is shameful. It is offensive. It is sexist. It is homophobic and it is
racist." Mayor Gavin Newsom (December 2005)

Those public comments are why 18 of the officers who took part in the video have named as defendants the city, Chief Heather Fong and now Mayor Newsom.

"They humiliated and embarrassed my clients. They labeled them as racist, sexist
and homophobic." Waukeen McCoy, plaintiff's lawyer

"They've ruined our careers, our reputations and I just think that this is the
only way we can get relief. Let's just get to it." Andrew Cohen, SFPD Officer
The lawsuit says the city violated the officers' bill of rights by releasing the video which shows pictures of those under investigation. They also say they were discriminated against because Chief Fong did not suspend four Asian American cops who also took part in the video.

Complete Article & Video: Newsom A Defendant In SFPD Video Suit by ABC7 News Team.

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