By Alex Emslie
The San Francisco Police Department is investigating two short video clips posted to social media Wednesday that appear to show two SFPD officers talking about body-camera footage of police-involved shootings.
An Instagram user posted two 15-second video clips Wednesday showing a pair of uniformed officers at a coffee shop. The first video’s caption identifies the business as Happy Donuts near 24th and Church streets.
In the first video, an officer says, “What you want on video is the guy holding the gun still [then gesturing to his chest and mimicking being shot] … you know, still pointing at you.”
In the second video, the same officer says, “Not [then putting his hands in the air].” He then gestures again to his chest and mimics being shot. His partner references “brain splatter,” and he responds, “Cherry pie all over the wall, yeah, that’s great, you know.” He then says something partially inaudible about not wanting to capture that on video.
A Police Department spokesman confirmed the videos linked above are the subject of the investigation.
“Upon learning of these video clips, the Department initiated an immediate investigation that is on-going,” an SFPD statement released Friday morning says. “The Department requests that the owner of the original video clips contact the Internal Affairs Division at (415) 575-5856 so the entire video can be investigated as to any possible violation of Department policy that might have occurred. Disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.”
The Instagram user, whose profile describes a “SanFranciscoMissionDistrictNATIVE,” did not immediately respond to KQED’s request for comment and verification. The captions of the videos appear to credit two other users as well.
The San Francisco Police Department does not currently equip its officers with body-worn cameras. The city allocated $6 million to equip all field officers with the devices in April after the department for years worked to launch a smaller pilot program.
A working group convened by the city’s Police Commission delivered policy recommendations in early September and plans to hold a series of community meetings to solicit public input. The first of those meetings is scheduled for Sept. 16.