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San Francisco, San Jose Police Launch National Media Campaign Calling For Reform

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Police unions from San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles took out a full-page ad in newspapers Sunday pledging police reform.

The ad describes the quote -- "collective disgust and sorrow for the murder of George Floyd."

"We said we need to get something out there," said Tony Montoya, President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA). "We need to be on the forefront of this."

The unions' national reform plan begins with a national database of former police officers fired for gross misconduct to help prevent other agencies from hiring them.

"People who have committed or have sustained complaints for gross misconduct do not need to be in the line of police work," Montoya said.

The plan also calls for a national use-of-force standard that emphasizes a reverence for life, de-escalation, a duty to intercede if witnessing excessive force or misconduct, proportional responses to dangerous incidents and strong accountability provisions; an early warning system to identify officers that may need more training and mentoring; ongoing and frequent crisis intervention and de-escalation training of police officers; and a transparent and publicly accessible use-of-force analysis website that allows the public to monitor when and how force is used.

"Until they start convicting police, until they police themselves, that's when things will change. The only way for there to be a good cop is if they detain the bad ones," said a protester in San Francisco Sunday who declined to give his name.

"George Floyd's death is as significant as changing how we're going to operate as was Warren's decision in Brown vs. the board of Education," declared former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who says the popularity of the protests combined with the less combative tone of the police unions gives him hope that significant police reform could become a reality.

"It does mean that within the fraternity called the police there are some people who are saying, 'We need to change.' And that's a voice that has seldom been heard or uttered," Brown said.

The three unions are also issuing a joint statement acknowledging that there are racist police officers, and the unions' commitment to find and get rid of those officers.

"Our unions are committed to the continuous improvement of policing in America," the statement reads, in part. "We believe that each of our departments has made tremendous strides in strengthening accountability, transparency and adopting policies that reduce the number and severity of uses-of-force. However, we can do more, and we believe this agenda should be adopted across our nation as an important step toward improving police and community outcomes."

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