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SF Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Measure To Create Sheriff Oversight Body

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco voters appear to have overwhelmingly approved Proposition D, which would create a Sheriff's Department Oversight Board, according to the latest numbers early Wednesday morning.

The results show more than two-thirds voted in favor of the measure, which needed a simple majority to pass.

In addition to creating an oversight board for the Sheriff's Department, the measure would also create an Inspector General position.

The seven-member oversight board would be tasked with advising and reporting findings and recommendations to the Sheriff's Department, which currently does not have an oversight body, while the inspector general position would be appointed by the oversight board to investigate complaints of non-criminal misconduct of sheriff's department staff and contractors, as well as in-custody deaths.

The creation of the oversight body and the inspector general position will cost the city $3 million.

Currently, the city's Department of Police Accountability, formerly known as the Office of Citizen Complaints, is tasked with independently investigating misconduct cases within the Sheriff's Department.

In the case of in-custody deaths, the city's Police Department, the District Attorney's Office and the Medical Examiner's Office all conduct separate independent investigations.

But according to Supervisor Shamann Walton, who drafted the measure, the Sheriff's Department needs a dedicated oversight board and inspector general to increase accountability and transparency.

Walton initially introduced the measure back in July, amid an increased movement nationwide for more accountability within law enforcement, spurred, in part, by the in-custody death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis.

In recent years, the Sheriff's Department has faced scrutiny over misconduct allegations, including allegations made by inmates in 2019 of physical abuse and illegal strip searches, as well as allegations of deputies forcing inmates to fight each other back in 2015.

Both District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Public Defender Mano Raju voiced support for the measure.

San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said in August that while he supports more transparency and the creation of a creating a citizen advisory board for the department, he does not support the measure.

He called it "more wasteful bureaucracy," saying that it duplicates a process for independent investigations that's already in place within the department.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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