Durie Tangri And The ACLU Reach Settlement With City of San Francisco In Case Of Racially Biased Arrests

February 13, 2020


February 13 2020 

CONTACT: gamram@durietangri.com, 415-362-6666

SAN FRANCISCO – It isn’t often that the San Francisco Police Department pays people for arresting them for dealing drugs. But with a $225,000 settlement, the City of San Francisco has agreed to pay seven Black men and women whom SFPD officers arrested for selling small amounts of drugs in 2014 and 2015. Durie Tangri, along with the ACLU of Northern California, sued the SFPD for race-based discrimination based on the buy-bust operation in which everyone SFPD targeted was Black. The operation, called Operation Safe Schools, targeted African Americans for federal criminal prosecution because of their race, while ignoring people of other races engaged in the same activity. Thirty-four SFPD officers and sargeants participated in the operation.

Singling someone out for criminal prosecution because they are Black is unconstitutional, even if they are guilty. Durie Tangri and the ACLU defeated two motions to dismiss by the City of San Francisco before the City agreed to settle the case. As part of the settlement, the City of San Francisco’s Department of Police Accountability will be required to include a new category for “racial bias” on police citizen complaint forms, which will make it easier for victims of racial profiling to seek redress.

The Durie Tangri team included Daralyn Durie, Whitney O’Byrne, Matt Samuels and Galia Amram. The case is Tiffany Cross et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, Case No.: U.S.D.C. 3:18-cv-06097 EMC.