General Crime

* Two San Francisco police officers were suspended for 360 days for a controversial video parody

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Two San Francisco police officers who took part in a controversial video parody in 2005 were suspended Wednesday night for 360 days without pay. The San Francisco Police Commission disciplined Wendy Hurley and James Lewis for their roles in the video, which its creator, former Officer Andrew Cohen, described as a “comedic parody of Police Department life” after it was released in December 2005. The video showed skits of uniformed officers responding to mock police calls, including one scene that supposedly showed a homeless black woman who had been hit by a patrol car and another that depicted officers retreating into a massage parlor after avoiding a burglary call. Heather Fong, who was police chief at the time, called the video “egregious, shameful and despicable,” and then-Mayor Gavin Newsom labeled it “sexist, racist and homophobic.” Fong disciplined 35 officers involved in the video in the wake of its release, although many were later reinstated. Hurley and Lewis were among the officers who were reinstated, and had fought the disciplinary action against them in the following years. However, the police commission ruled Wednesday to suspend the officers for nearly a year without pay, effective immediately, said Risa Tom, the commission’s executive secretary. Cohen, who resigned from the department in 2010 after a legal fight over his punishment that went all the way to a state appeals court, now runs a Berkeley-based private investigation practice and writes a blog about the Police Department. On the blog, =””>,
Cohen wrote today about Wednesday’s commission meeting, saying the disciplinary actions against Hurley and Lewis will likely be challenged in San Francisco Superior Court.
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