Washington Street in San Francisco after police sweep July 9, 2018

Holly Quan/KCBS Radio

SF Police Chief: ICE Didn't Trigger Protest Sweep

Critics Say Sanctuary Law Compromised

KCBS Radio Morning News
July 19, 2018 - 7:59 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott has defended a decision to clear out a protest encampment outside the building housing the offices of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The July 9th sweep ended a week-long protest against Trump Administration policies that led to families beig separated at the US-Mexico border. The encampment forced the closure of a block of Washington Street.

Critics of the sweep, which led to 39 arrests, say the move smacked of collaboration between police and ICE, which would run counter to the city's "sanctuary city" law.

But Scott old the Polce Commission the sweep was a matter of preserving public health and safety. "There was urination that was being complained about and that led to our decision to take action," Scott said.

Critics remained unconvinced. Rachel Lederman, with the National Lawyers Guild, told the Police Commssion, "We were very alarmed to hear of the brutal manner in which these arrests were carried out under cover of darkness."