article by Richard Winton via latimes.com
LAPD Deputy Chief William “Bill” Scott, the department’s highest-ranking African American officer, has been appointed chief of the San Francisco Police Department following recent scandals involving racist texting among Bay Area officers.
Scott, who oversees LAPD’s South Bureau, was selected by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to lead the embattled department. “It’s an honor and I am humbled,” Scott said in a brief message. “I have a lot of people to give thanks to.”Scott’s was one of three names sent by the police commission to Lee. Scott will replace acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin, a 26-year department veteran who previously led the department’s homicide division.
Scott’s hiring comes after a six-month study by the U.S. Justice Department found that the San Francisco Police Department disproportionately used force on people of color, and stopped and searched them more often than it did white people. Former Police Chief Greg Suhr stepped down in May at the request of the mayor following a series of scandals that rocked the department.
Scott joined the LAPD in 1989, working his way up the ranks. He was a young officer in the San Fernando Valley on the day the 1992 riots broke out and was immediately sent to South L.A., where he previously worked.
Scott, a U.S. Army brat, grew up in several cities before his family settled in Birmingham, Ala. Scott attended the University of Alabama.
Scott is known as an advocate of community policing and has said policing has changed dramatically for the better since his days as a rookie. Officers, he said, need to think of themselves as guardians watching over communities — not warriors cracking down on them.
“That means if we’ve got to take somebody to jail, we’ll take them to jail,” Scott said last year. “But when we need to be empathetic and we need to be human, we’ve got to do that too.”
To read full article, go to: L.A.’s highest ranking African American officer to head scandal-plagued SFPD – LA Times