Following District Attorney George Gascón’s appearance before the panel investigating allegations against the city of San Francisco’s Police Department, former president of the Police Officers Association, Gary Delagnes, submitted his sworn declaration on the matter. Amid allegations of racial and and homophobic-based discrimination rampant in the department, Delagnes’ testimony refutes the claim that Gascón, during his term as Chief of Police from 2009 to 2011, in any way challenged the system which is now under investigation for unjust bias. Delagnes asserts that Gascón’s criticism of the “old boys’ network” and public comments regarding the matter significantly contradict statements and actions witnessed by Delagnes in years prior.
In the submitted declaration, Delagnes affirms that Gascon’s promotions to command staff were inevitably partial to local graduates of the same social circle which he now disparages. He further maintains that at no point in their lengthy and numerous communications did Gascon express disapproval or concern over the POA or their protocol. In a marked example, he refers to Greg Suhr’s pending appointment in 2011 as Chief of Police. He claims that Gascón was originally opposed to Suhr’s designation, but upon hearing that endorsement could affect his likelihood of reelection, chose instead to support Suhr.
The testimony also includes a recollection, further corroborated by current POA president Martin Halloran, of a dinner event involving Gascón wherein he became intoxicated. Delanges claims he made statements regarding his time with the Los Angeles Police Department that were racially disparaging and so loudly offensive that he was asked by an African American patron and his nearby family to stop. Spokesman of the District Attorney’s office, Alex Bastian, has made no direct responses to the claims, but is quoted in saying that Delagnes lacks “credibility.” Delagnes has pledged to provide more details of Gascón’s statements if called as a witness by the investigating blue-ribbon task force panel.
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