The price of justice

Sam Craig lived the history I merely wrote about.
As a former president of Officers for Justice, the retired police executive gave context to the 1979 consent decree which black officers achieved with the City and County of San Francisco.
During the sixth session of Come to the Water: Teaching San Francisco Black History, we covered the period from 1971 to 1991 in the city’s history.
At the beginning of the period, African-Americans were 96,000 strong, 13.4 percent of the city’s population, a leap from 5.4 percent in 1950.
By 1950, only three blacks had served as police officers. Even they were only temporary appointments.
Pioneering black officers endured years of discriminatory treatment before forming Officers for Justice, and filing a lawsuit against the S.F. Police Department.
Craig pointed out they were in line with the history of San Francisco, going back to the Underground Railroad. Just like Charlotte Brown winning a suit to desegregate street cars, the Officers for Justice case was a precedent used to open employment in police departments around the nation.
Once again, it is a reason why the legacy of black San Francisco is important to the entire globe.
We complete the seven-week series Come to the Water next Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m. in the offices of the San Francisco African-American Chamber of Commerce.

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