San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong got a photo op Monday not unlike the one Harry Truman had in 1948, when he held up a copy of the Chicago Tribune with a banner headline saying “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Fong, as seen in this shot from KTVU’s “10 O’Clock News” last night, held up Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle and declared, “This is not Sgt. John Haggett.” Sgt. John Haggett is, at least according to a five-part series in the Chronicle, a cop who has used excessive force too often in a police department that supposedly doesn’t track officers who abuse their authority. Fong, at a news conference Monday (Feb. 6), said that if the Chronicle can’t identify a photo correctly, it’s hard to believe anything else in the series. The Chronicle, in a statement issued by media relations manager Patricia Hoyt, said, “The photo error, while serious, does not change the basic issues raised by the series about the department’s lack of a reliable system for tracking use of force and its failure to hold accountable officers who repeatedly resort to use of force.” BTW, anyone who knows the identity of the man in the photo should call the Chronicle. As of Monday night, the paper didn’t know who he is. Ironically, today’s installment in the five-part “The Use of Force” series concerns mistaken identity — about an innocent man who was tackled on a Tenderloin sidewalk by a cop who mistook him for a criminal.
- The Examiner’s angle is that the city is considering legal action.
- The Chronicle, to its credit, reported Fong’s complaints in Monday’s edition, though the story ran on page A2 and the series started on A1 Sunday. (UPDATE: On Tuesday, the Chron ran coverage of Fong’s news conference on A1, lower right.)
- KTVU Channel 2’s story
- KNTV NBC 11’s story
- BCN’s initial story on Fong’s news conference.
- BCN’s updated story with the Chron’s response to Fong.