With two of San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s nominees for the Police Commission up for a vote, a Board of Supervisors committee rejected Breed’s pick Debra Walker, setting off Twitter spats between the mayor and Supervisor Ahsha Safai, but the full board will have the final say on this.

The SF Police Commission has been a controversial body ever since a 2022 scandal wherein it was revealed that Mayor Breed was secretly forcing commission nominees for many departments to sign undated letters of resignation, so that she could fire them at any moment and make it look like a resignation. That scandal specifically involved the revelation of one of these letters from Breed-appointed police commissioner Max Carter-Oberstone, who may have blown the whistle, and is no longer a Breed ally. This likely was a factor in Breed’s Prop E measure from March, which clipped the powers of the police commission.

Since that Prop E passed, the commission has been missing meetings like mad, because they haven’t had enough members to make quorum. And this may be because two seats opened up, and Breed was a month and a half late in nominating her two candidates. But she eventually did nominate them — one being well-respected retired Alameda County Judge Don Clay, the other being current commissioner Debra Walker, who’s been sitting on that commission for the last two years. Her term ended April 30, and Breed wants her reappointed to her seat.

Image: SFGovTV

Both appeared before the SF Board of Supervisors Rules Committee Monday. In a very poorly attended meeting (Supervisors Ahsha Safai and Shamann Walton were the only voting members there), Mission Local reports that Clay was recommended for approval 2-0, but Walker was rejected 2-0.

And mayoral candidate Safai was clearly grandstanding, to whatever meager audience there was for a Monday morning Rules Committee meeting. The conversation covered police car chases and pretextual traffic stops (you can watch it here), but it got surprisingly personal whan Safai confronted Walker with “Do you have time in your schedule? Seriously.”

Though Walker likely did herself no favors by saying, about this civilian oversight board that explicitly does not have police officers on it, that “there’s way too much input from people who aren’t police officers.”


Walker’s nomination is not dead in the water. It still goes before the 11-member Board of Supervisors, where Walker only needs a simple majority. But as KPIX reports, Mayor Breed went on a warpath after the committee declined to recommend Walker’s nomination.

“On Monday, members of the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee showed us that politics, not public safety, are their top priority when they rejected my nomination of Debra Walker to continue serving as Police Commissioner,” Breed said in a release the next day. “I’m calling on the Board of Supervisors to move past politics and division, and support Debra Walker to serve on the Police Commission.”

Breed’s supporters, naturally, chimed in as well.

But Safai is not one to back down from a Twitter fight.

“Mayor Breed blasting the Board for not reappointing Debra Walker to the Police Commission is her usual petty politics,” Safai said in a Tuesday statement (and honestly, who hashtags “#pettypolitics”?). “Despite serving on the Police Commission for two years, she couldn't answer basic questions about its functions, policies, or goals.”

Walker, who is openly gay, tells the Bay Area Reporter, "I have to say, as the [Pride] flag was being raised [at City Hall], I felt I was being attacked [by Safai]. I felt it before in my life, that I'm in over my head or go back to the arts."

Walker added, "It's time to stop that kind of crap" with regard to lesbians and women in general in politics. She further clarified that the inability of the Police Commission to hold meetings in March, due to a lack of quorum, was not her fault, and she was available for those meetings.

The full Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on Walker's and Clay’s nominations this Tuesday, June 11.

Related: Mayor Breed Suspected of Slow-Walking Police Commission Appointments, Causing Meeting Cancellations [SFNews]

Image via SFGovTV