On Wednesday, San Francisco officers took a bold stance against Trump’s new immigration laws. In response to Trump’s Muslim ban, they are cutting ties between the police department and an FBI task force.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has worked with the FBI on a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) since 2007, with the purpose of investigating terrorism threats, collecting intel, and making arrests. The FBI, which has similar task forces nationwide, calls them “small cells of highly trained, locally based, passionately committed investigators, analysts, linguists, SWAT experts, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”
But the SFPD will no longer work with the JTTF on the grounds that the federal agency will likely increase efforts to surveil Muslims, following Trump’s recent executive order to prevent Muslims from entering the county. The order prevents refugees from entering the country for 120 days, bans everyone from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and shuts out all Syrian refugees indefinitely.
The SFPD’s decision was made nearly one month after the American Civil Liberties Union, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Asian Law Caucus wrote a letter to the city’s police commission, raising concerns that the task force would escalate surveillance of Muslim residents when Trump took office.