Protest planned over controversial San Diego Police Department email

Posted at 6:56 AM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 01:38:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- People in the South Bay are still angry about a point-and-reward system for drug arrests that police say was never officially implemented.

Team 10 broke the story last week, when an officer shared an email detailing the program.

"It's completely everything that we are against as law enforcement officers," said the whistleblower, who asked to hide his identity for fear of retaliation.

READ: San Diego Police Chief launches internal investigation into "rewards for arrests" email

The program offered points for different kinds of drug-related arrests in San Diego's South Bay. Whichever officers got the most points would be rewarded with better assignments.

Activists in the South Bay say a program like that would unfairly target low-income communities, which already have large drug problems.

They also say it shows there are still culture problems within the San Diego Police Department, incentivizing officers to discriminate.

"We don't want them here," says protest organizer Tasha Williamson. "We don't want them patrolling, we don't want them supervising, we don't want them to have any authority over people. We're all human beings and we want to be treated as such."

But new Police Chief David Nisleit says the program never went into effect. He told reporters Friday that the email went out by mistake and was retracted within days.

"I can tell you right now this program was never authorized. Nor was it ever implemented," he said. "Nor did anybody every receive any rewards for making arrest."

The protest will start at 6 p.m. in front of the San Diego Police Department Southern Division Headquarters, on 27th Street.