Shamann Walton (Black President of Democratic San Francisco Board of Supervisors) is accused of using a racial slur to describe a Black cadet as he passed through a security checkpoint at City Hall last week.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported the first time about the allegations Friday. According to the newspaper’s documents, Walton became frustrated when the cadet forced him to take off his belt in order to pass through the metal detector.
On advice from Carol Isen, San Francisco’s Human Resources Director, Joseph Engler recorded what transpired in a memo. Engler was asked to report a hostile work environment incident. According to Engler’s June 26 memo, Engler sent to Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, Isen, Walton became “very angry” with the cadet who was African American.
Engler was told by Walton about the incident. The president of the board is not reportedly facing any form of punishment. The matter has been closed.
According to another memo, Walton acknowledged that he used the “N-word” against Engler several times, but explained to Engler (who is White) “how he thought that the way he had used it could possibly be defended.”
Walton wrote to the Chronicle that the first memo was “more colorful” and “salacious than the events of that day.” He wrote, “These incidents are clearly disputable and seek to denigrate me and my character.” “I wouldn’t expect the Sheriff’s department to give an accurate account of the events between these two Black men.”
Walton, one of San Francisco’s most powerful elected officials, accused the cadet of mistreating him. He also targeted him as a retaliation to his successful introduction in 2020 of legislation to improve oversight of the sheriff’s department. In an interview with The Chronicle, the cadet, whose identity was not revealed in the memos identified himself as Emare Butler.
Butler claimed Walton stated that Walton said, “You mustn’t know who I’m, I’ll whoop” during the incident at a security checkpoint.
Butler said that it was embarrassing. “You go to work and don’t know his friends, so you don’t even know with whom he is allied.” “I’m an employee here.”
Walton has been vocal in calling out allegedly racist language, actions, and words. In 2020, Walton introduced the Caren Act (Caution Against Racially Exaggerative Non-Emergencies). This refers to the slur “Karen”, which was used to refer to White women complaining. It is against the law to call 911 to report racially biased or fabricated information.
Walton demanded Ann Hsu’s resignation earlier this month for her responses to a survey that noted what she felt was a “lack of family support” for marginalized students, “, especially in the Black community.”
It was hard to hear. It felt hypocritical,” Butler stated, referring specifically to Walton’s comments on Hsu. “You were fine with me being berated in front of a whole floor.”