Public Officials in San Francisco Don’t
You Can Make Them Start
Today, May 2, 2016 marks 5 months since the San Francisco Police Department killed Mario Woods and not a single officer has been held accountable. The officers who killed him returned to work in January.
Since 2011 when Mayor Ed Lee appointed Greg Suhr Chief of Police, SFPD has killed 21 people (list at end of post), the most recent, Luis Gongora Demetrio Pat, on April 7, 2016. In addition to the excessive use of deadly force in the killings of Alex Nieto (shot 59 times, police opened fire within 2 minutes of arriving on scene), Amilcar Perez Lopez (shot 6 times in the back), Mario Woods (shot 20 times), and Gongora Pat (shot 7 times, police opened fire within 20 seconds of arriving), Suhr’s tenure has been fraught with racially biased policing, fatal and near-fatal encounters with people with disabilities, systemic failures of discipline and accountability, stonewalling of investigators, and intimidation of officers who assist investigations. The officers involved in the previous text scandal also remain on the job because although Internal Affairs had access to the texts, they declined to investigate them and the statute of limitations ran out.
Both District Attorney George Gascon and Public Defender Jeff Adachi are on record as calling SFPD “systemically racist.”
Despite the overwhelming evidence that a wholesale overhaul of SFPD is desperately needed, Mayor Lee and the San Francisco Police Commission, the oversight body of the SFPD that has authority to fire Chief Suhr, remain steadfast in their support of Chief Suhr.
Last week, Mayor Lee wrote SFPD officers a letter asking them to be less bigoted, and Chief Suhr, flanked by members of the Police Commission, said that officers would be required to take “harassment training.”
As my friend remarked, SFPD doesn’t need harassment training, they already know how to do it very well.
To address the systemically racist culture of SFPD, we need a new Chief, we need a pattern and practice civil rights investigation, and we need to indict and convict the officers involved in Mario Woods and Amilcar Perez Lopez with murder.
Community members have tried every means possible to hold SFPD accountable to no avail. The Police Officers Association is very politically powerful.
Finally, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, Equipto Ilyich Sato, Ike Ali Pinkston, Edwin Lindo, and Sellaissie, the #Frisco5, launched a hunger strike on April 21, 2016 to demand that Mayor Ed Lee fire SFPD Chief Suhr or resign.
The #Frisco5 have sat and slept in front of the Mission Police Station for twelve days without eating.
They are growing weaker and are at risk of dying.
Mayor Lee, Chief Suhr, and the San Francisco Police Commission show no signs of budging.
The #Frisco5 need us to hold our public officials accountable for their inaction on Chief Suhr. Here’s what you can do to help:
March from Mission Police Station at 17th and Valencia to City Hall, 12:30 PM on Tuesday May 3, 2016
Call San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and demand that he fire SFPD Chief Suhr or resign. 415–554–6141 @mayoredlee MayorEdwinLee@sfgov.org
Sign this petition to Mayor Lee and share with others.
Call every Supervisor and tell them that they need to get the members of the Police Commission they appointed to introduce a motion and a vote to fire Chief Suhr at the Police Commission meeting on May 4, 2016.
Call the San Francisco Police Commission, the oversight body of the SFPD that has authority to fire Chief Suhr, and tell them they need to fire Chief Suhr at their meeting on May 4, 2016 at 5:30 pm at City Hall. Come to the meeting and testify.
These are the Police Commission members and telephone numbers:
Suzy Loftus, President (415) 703–5500
L. Julius M. Turman, Vice President 415 659 4740
Thomas Mazzucco 415.788.1900
Petra De Jesus (877) 995–6372
Joe Marshall (415) 826–8664
Victor Hwang (415) 595–6081
Sonia Melara (415) 338–1005
List of SFPD killings since Mayor Ed Lee appointed Chief Greg Suhr on April 27, 2011: