Acting SFPD chief looks to unify police and community
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - San Francisco’s acting police chief said there may be some officers who need to leave the police force. Chief Toney Chaplin made the comment Sunday afternoon at his first community address at the Third Baptist Church on McAllister Street.
Reverend Amos Brown said the police department’s damaged relationship with the city’s minority community began decades ago
"To blame one man for what for some non-thinking, non-compassionate, trigger happy people did,” said Rev. Brown.
His criticism was for a number of police actions using lethal force on minorities, not for the leadership of former Police Chief Greg Suhr, who resigned Thursday at the urging of Mayor Ed Lee.
On Thursday, two officers shot and killed Jessica Williams in the Bayview District after she allegedly fled officers in a stolen car. Williams was shot after she crashed the car into a utility truck. No weapon was found in the car.
Chief Chaplin said changes will come to the police department under his watch, including addressing use of force, and if he has to, he will get rid of officers.
"Some get it right away. Those are the officers going to schools and doing what they're supposed to. Some get it sooner or later. Those are the ones who slip up a bit, so we train them. And some never get it. Those are the ones we want to send to commission a recommendation that they be separated from the police department,” said Chaplin.
Several Church members said despite the department's strained community relations, they don't blame former Chief Suhr.
"He didn't pull the trigger. None of us are perfect. I’ll miss him,” said Betty Jones.
Chief Chaplin said he did not want to discuss taking over as the permanent chief of police.
“I am not even thinking about that right now,” said Chaplin.
Locals said they prefer to have a say in who heads the police force.