Inauguration ceremony for SF mayor's second term met with protests

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SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU/BCN) -- Several protesters calling for the firing of Police Chief Greg Suhr were escorted out of San Francisco City Hall Friday morning during Mayor Ed Lee's inauguration.

The ceremony for Lee's second term was held at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall, with Governor Jerry Brown administering the oath of office, but he was all but drowned out by the shouts of protesters. 

Mayor Lee says, in his second term, he will focus on affordable housing, the homeless, transportation, and the city's public safety network.

Earlier at 9:30 a.m., Vicki Hennessy was sworn in as San Francisco sheriff; the first woman ever elected to that position in city history.

Hennessy, who joined the Sheriff's Department in 1975, was in the first recruiting class that included women, minorities, and gay deputies.

As choirs sang, and speeches were made, dozens of protestors on the second floor balcony shouted "Fire Ed Lee", "Fire Chief Suhr," and "Justice for Mario Woods," in reference to a Dec. 2 fatal police shooting in the Bayview District that has spurred criticism of San Francisco police.



Many of the protesters also carried signs calling for the chief's resignation.

"We got three demands," shouted one protest organizer outside City Hall, "an independent investigation. Fire chief Suhr. And charge these cops with murder!"

Against that backdrop, gathered a crowd of some 700 people, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Governor Jerry Brown.

The shouting was nearly constant as first, Feinstein and then Brown, took the podium.

And as soon as sheriff's deputies quelled the noise, or removed disrupters, others took their places, the din echoing from above.

Both Mayor Lee and Governor Brown had to practically yell the oath of office, to be heard through the boos and catcalls.

It was a spectacle, and at least a dozen protestors were removed from the building.

"They're shutting us out, and they're shutting us down, " exclaimed a tearful demonstrator, who pulled her placard out again.

"These are words, this is language, we are being censored," Pearl Ubungen told KTVU, " and we should be able to speak, to voice this. They're our representatives."

Police officers in riot gear stood aside as deputies escorted some protesters out and confiscated their signs. It was not immediately clear if any arrests were made. 

Mayor Lee determinedly stuck to his speech, although acknowledging the anger at one point.

"Thank you, we heard you, we heard you, " he remarked as one particularly noisy man was removed.

Amid Lee’s prepared remarks on housing, jobs, and city finances, he referred only once to the rift that threatens his relationship with minority constituents. 

"I won't stop until we build better trust between the police department and the communities they're sworn to protect, especially young people of color," he said.  

Several investigations are underway into Mario Woods' shooting and his family has announced its intention to sue the city.