Protesters visit SF Mayor Lee's home; calls for police chief's resignation continue

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says the city is making sweeping reforms to San Francisco Police Department policies in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Mario Woods over a month ago.

Mayor Lee sat down with members of the African-American Community Advisory Forum Wednesday night to discuss those changes.

He also issued a memo to the Board of Supervisors announcing reforms to use-of-force policies, de-escalation training, and implicit bias training.

Lee has ordered the department to enroll in President Obama's Police Data Initiative, with a goal of creating more transparency and accountability.

"This is a community in our city that has been pained, that is in trauma," said Lee Thursday morning.  "How do we build more trust? Clearly the death of Mario Woods had caused a pause in that."

Attendees said the tone of the meeting changed when members of the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition, Black Lives Matter and other advocacy groups like the Last 3 % showed up.

Kiani Shaw, with the Last 3%, says the latecomers were more pointed in their questioning, wanting answers.

"I think he may not be as sincere as he's trying to come off,” she said of the mayor. "I think he's a little detached from the reality of what's going on here in Bayview. The things that he is saying he's going to implement, it's like trying to pacify the community and we don't want to be pacified, we want to see actual progress and change."

Lee's memo comes more than a month after the December 2nd killing of Woods, which sparked outrage when more than one cell phone videos of the man's death hit social media.

The videos show a group of officers closing in on Woods, shooting him several times, even though many have argued that the 26-year-old was not directly threatening the officers. Police said Woods had stabbed someone earlier in the day and was armed with the same kitchen knife when five officers found him in the Bayview District.

Officers say they had no choice, but to open fire when attempts to disarm Woods with beanbag rounds and pepper spray failed.

Critics have called for Chief Greg Suhr to resign. Thursday, when asked about recent calls for Mayor Lee to fire Police Chief Greg Suhr, the mayor said, "We're not there... he's been a very open Chief and I have continued faith in him and I know that he and I together are more than struggling. We are actually active in making sure that the practices get modernized."

Mayor Lee has asked Chief Suhr and the Police Commission to submit any additional policy and budget proposals by next month.

Protesters say they still plan to show up to the Mayor's re-inauguration ceremony at San Francisco City Hall Friday morning to shake things up.

Thursday morning, more than a dozen protesters marched to Mayor Lee’s house calling for his resignation. 

At noon, the protesters, some with the San Francisco-based group Poor Magazine, gathered in front of the Glen Park BART station before marching to the mayor's house.
"Ed Lee is selling this community and killing the people in San Francisco. His policies are involved in the displacement and murder of our people," activist Lisa Gray-Garcia, one of the event's organizers, said as she addressed the crowd.
"We talk about displacement and police murder, those are connected... and that's the point of today," Gray-Garcia said.

"It's not only police violence, we're seeing economic violence that prompts much of the police violence -- economic violence against our working people, our disabled folk, our elders who are struggling in a big way
to stay here," activist Tony Robles said.

"We have a chief who is out of control. He has to go ... We have a mayor that is completely out of touch and he has to go," Robles said.

The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the protest.