On Friday night, calls for the San Francisco police chief, Greg Suhr, to resign resounded at a community meeting after a video clip surface showing police fatally shooting a black man, Mario Woods.
Suhr told the meeting that police shot Woods “in defense” of themselves and bystanders, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Police have attested that Woods, 26, was brandishing a knife when they ordered him to drop it; they even used beanbag rounds and pepper spray to attempt to force him to drop the knife. His refusal prompted the shooting.
Suhr told reporters, “They employed the standard beanbag gun several times, striking the suspect; he did not drop the weapon, they called for higher-powered, less lethal, that was deployed it actually knocked the suspect to the ground, he did not drop the knife, he got up again.” Police said a man who had been stabbed in the shoulder reported the incident to the police before Wodds’ shooting; they then went looking for the attacker, finding Woods, according to ABC 7 News.
A 15-second video clip surfaced and was seen online. When Suhr showed up at the meeting, Adriana Camarena, a member of the Justice for Alex Nieto Committee, named for a man killed by San Francisco police officers last year, snapped, “You get up here (at these meetings) and you tell the same version of events … You tell a narrative that someone poses. It’s the narrative you have to defend in court, but it’s a lie. So are you here to resign?”
After he took the job as police chief in 2011, Suhr promised he would speak with the community any time there was an officer-related shooting. The calls for him to resign didn’t faze him; he responded, “I took this job, and I knew it was a tough job. There’s a lot of people that came up to me after the meeting to tell me to stay strong, and I intend to.”