San Francisco Shifts Police Policy to Appease Protesters: Bans Chokeholds, Further Limits Use of Force

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) announced new guidelines for the city’s police department Monday, including a ban on chokeholds and shooting at cars, as well as further limits on the justifiable use of force.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr accompanied Lee for the announcement, which grew out of recommendations from the African American Advisory Forum.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, pressure mounted on the San Francisco Police Department following the December 2 shooting death of Mario Woods, a stabbing suspect, who refused to drop his knife after less-than-lethal measures like beanbags were used against him. The new guidelines will require officers to step back before stepping forward to engage another individual in a similar scenario.

In addition to banning chokeholds and shooting at cars, the new guidelines seek to lessen the number of times an officer removes his gun from its holster by requiring a police report to be filed every time a gun is pointed at a suspect. The changes also include the issuance of tasers and body cameras to every officer and the goal of reducing officer-involved shootings by “80 percent.”

The city will also issue helmets, “36-inch batons,” gloves, and other accessories to officers, clearly communicating an assumption that police will have to endure heightened physical contact from suspects in the future.

Rank and file officers in the SFPD “blasted” the new guidelines, claiming they “haven’t been properly negotiated and may endanger police.” But the San Francisco NAACP praised the mayor “for responding to the appeal that came from the womb of the African American community.” And NAACP leader Rev. Amos Brown noted that he and others will be watching to be sure the mayor’s “words do not ring hollow.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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