San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr has been ousted following weeks of protest and hunger strikes demanding his resignation over police killings in the city. Mayor Edwin Lee announced he was asking for Suhr’s resignation Thursday, hours after a police officer shot and killed an unarmed African-American woman in a car in the Bayview district—the same neighborhood where officers shot and killed Mario Woods in December.
Mayor Edwin Lee: “These officer-involved shootings, justified or not, have forced our city to open its eyes to questions of when and how police use lethal force. That’s why I have asked Chief Suhr for his resignation. And in the best interests of the city that he loves so much, he tendered his resignation early today. Despite the political rhetoric of the past few weeks, I have nothing but profound admiration for Greg. He’s a true public servant, and he’ll always have respect.”
Chief Suhr’s ouster comes after activists known as the “Frisco 5” held a more than two-week hunger strike demanding the police chief’s departure. On Thursday, the Frisco 5 issued a statement, which was read aloud at a gathering outside City Hall.
Protester: “The people made this happen. We have won this battle, but the war is not over. It is sad that 22 people had to lose their lives at the hands of the SFPD. We want the officers involved in these shootings charged with murder. We demand an immediate meeting with the interim chief to discuss real reform created by the community.”
Gregory Suhr is the third police chief of a major U.S. city to be ousted within the last year amid nationwide protests demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was fired last July following the death of Freddie Gray due to injuries sustained in police custody, while Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was ousted in December following the release of the video showing the police killing of Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.