Update: An earlier version of this article stated that the victim was 27 years old. It has since been changed after update from the Medical Examiner’s office. 

 

A 29 year-old african american woman, who was allegedly driving a stolen car, was shot by the police around 9:45 on Thursday morning. She did not survive her injuries. There is no indication at this point that the suspect had a gun. 

Two officers,  part of the Bayview Station Unit that specializes in searching for stolen vehicles, began pursuing the woman at around 9 30 am, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said. 

According to Suhr, the woman’s car crashed into a truck in the area of Shafter Avenue and Elmira Street, and Officer’s approached on foot to arrest her.

“They exited their vehicle to engage a suspect, one occupant in the car, a black female. The female didn’t comply initially with the investigation. We have one witness that says there was a back and forth with the vehicles and at some point during this engagement one officer a Sergeant fired one shot,” Suhr said. While answering questions from reporters, Suhr noted “The incident was never more than a 100 feet from where it started”

She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

It seems highly unlikely at this point that the woman was armed, because police accounts of these types of shootings almost always mention the presence of a weapon if one was found.

Suhr’s comments  suggest that even the Chief thinks this was a bit hard to explain: “The is exactly the kind of thing with all the reforms we are trying to prevent,” he said.

In a statement released via email Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s expressed his shock and condemnation over the incident  “It is unacceptable for police encounters with unarmed citizens to end in bullet wounds and body bags. While details are still scarce, I am deeply disturbed by reports that the young woman gunned down today was driving away from officers. She was entitled to due process and, above all, she was entitled to her life.  Police reforms and policy changes are meaningless if they aren’t accompanied by a major shift in police culture, away from shooting first and asking questions later. I am reiterating my request that the California Attorney General’s Office open its own civil rights investigation into the San Francisco Police Department.” he said

So: Another young person of color dead. And still: Will someone be held accountable & how long can Suhr last?

This is a developing story and will be updated

 

59 COMMENTS

  1. You know, what about trying to cover citizen killings that tear families and communities apart as well…the wanton gang killings that terrorize communities…that would really show a balanced approach…or do your readers only care about police killings and protests? Because that would make for really balanced coverage from you…

  2. There is nothing lamer than trolls who attack a journalist’s credibility and claim bias, when all they are doing is reporting. Suhr should have been fired in 2003 for his role in Fajitagate and again in 2011. His track record is marred with controversy and lack of accountability, including covering up for bad cops. Obviously, since Suhr was told to kick rocks, he had it coming. It is unfortunate that it took a yet an oother police killing, a hunger strike, 4 Supervisors voting no confidence, and dozens of media stories over the years to reach this point. But clearly Suhr was part of the problem. Now let’s hope the SFPD can actually institute some real and meaningful reforms.

  3. I thought it was fine up until your last paragraph. Sorry to be so critical but it was great up until that point. That’s why I pointed out the bias. I know a reporter has opinions, and needs to express them; but you stated nobody had been held accountable. We don’t know nothing from nothing until there is a completed investigation. And we don’t how to hold anyone accountable. Thanks.

  4. I thought you must be Sana’s biggest fan then I realize this was unintended sarcasm. If only she could decide if she’s writing editorial commentary or playing hack journalist.

  5. Thanks Sana, but your post have more than a hint of activism, and you color in the details from a specific lens, without giving scrutiny to the stories which would shed light on the holes which are obvious to even the most casual of readership. Your sympathies were with the protestors, and photos of you getting victimized were all over twitter. You can’t have it both ways.

  6. Yes that question was changed because it wasn’t framed correctly and because it says in the post that this is a developing story. Also Chief Suhr is out so I am sure the questions raised very important, afterall.

  7. And so Suhr’s out. According to the “real” “journalists” at SFGate, his resignation came as a direct result of today’s killing. So blow it out your asses, trolls – you have absolutely NO IDEA what REAL journalism is, how REAL journalists go about getting REAL stories, or what questions they need to be prepared to ask. So piss off.

  8. Nothing but speculation, supposition, assumption, and rumor mongering. This is NOT journalism.

  9. The original version of this post, published perhaps hours after the incident asked [emphasis added]:

    “So: Another young person of color dead. And still: Nobody held accountable. How long can Suhr last?”

    Realizing that it was indefensible to expect that somebody be named accountable within hours, Sana changed it to:

    “So: Another young person of color dead. And still: Will someone be held accountable & how long can Suhr last?”

    …and then she defended her unbiased reporting to other commenters.

  10. As part of the SFPD – CIT Mental Health Working Group, the group that trains SFPD officers in crisis de-escalation, we had a meeting scheduled with Chief Greg Suhr this afternoon, a meeting now cancelled. We planned to talk about how to improve their CIT (Crisis Intervention Teams) program and how to better implement its team aspect.

    We even planned to propose the creation of a critical incidents review group, a task force to enable members of our mental health working group to review critical incidents and learn from them – to create better responses and tactics.

    CIT is a work in progress. We aspire to much but only partially deliver on our promise. Incidents like the tragic shooting today, however, set us way back.

    Stepping back, however, to examine the bigger picture of SFPD responses to people suffering mental health crisis, every month there are about three hundred and sixty – that is 360 mental health detentions. That is more than four thousand per year.

    In these incidents, individuals assessed by police as a threat to themselves or others are taken into custody by being placed into handcuffs and transported to Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). This is considered a mental health detention under the police code 5150. Even though it is not voluntary, it is not an arrest as no charges are filled.

    These yearly four thousand plus 5150 mental health detentions occur without anybody getting hurt or even incurring a criminal case.

    While even one death is one too many, one way too many, it is still an extremely rare occurrence given the thousands of people in crisis that are transported each year, transported involuntarily, to psychiatric services, and transported without harm.

    We have much work ahead.

    David Elliott Lewis, Ph.D.
    ________________________
    SFPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training Mental Health Working Group.
    Mental Health Board of the City and County of San Francisco.
    National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), SF Board of Directors.

    P.S. While a 5150 detention allows someone to be held for up to 72 hours or three days, most are assessed and discharged within a few hours. What is happening at this point is another whole discussion.

    #SFPD #CIT #CrisisInterventionTeam #MentalHealth #deescalation #UseOfForce #PoliceTraining #CrisisIntervention #ChiefSuhr #ChiefGregSuhr #SanFrancisco

  11. Okay sorry going to disengage now. Saying my mere reporting on the issue is a bias means you have no understanding of basic journalism. Good day!

  12. No actually asking that question is not. He has been under huge criticism and been asked to resign even from supervisor. It is a valid question, will he be able to surpass this? Will the pressure for him to resign increase? How will he react to this incident? Watch and read his own comments in the piece. He knows that is the question which is why he reiterated reform. Asking a question about his future while there are ongoing protests, even from Supervisors, isn’t bias.

  13. Also read back on hunger striker story quotes, multiple times we have quoted even the hunger strikers saying that they believe Suhr is a nice guy but they feel he is not able to lead. Anti Suhr bias would be to just quote everything negative they said about Suhr or to cite only criticism. Same with the story I did with quotes from Captain Perea, story of an officer of color etc. It’s easy

  14. As rfkolbe noted, asking a question like “how long can Suhr last?” is indicative of a huge bias on your part. Someone not biased against Suhr would quite simply not frame that question.

    Moreover the fact that you choose to endlessly report this issue is again indicative that you are far more sympathetic to the criminals who have been shot than to the police who defends us all against them.

  15. I am sorry that is simply not true. I cover protests. Not one report gives my personal opinion about whether Suhr should be fired. When and if someone says they support Suhr staying on, I have reported it. Check back on the hunger strike coverage and the march to Supervisors officer where David Campos (at that point) said he believes Suhr shouldn’t be fired. The entire conversation was published verbatim. No one’s jumping on a bandwagon here. And yes you can sure to disagree. Even in this report Suhr’s own comment about police reform and this incident in particular is cited. Omission would be if I didn’t cite it and anti-suhr bandwagon would be if I said he seemed to blame the victim or something like that. It would be opinion and misreporting, which it is not.

  16. I don’t think anyone has a problem with you presenting one side of this issue, and even presenting it from a distinctive anti-police perspective.

    What Foginacan was objecting to is the way that, when it is convenient to you, you claim to be “just reporting the facts” when in reality it is obvious you are on a mission here and have an agenda.

    rfkolbe made a decent point. You are being much too hasty here in jumping on the anti-Suhr bandwagon. Here is an idea. Why not talk to some people who support Suhr, support the SFPD, and who are far more concerned about crime in this city than the fact that sometimes and possibly cops let the stress of dealing with violent felons all day long get to them.

    Because a good journalist always seeks both sides of the story. And doesn’t just use the press as a mouthpiece for the projection and promotion of her own personal biases, preferences and prejudices.

  17. This incident is a about a young black woman who was reportedly (by police reports) unarmed. She was shot and killed by police officers. The people who shot her are in the police force and they are the ones being questioned about their tactic. So yes that is what the report is about. A young woman who is dead. As for reporting anti-police is concerned, I report issues police officers face as well for instance this story https://48hills.org/2016/04/29/day-8-hunger-strike-captain-parea-talks-race-hunger-strikes-continues/ Police officers put their lives on the line to serve the community, questioning officers that are involved in shootings doesn’t and shouldn’t make an individual (reporter or not) anti-police

  18. Hi, I am at protests to report and not protesting. This is a question that we have posed given that there’s been yet another Officer involved shooting. We’ve cited response from Chief Suhr who said something similar.

  19. It’s the worst reporting and typical of the author who we know was at protests to fire Suhr.

    Finding out the facts before posting should have been required.

  20. “So: Another young person of color dead. And still: Nobody held accountable. How long can Suhr last?” — Not exactly the best reporting. This just happened. How can anyone be held accountable so soon. We do not know what happened. Everyone seems to carry guns. Maybe police thought she had one?