Friday, October 23, 2020
News + Politics One After Another Supervisors Jane Kim, David Campos, John...

One After Another Supervisors Jane Kim, David Campos, John Avalos, and Eric Mar call for Chief Suhr to quit

Three members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have joined community demands for Police Chief to step down

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In a statement released this morning Supervisor Jane Kim joined the Frisco 5 – Maria Cristina Gutierrez, Edwin Lindo, Sellassie Blackwell, Ilyach Sato and Ike Pinkston who were on a hunger strike for 17 days – and community’s demand for a new police chief. Shortly after Kim’s statement, Supervisor David Campos, John Avalos and Eric Mar also joined in to demand that San Francisco Police Chief Gregory P Suhr step down.

Protestors march around city hall on Monday - Photo by Sana Saleem
Protestors march around city hall on Monday – Photo by Sana Saleem

Kim reiterated that systemic issues within the police force needed to be addressed. In her statement, issued on Wednesday Kim made clear her stance on demands for San Francisco Police Chief Gregory P Suhr to resign, “Chief Greg Suhr has served San Francisco for over 30 years and we should thank him for that service. But even he must acknowledge that leading a culture shift in that department would be easier and faster if there was new leadership there. It is time to launch a search for a new chief who can implement fundamental reform.”

We spoke to Kim this afternoon, and she said that “Out of respect for the Mayor, I gave him a chance to speak to the public. The blue-ribbon task force report came out the same day, outlining deficiencies at every level of the department. There are very serious reforms needed, and it would be very difficult for Suhr to lead those reforms.”

She said the city should begin the search for a new chief immediately. “The Police Department needs a leader, now.”

Kim noted how quickly the MTA moved to dismiss a bus driver who made racist comments. When the SFPD first learned of racist text messages between officers “They sat on it for a year,” she said. “I don’t understand why we can’t get the kind of quick action we got from MTA”. 

Supervisor David Campos and John Avalos have also called for the removal of Police Chief Suhr.

John Avalos said he feels that he can no longer trust the police chief to move forward with reforms.

“After public unrest and the revelations of last week, I don’t have a lot of confidence in Chief Suhr’s ability and commitment to implement the substantive reforms that are needed in the police department,” Avalos said, while paving the way for future steps. “The city should be in search mode for a new chief especially with the rumor that the chief will resign once his pension can be passed on to his partner. The city shouldn’t be caught flatfooted.”

Eric Mar, supervisor for District 1, joined his colleagues in calling for a new police chief “I joined my Colleagues Jane Kim, John Avalos and David Campos in calling for a national search for a new police chief who can address the breakdown in trust with communities and to systematically address the issues of institutionalized bigotry and racism within the department,” he said. Mar also said he feels that the blue-ribbon task force finding was the last straw.

 “The Frisco 5 and thousands of people that have raised their voices and the recent texting scandal along with other issues have really put pressure on the mayor and the board to take action now, so I am in agreement with the movement that we need to change the culture of the police department,” he said.

Mar said he believes that new leadership means a national search for a new police chief. “A national search means finding somebody, probably an outsider, who can understand not only San Francisco but also how nationally other police departments are addressing the issues of institutionalized bigotry and racism within.”

This is a developing story and we will keep updating it.

 

 

Sana Saleem
Sana Saleem is a writer with a focus on social justice and human stories. She's member board of advisory for the Courage Foundation, Edward Snowden's legal defense fund.

37 COMMENTS

  1. please, cop isn’t even in the top 10 most dangerous jobs,
    and even if it was, did you even read the report? corruption and racism at every level, nobody held accountable. that really the PD you want?

  2. in a back room somewhere making shady deals, cashing his kickback checks, and doing titty bumps off a hooker’s nip, same place he’s been for the last 2 years.

  3. You know, fundamentally Ed Lee was a decent administrator but power went to his head that and I suppose Willie Brown’s hand up his @$$ and now we’re stuck with an inept mayor. The real villain in all of this is Gavin Newsom who foisted Ed Lee on us in the first place and didn’t have the fortitude to lean on him to keep his promise to not to run for a full term. Gavin will have much to answer for and this is one large reason among many why I don’t feel I can support him for Governor.

  4. I have to disagree. Ms. Kim will do so much more as State Senator than Mr. Weiner could ever do.

  5. Becuz nothing sez “San Francisco Values” like a bunch of transplants (no slur on the trans plant community intended 🙂 )

  6. We need Fearless Jane here. It would be much better to utilize Scott Weiner’s skills in Sacto.

  7. A year and change
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gascón. IIRC, he met rather stiff resistance. Turning around a battleship does take time – even with a sharp tack. I suspect he took his cues and opted for an appointment to elective office instead.

    That Suhr has had 5+ yrs, and crime rates have increased, doesn’t speak well for him (he is, however, a v effective communicator and spokesperson).

    Actually, Dubya was only pres for 8+ months at the time. Not an excuse, but …. (I’m more inclined toward conspiracy in that case,)

  8. Jim Jones was born and raised in Indiana and started his temple in Indiana and didn’t bring his crazy thinking to this city until he was in his late 20s….much like Jane Kim.
    I’m beyond sick and tired of people liker Jane Kim blowing in to San Francisco and 15 minutes later telling us we need to reorganize the city to suit her political agenda.

  9. I guess we disagree, I think Supes should go back to being unpaid advocates for their district, if they are not district focused why have district Supervisors.

  10. Gascon was only Chief for a year??? Sounds like the George Bush apologists…”Dubya was only President for a year, 9/11 was Bill Clinton’s fault.”
    Gascon had ample opportunity to institute reforms at SFPD so its hilarious to watch him pander to the left and call our Chief Schur for carrying out his duties in exactly the same manner Gascon himself did,

  11. I’m pretty sure with the exception of Farrell & Breed; all the others Supes are also from out of state.

  12. Jane is undetectable in most of the City; especially on the west side. That’s why she moved to SOMA to get on the BoS.

  13. Not all duty-related deaths are “murders.” Some get killed by friendly fire from overzealous cops in the process of murdering others. Some might have died wrecking their cruisers because they thought they were cowboys. There have probably been a number of heart attacks over the years, and I’m sure every one of them is classified as a “duty-related” death, whether it happened while chasing down a small time pot dealer, or at a desk.

    I’m sure some bus drivers have died while on duty. I’ve seen statistics that garbage collectors and fishermen die on the job at more than twice the rate of cops. But nobody does a running count of how many garbage collectors, bus drivers, and fisherman have died over the years, because their lives don’t matter as much as the lives of our sacred cops.

  14. Who cares where they’re from? I’m not Kim’s greatest fan or anything, but this narrow nativist prejudice just disgusts me.

    But I do think you’re going to get your wish, in a way. The voters of San Francisco are probably going to send her packing -to Sacramento.

  15. A statistic that will doubtlessly protect all SFPD officers from any harm in the future. And how many SF bus drivers have been murdered on the job?

  16. I strongly disagree with this notion that our elected leaders should stay out of burning issues that affect the city, and just bury their noses in the minutiae of running the city. Fixing roads and getting buses moving is the job of bureaucrats at DPW and MUNI. Elected supes should be doing exactly this.

    And no. Suhr is not trying to make substantive changes. A 2 hour sensitivity training session is not reform. He’s trying to get by with window dressing and hoping that’s enough to save his job.

  17. Jane Kim for State Senate!!! Let’s elect Kim to the Senate and send her to Sacramento.

  18. Yeah, Jim Jones was born in SF too. I don’t care if Kim is from Mars and has political aspirations that have nothing to do with San Francisco.

    The police are defying Suhr. The public is fed up with the high crime rate. People of color and those of us who care are fed up with the needless use of lethal force. Many are fed up with the lawsuits that are costing the city millions.

    It is way past time to fire Suhr.

  19. Chief Greg Suhr is a 4th generation San Franciscan, born, raised and educated in San Francisco. Jane Kim is from New York using SF to climb the political ladder to Sacramento. Yes, SF government is corrupt and has been since the gold rush: it manages unfortunately to get rid of the good people, either by a bullet or political maneuvering. This time I implore the people of this city to get rid of Jane Kim and keep Greg Suhr. JANE KIM HAS GOT TO GO!

  20. There hasn’t been any duty related deaths in about 10 years and since 1877, there has only been 102 duty-related deaths in the SFPD.

  21. I believe that Peskin has to run again for BOS in November, which could explain is low-profile on many issues.

  22. Jane Kim voted to keep Mirk in his job when the public was outraged about his behavior and he turned out to be incompitent. Yet Shur is trying to make changes all be it slowly and she calls for him to be sacked. This is all political thearter as she is only thinking about her election. She should focus on helping fix roads and get busses moving, thats her job.

  23. Suhr may or may not be willing or able to push changes over the POAs obstructionism, but he should have been fired when the City settled a retaliation lawsuit against him for $725K.

    As for Gascón’s belated campaign against his successor, combined with his department’s apparent unwillingness to prosecute property crimes out of an unwarranted interpretation of prop. 47, he should be recalled as well.

    I’m surprised Peskin hasn’t joined in, and curious as to the rumors about Suhr’s pension and partner Avalos is referring to.

  24. How easy it is to sit in judgement of Chief Suhr when none of you have walked 1 step in his shoes He’s tried to bend over backwards to work with the community, with the supervisors, with the police to resolve issues more than George Gascon ever has..Let the criminals take over the city..That’s what’s happening..Pretty soon the police will be unable to protect you because they may say something to offend someone so they’ll just have to watch as your businesses are robbed people get shot stabbed and killed, their cars get broken into and stolen, but at least they won’t be racially profiling or offending the people doing the crime and when you’re totally victimized and your homes are robbed, your children aren’t safe and laws are no longer honored, your police dept is ineffective and gangs make the rules and overtake your city and it’s too late to undo the damage you’ve done..then and only then will you realize just how wrong you were to allow corruption and chaos to prevail because you would not allow your police dept to enforce the laws that kept this beautiful city safe. It’s one thing to want equal treatment of all races..That’s fair, but if a disproportionate number of any race is creating chaos or breaking laws then unfortunately there will be a disproportionate number of arrests of that race. Give your Police officers the tools to stop the criminals from preying on the innocent.. stun guns would help as a starting point. Stop breaking the law and you won’t have police intervention..Have the community work with the police to uphold the laws and help the police keep the streets safe, before it’s too late. The breakdown is not just in some police officers using racial slurs, the breakdown begins when people break laws causing harm to others with no consequences for their action, a police force not allowed to enforce laws and frustration on all sides that breaks the entire system down.. Why not work with a chief of police like Suhr who is willing to work with the department, the community and supervisors to implement changes that will work for all concerned instead of throwing him away and ending up with worse or a city in ruins..Be careful what you ask for you may not be happy with the results.

  25. Suhr is a disaster of a chief and the city has spent over a 1.5 million dollars either defending him in court or paying out people directly.

    The demotions and the general Zero f#*%’s given to all the officer involved BS is a little much. He’s only still around because if his connections to Lee and the rest of the corruption in city hall.

  26. True, but that’s a reality based consideration. Not Kim’s problem or domain.

    Kim lives in her own world where the huge crowds of families who went to the free super bowl city are all millionaires.

  27. IIRC, Gascon was only chief for a year and change. Barely enuf to effect any changes. Perhaps he was a coward for sliding into the DA post instead. However, there’s not been much backing for change for a long time. Its become evident, eh?

    Yes, he probably has some culpability. But not much. Shur, OTOH, has grown up, been demoted 3 times and is still around. Time for him to take his #300,000 pension and go off and do some ‘consulting’.

  28. “Kim noted how quickly the MTA moved to dismiss a bus driver who made racist comments.
    When the SFPD first learned of racist text messages between officers ‘They sat on it for a year,’ she said. ‘I don’t understand why we can’t
    get the kind of quick action we got from MTA’.

    Because it’s easier to find people willing to sit in a bus seat and drive as opposed to putting on a gun and a badge and run *toward* gunfire?

  29. The question I keep having is where is Ed Lee? The total lack of leadership at the top is breathtaking. And I don’t mean some canned statement from Steve Kawa, we need a real leader and Ed Lee is proving himself to be unable to man up and provide the firm guidance the city needs right now. That sad little man sitting there is just pitiful. And not one snarky comment from his Marina surrogate to be found.

  30. The issues with the SFPD are well documented and, in my mind, indicate a department in desperate need of reform. My only question is in re: George Gascon. He was the Chief before Suhr and he’s leading the current charge against the SFPD. It seems very strange for Gascon to behave like this kind of egregious activity isn’t just as substantially an indictment of his leadership as well.

    Neither Rome, nor this police culture, were built in a day. Maybe firing Suhr is the best way to get reform. Maybe it isn’t. I can’t tell. Even though Suhr is the current Chief, he’s at least open to reforms. I don’t recall Gascon, while Chief, making the same comments. In fact, Gascon had his own racially-charged comments questioned while chief.

    It’s a total mess.

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