Mayor Lee's Statement on Officer Involved Shooting in San Francisco's Bayview Neighborhood
Mayor Lee’s Statement on officer involved shooting in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood that resulted in the death of Mario Woods:
“As I said last week, after the incident that resulted in the death of Mr. Mario Woods, I saw the video. I found it very upsetting, as many did, and it raised a number of questions.
We owe all San Francisco, communities of color, and the Woods family, a full and transparent investigation without delay, as I said on Thursday.
We also need to reassure the people of San Francisco that lethal force is always the last resort. The men and women of our police department dedicate their lives to protecting people and building trust with the community. They too deserve more alternatives to lethal force in order to best de-escalate conflict.
I have met with community leaders, members of the Board and my staff about this shooting. There are three investigations underway, and no conclusions have yet been reached.
That said, I have directed Chief Suhr to take specific, immediate action to ensure they have more options to resolve situations with the minimum use of force.
And we’re moving fast. Since last week, the Chief is already equipping officers with protective shields, instituting significant changes to instruction for when and how officers use their firearms, and increasing mandatory, recurring training on de-escalation skills. Our Police Department will have at least as much training in de-escalation as we do in use of force.
Immediately after this shooting, the Department opted in to a national effort called: Re-Engineering Training on Police Use of Force.
I have also directed the Police Commission to do a thorough review of all existing policies regarding use of force to make it perfectly clear that the Department’s policy is that using lethal force is the last resort. This might require fundamentally revising the Department’s policy through General Orders, and adopting any necessary training or equipment, in addition to what the Chief has already instituted. This discussion will begin at the Police Commission meeting within two days.
This country has seen far too many incidents where conflicts between police and young men of color result in the death of a young person. In San Francisco, we’re not this kind of City. That’s not our values.
So let me say again very clearly, as I’ve said before, Black Lives Matter.
As Mayor, I commit that we will take all necessary steps to prevent these kinds of incidents when possible to ensure public safety, protect the lives of our young people, and maintain officer safety.”