According to SFGATE, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr resigned Thursday at the request of Mayor Ed Lee, hours after the fatal police shooting of a woman renewed questions about whether the Police Department had lost the confidence of minority communities in the city.
Lee had stood by the chief he appointed in 2011 through two controversial police shootings within the past six months and revelations that a number of officers had exchanged racist and homophobic text messages. But at a late-afternoon news conference at City Hall, the mayor said that after Thursday’s shooting, he had “arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward.”
“The progress we have made has been meaningful, but it hasn’t been fast enough, not for me and not for Greg, and that’s why I have asked Chief Suhr for his resignation,” Lee said in remarks that lasted five minutes.
Lee named as acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin, 47, a deputy chief overseeing the department’s professional standards and principled policing bureau. The mayor said that he and the Police Commission would begin a national search for a permanent replacement.
The announcement came after Lee and Suhr met in the mayor’s office, with the departing chief exiting a side door without speaking to reporters. Chaplin stood at Lee’s side during the news conference.
Suhr’s resignation came after a tumultuous day that began when two officers came upon a black woman in a sedan on the edge of the Bayview district. The officers suspected the car was stolen, but before they could question the woman, she drove off, police said.
The car crashed into a utility truck a short distance away. Although no weapon was found on the woman and the car was wedged under the truck, a police sergeant fired a single shot, killing her, police said.