San Francisco police chief quits after black woman shot by cops | News | DW | 20.05.2016
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San Francisco police chief quits after black woman shot by cops

San Francisco's police chief, Greg Suhr, has quit hours after an officer fatally shot a black woman. After several high-profile racially sensitive cases in recent months, the mayor finally decided he could take no more.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee told a press conference on Thursday he felt it was time for change, indicating he no longer had faith in his police chief, Greg Suhr.

"I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform ."

"But following this morning's officer-involved shooting and my meeting with Chief Suhr this afternoon, today I have arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward."

Lee had said he would stand behind Suhr after the December shooting and also later when it was disclosed in April that three officers had exchanged racist text messages.

The latest shooting took place in San Francisco's Bayview area, a district of the city where police fatally shot a black man in December suspected of a stabbing. The city's public defender called that shooting "unnecessary."

Suspected thief killed in car

Suhr told reporters earlier that at about 9:45 am (18.45 CET) two officers approached a 27-year-old woman as she sat in a car that had been reported as stolen.

The woman reportedly tried to drive off and crashed into another vehicle fewer than 30 meters away, when she was shot by one of the officers - a sergeant - after refusing to comply with his order to stop, Suhr said. She later died in hospital.

Suhr said the officers have not yet been interviewed.

Mounting criticism

The police department and Suhr - a 34-year veteran of the department appointed chief in 2011 - have faced criticism for several months after several high-profile police killings and a racist text scandal.

The December killing sparked protests led by Black Lives Matter activists as the group demanded the resignation of Suhr and the officers involved. The shooting was one of three in the last five months by the San Francisco Police Department and is under investigation by the Department of Justice.

jbh/rc (AP, Reuters)

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