The chief of police in the West Coast US
city of San Francisco has resigned over pressure from a number of high-profile killings at the hands of law enforcement officers there.
Chief Greg Suhr quit Thursday just hours after an officer fatally shot a black woman in the latest string of police killings.
The police department and Suhr have faced mounting criticism and protests for months in the wake of several high-profile police killings and a racist text scandal.
San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced Suhr’s resignation, saying, “I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform.”
Lee told reporters that “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.”
Suhr told reporters that around 9:45 a.m. two officers approached a 27-year-old woman as she sat in a car that had been reported as stolen.
The woman tried to drive off, crashing into another vehicle fewer than 100 feet away. She was shot by one of the officers, a sergeant, after refusing to comply with their orders, Suhr said.
She later died at an area hospital.
The latest fatal shooting has sparked new outrage in San Francisco, where the city’s police department and Shur have been under criticism in the past few months over several cases of police killings of minority people.
Police have also been under fire nationwide for using excessive use of force against people of color, most particularly African Americans.
Earlier this month, racist text messages in which a San Francisco police officer referred to African-Americans as “nigs,” Mexicans as “beaners” and Indians as “disgusting” put a further strain on the fraught relationship between community members and police.
Back in January, the US Justice Department announced that it would review the San Francisco Police Department after the December 2 shooting death of an African American man on a city street.