San Francisco police chief quits amid racism row

Washington, May 20 (IANS) San Francisco’s police chief Greg Suhr has stepped down in response to the mayor demanding his resignation just hours after a police official fatally shot a black female suspect.

The woman’s death at the hands of police on Thursday increased tension between the force and some residents, mostly minorities, who accuse officers of racist practices and abuse of authority, EFE news reported.

“I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform. But after this morning’s shooting and my meeting with him this afternoon, I have arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at a press conference.

Regarding Thursday’s shooting, police said they encountered the young woman in a car that had been stolen and tried to detain her.

However, she then fled and collided with a parked vehicle, and she was shot while officers were trying to arrest her.

Suhr’s resignation is the latest incident involving police chiefs across the country losing their jobs in recent months, following a wave of street protests against law enforcement officers accused of persecuting minorities and abusing their position.

San Francisco’s police force came under criticism after an internal investigation in April revealed that some officers had exchanged racist emails and text messages.

This followed the fatal shooting in December 2015 of Mario Woods, a black male suspect in a stabbing case.



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