San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr is receiving calls to resign over the shooting death of a man by police partially captured on video that was widely circulated on social media.
A community meeting on Friday night erupted into outrage after Suhr said the officer shot Mario Woods “in defense” of both themselves and bystanders, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Police say Woods, 26, a Bayview District resident, was shot several times Wednesday after he ignored orders to drop a knife. A 15-second clip about the shooting is circulating online, and it has sparked a debate over the officers’ response.
Suhr said the officer didn’t have any choice but to open fire on Woods after unarming him with beanbag rounds had been unsuccessful. However, community activists and San Francisco’s public defender argue police should’ve found other ways to subdue Woods before shooting him.
The three-hour town hall meeting was part of a promise Suhr made when he became police chief in 2011 to speak to the community after every officer-involved shooting.
Adriana Camarena, a member of the Justice for Alex Nieto Committee, an organization formed after Nieto was killed by San Francisco police officers last year, called the meeting a farce and asked for Suhr to step down.
"You get up here (at these meetings) and you tell the same version of events," Camarena said. "You tell a narrative that someone poses. It's the narrative you have to defend in court, but it's a lie. So are you here to resign?"
Suhr said after the meeting he does not plan to resign.
"I took this job, and I knew it was a tough job," he said. "There's a lot of people that came up to me after the meeting to tell me to stay strong, and I intend to."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.