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SF Police to Re-Evaluate Use of Force Protocols Following Controversial Shooting

December 08, 2015  | 

The San Francisco Police Department's use of force tactics and policies will be re-evaluated after last week's fatal shooting of a knife-carrying man by several officers in the Bayview, officials said.

The proposed changes come on the heels of the killing of Mario Woods, 26, who died at the hands of five police officers. The incident was captured on video by witnesses and shared across social media.

The changes are expected to include the distribution of protective shields to officers, Police Chief Greg Suhr said, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

The department already has some 60 riot shields — the kind of tools that are often used by sheriff's departments for jailhouse cell extractions and are part of the model used in the United Kingdom to detain suspects with edged weapons, Suhr said.

The plan would be to distribute six to each police station. "We don't want to put out any tool without any training," Suhr said. "That's what we're doing right now."

Mayor Ed Lee said The City is "moving fast." "Since last week the chief has already [begun instituting] significant changes for when and how officers use their firearms and increasing mandatory, recurring training on de-escalating skills," Lee said. "Our police department will have at least as much training in de-escalation as we do in the use of force," he said.

Suhr also expects to call for equipping officers with Tasers, or stun guns, as a less-lethal alternative to firearms — a move which has been hotly contested at the Police Commission and Board of Supervisors over the years.

San Francisco police reportedly used bean bag guns and pepper spray against Woods before fatally shooting him.

Comments (1)

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Leonard @ 12/13/2015 6:42 PM

It's time that all police departments do this. According to the latest PERF report on police violence, even after you exclude gun activity, our officers exceed the level of volience of our European counterparts. Citizens holding non lethal/less lethal weapons such as knives, sticks, rocks are killed at alarming rates compared to European police. In countries like Britan and Scotland, police are expected to deal with those types of suspects without resorting to deadly force. It's a mindset that everyone gets to go home at the end of the day, not just the officer

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