Kick or Treat: Was the Police Chief Really Assaulted?

Wednesday, Dec. 9, was not Police Chief Greg Suhr's easiest day on the job.

Bayview residents and demonstrators, angry over the fatal police shooting of Mario Woods the week before, took over a meeting of the city's Police Commission that night and spent hours calling for Suhr to be resign or be fired.

And according to the city's newspaper of record, things only escalated. On Suhr's way out the door, the “police chief was kicked repeatedly from behind by demonstrators,” the San Francisco Chronicle's Phil Matier and Andy Ross reported on Dec. 15.

San Francisco is so out-of-control that the city's police chief was assaulted in City Hall — and the assailants got off scot-free?

If this true, there's no record of it.

Neither the city's Sheriff's Department, which guards City Hall, nor the police department have any record of an assault on the chief or against anyone else that night. This has led some in the police department to question whether this “kicking” actually happened.

Assault on a peace officer is a serious felony in California — a man convicted of shoving a cop during a scrum in an Oakland protest in 2012 received five years' probation — and it defies logic how an affront as brazen as a kick on the city's top cop could both go unnoticed for several days and ultimately go unpunished.

It's not clear who Matier and Ross's source for the alleged kicking was; Matier and Ross didn't respond to a query from SF Weekly for clarification. But threats on Suhr's safety have been taken seriously enough for the SFPD to station cops outside his house for protection. After that, plus the uproar (and attendant lawsuit) over Woods's death, a boot in the rear — especially a fabricated one — is the least of his concerns.

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