In 2015, San Francisco police shot and killed six people, the highest tally in more than 40 years. (Police killed six people in San Francisco in 2011, but one was killed by a BART cop.)
One was definitely a suicide by cop, and another was a desperate, suicide-by-cop-like standoff — and only one, Mario Woods' Dec. 2 death in the Bayview, sparked Ferguson, Mo.-levels of outrage — but six was more than enough for Mayor Ed Lee, who on Monday announced efforts to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings in the city by 80 percent.
(There were two additional, non-lethal police shootings last year, including another reported attempted suicide by cop.)
To reduce the shootings so drastically, Lee and SFPD Chief Greg Suhr announced new police training and tactics and promised that police officers armed with Tasers, batons, and shields would engage suspects armed with knives — as Woods was — in ways designed to end confrontations in something other than gunfire.
But why 80 percent? Lee's spokeswoman did not offer further explanation for that figure — although there are almost always at least one or two deadly run-ins every year. Apparently, even something as unwelcome and “tragic” as police shootings need to be budgeted in and accounted for.