SFPD Revises Gun Policy in Wake of Mario Woods Shooting

The San Francisco Police Department is revising its gun policy in the wake of the controversial shooting death of 26-year-old Mario Woods on Dec. 2. As the Chronicle reports, the department will now require officers to inform their supervisors anytime they point a gun at a suspect.

[jump] Officers will be asked to justify their “use of force” in either an incident report, a supplemental report, or in a statement. While this means more paperwork for paperwork-averse cops, advocates say the policy works, pointing to Oakland as an example of a city where similar use of force reports have coincided with a drop in the number of officers pointing guns at suspects.

Per the Chronicle, the Police Officers Association objects to the change in policy, with POA president Martin Halloran calling for union reps to meet with the SFPD to hash out the policy change.

Public outcry over the Woods shooting has been fierce, with many in the community calling for police chief Greg Suhr to resign. (And some reportedly calling for him to be killed. After receiving a death threat, a security detail was assigned to the chief.) For his part, Suhr says he wants to educate himself about alternative de-escalation techniques, and has rekindled the conversation about providing shields and Tasers to the department.

Mayor Ed Lee apparently supports this idea. Again, per the Chronicle, the mayor has asked the SFPD to draw up plans for equipping officers with stun guns in the next six weeks. Whether or not the Police Commission will back that timeline remains to be seen.

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