San Francisco Police Chief Quits Amid Racism Row

San Francisco Police Chief Quits Amid Racism RowSan Francisco Police Chief Quits Amid Racism Row

San Francisco’s Police Chief Greg Suhr has stepped down hours after a police officer shot and killed a young black woman driving a suspected stolen car.

 The resignation was announced by Mayor Ed Lee who had asked him to quit.

Suhr and city police had in recent months come under fierce criticism over fatal police shootings of several black suspects. Reports also recently emerged that a number of officers had exchanged racist text messages, BBC reported.

The police chief had earlier said eight officers have been suspended and that he recommended they be fired.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Lee said he hoped the resignation would help “to heal the city”.

The mayor, who until now had supported Suhr, added: “The progress we have made has been meaningful but it hasn’t been fast enough, not for me and not for Greg, and that’s why I have asked Chief Suhr for his resignation.”

The black woman, 27, was shot and killed earlier on Thursday in the city’s Bayview area.

Police said one of their patrols approached her as she sat in a car that had been reported stolen. The woman allegedly tried to drive off and then crashed into a nearby vehicle.

There was no immediate indication that she had a weapon or had tried to run down a police officer before the shooting, the city authorities said.

In April, five people went on a hunger strike, demanding Suhr be sacked. They ended their strike last week. Suhr, a veteran officer, was appointed city police chief in 2011.

There are more than 1,000 fatal shootings by police in the US each year and those killed are disproportionately African-American.