San Francisco mayor releases initiative to reform use-of-force policy

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a new initiative in his effort to reform his police department's use-of-force policies. This comes in the wake of the police shooting of Bayview resident Mario Woods in December.

The mayor met privately with a group of African-American leaders on Wednesday at city hall. He had a letter of initiatives prepared for that meeting. Since that controversial shooting, the mayor and the police chief have come under fire. In fact, some of that anger spilled over to his home.

VIDEO: Protesters sound off at police commission meeting over SFPD shooting

A small group of about 15 people converged on Lee's Glen Park home. Their protests ranged from homelessness to the police shooting of Woods. That shooting weighed heavily on the shoulders of the mayor who has issued a memo to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Police Commission.

Lee set a deadline of Feb. 15 to submit budget requests for training and weaponry that would be included in new use of force policies, which he's asked Police Chief Greg Suhr to draft.

On Thursday, the mayor briefed reporters on what he wants the new initiatives to reflect. He said, "It has to do with de-escalation practices, how do we get there, new training, making sure it's transparent, making sure it's reflective of new practices."

READ MORE: SFPD officers who shot Mario Woods previously accused of excessive force

Since the Woods shooting, Lee has responded to the anger among African-American community leaders by directing the chief and police commission to make sure lethal force is the last resort. Suhr says some of those reforms are already happening.

"We already have almost 400 of our officers crisis intervention trained. Every recruit who graduates from the academy is crisis intervention trained," Suhr explained.

Lee says he wants the reforms to reflect the Department of Justice's recommended guidelines.

"We've opened ourselves to a total review by the way of the Department of Justice and their cops review program of everything we're doing," Lee said.

Next week, Suhr will go to Washington to meet with Department of Justice officials.

Click here to see all of our stories on Mario Woods
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