After a march on City Hall yesterday led by five protestors only consuming liquid calories to demand his removal, Police Chief Greg Suhr reneged on a planned appearance with Public Defender Jeff Adachi. That engagement, a forum on police accountability to be held at a San Francisco synagogue, was cancelled due to security concerns, as Bay City News wrote by way of KRON 4 and other outlets.
“Security concerns were expressed to the organizers and they made the decision to cancel," Police officials wrote in an email just before the meeting was to begin, at 7 p.m. The meeting went on as planned, without Suhr, as tweets from ABC 7 and the Public Defender's Office indicate.
Conversation on police accountability now underway. pic.twitter.com/Hw10ONpfZi— Katie Marzullo (@KatieABC7) May 4, 2016
Synagogue & public defender invite protesters inside to have conversation. Chief Suhr not coming. pic.twitter.com/RB2F6PAujE— Katie Marzullo (@KatieABC7) May 4, 2016
Earlier that day, supervisors at City Hall engaged the group of marchers who had arrived to confront Mayor Ed Lee on the subject of Chief Suhr following news of the large, scheduled march and after Lee's attempt to head that off by engaging hunger strikers on Monday. The Board of Supervisors' meeting interruption devolved into what the Chronicle described as a "shouting match."
Supervisor Campos, a far-left progressive even by the liberal standards of the Board, was one who reportedly addressed the crowd. “I don’t need anybody to tell me what it’s like to be a subject of police brutality or racism. I lived that,” he said. “The idea that you fire Chief Suhr and that solves things, I’m sorry, that’s not what I believe.”
In that same article, the Chronicle notes that Mayor Lee's possibly halfhearted and certainly stagey attempt to confront protestors on Monday, specifically the group of five who have refused solid food, at their outpost in front of the Mission Police Station, was prompted by another supervisor, John Avalos.
Avalos, who has explicitly described a culture of racism within the SFPD's ranks, appears to have brokered the would-be meeting between Lee and the protestors, which they agreed to and then later, upon the mayor's arrival, refused. The point of his meeting was reportedly to discuss ongoing attempts to increase police accountability with a number of reforms.
In February, the Department of Justice announced a "comprehensive" review of SFPD policies and tactics. Its findings will come in the form of non-binding recommendations. That DOJ review was requested, among others, by Ed Lee and Greg Suhr.