The chorus calling for the removal of San Francisco's chief of police gained several important voices this week, as now a total of four San Francisco Supervisors have made it known that Greg Suhr has got to go. Jane Kim was the first to publicly call for his replacement, with The Examiner reporting that Kim opened the floodgates yesterday morning with a statement from her office saying it was time the city begin the process of finding a new police chief. David Campos, John Avalos, and Eric Mar soon followed suit.
“Chief Greg Suhr has served San Francisco for over 30 years and we should thank him for that service," reads a statement from Kim's office. "But even he must acknowledge that leading a culture shift in that department would be easier and faster if there was new leadership there. It is time to launch a search for a new chief who can implement fundamental reform."
Supervisor Campos quickly backed fellow progressive Kim, with Mission Local reporting that Campos says police reform "is not going to be implemented by Chief Suhr because Chief Suhr has become a distraction." Campos had previously publicly stated his opposition to removing the chief, but says he had a change of heart after reading the preliminary findings from a year-long inquiry launched by District Attorney George Gascon into the SFPD.
“For me the Blue Ribbon Panel is a game changer,” Campos observed yesterday. “I don’t see how [Suhr] can remain as chief of police and implement the changes needed. At a minimum there needs to be a new head of the police department.”
SFist spoke with Campos this afternoon, and the supervisor detailed his vision of the effort to find a new chief. "It should be an expedited national search," he explained, continuing that a replacement could be found "hopefully in the next two, three months — although I don't know if that's realistic." Campos said the search to replace Suhr "should be a process that involves community," but "we need a permanent chief quickly." Perhaps most interestingly, he mentioned that the Police Commission can recommend up to three names to the mayor, but ultimately Lee has the final say.
The Mayor, for his part, doesn't appear to be swayed by the progressive supervisors' demands, with the Ex reporting him as alleging that replacing the chief is "[putting] politics before police reforms." If the voices within City Hall calling for the chief's ouster continue to grow in number like if other progressive bloc member Aaron Peskin joins in he may not be able to ignore them much longer.