The resignation last week of (then) Police Chief Greg Suhr following an officer-involved shooting of a black woman in the Bayview was met with a wide array of responses. Supervisor Scott Wiener, for example, told the Chronicle that he did not agree with Mayor Ed Lee's decision to ask for Suhr's resignation. Meanwhile others, like four of Wiener's colleagues on the board and the Frisco Five, had previously called for Suhr to be replaced. We now learn, if unsourced reporting via the Chronicle's Matier and Ross is to be believed, that the police chief himself fell into the latter category.
"Suhr’s exit Thursday was actually the second time the chief had volunteered to resign," writes the duo in yesterday's column. "He first offered to go a couple of weeks back after protesters stormed City Hall and took over the Board of Supervisors chambers. According to people who were in on the discussions, Mayor Ed Lee rejected the idea, telling Suhr, 'If you go, then I go.' "
Suhr apparently volunteered to step aside following the May 6 incident wherein protesters stormed City Hall — resulting in numerous arrests and a reported $20,000 in damage. That may have been the last straw for the police chief, who up until that point had steadfastly rejected calls for his resignation following years of department turmoil.
Suhr reportedly wanted Lee to ask for his resignation, but the mayor wouldn't do it — not wanting it to appear that the “the mob mentality" had won — until Thursday's shooting left him little choice.
On May 11, which means days after Suhr reportedly first tried to quit, the Examiner picked up a statement issued by Lee reiterating his belief that the best way to reform the troubled SFPD was to support then-Chief Suhr, and to reject a recently issued call from Supervisor Jane Kim's office calling for Suhr's resignation.
“The community has asked us to fast track change and not put politics before police reforms and, unfortunately, that is exactly what this does,” wrote Lee in response to Kim's statement.
Suhr, apparently, didn't agree.