Footage of five San Francisco, California, police officers gunning down 26-year-old stabbing suspect Mario Woods made headlines in December - his family’s lawyer, John Burris, said they acted like a “firing squad.”
SFPD Police Chief Greg Suhr requested that the federal Department of Justice review their department that same month, according to the San Francisco Examiner, and now his request is being granted. The DOJ has yet to announce the details of their review, but SFPD has been beleaguered with reports of badly behaved officers, even outside of the Woods shooting. For example, a judge ruled in December that officers who had sent racist and homophobic text messages would have to keep their jobs because the department waited too long to address the issue, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The shooting of Mario Woods has continued to be a hot-button issue in the City by the Bay - there have been repeated protests against Suhr, calling for his resignation, ever since Woods’ death, Raw Story reported.
For his part, Suhr has sought help from the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services Office to develop new procedures for officers responding to suspects with edged weapons. He also attended an African American Community Advisory Forum and acknowledged in a statement that the event has “for many residents shaken their trust in their city’s police department.”
An SFPD representative said in a statement that “we need to do everything we can to prevent this from occurring again.”
The Woods family has also filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of San Francisco.