San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is pushing for officers to use stun guns instead of firearms following the police shooting of Mario Woods, who was wielding a knife when he was fatally shot by police on Dec. 2.
“I told the commission that I want this done immediately,” Mr. Lee said last week about the stun gun proposal.
Police Chief Greg Suhr appears to be behind the idea and is already is looking into other changes, such as using shields and implementing new rules aimed at slowing officers down when they draw their guns, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The mayor is already receiving some pushback for the proposal.
“The last thing you want is to fast-track something like that. You have to look at the entire operation of the S.F. police department,” said Supervisor David Campos, a former police commissioner. “I think the Board of Supervisors will rightly say, ‘Mr. Mayor, that doesn’t cut it.’ “
Police Commissioner Petra DeJesus agreed that officials need to “stop, look and listen to the community” before making a decision, he told the San Francisco Chronicle. He said officers already have pepper spray, bean bags and batons, arguing that they “don’t need another weapon.”
Police Officers Association President Martin Halloran said, “I do not want to see any of my members hesitate to draw their fire in a situation where it is necessary.”
The mayor’s goal is to have the issue resolved within a couple of weeks. Even if the commission votes “yes,” the debate is likely to continue, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.