San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr faced his first big test as the department's leader when he appeared before hundreds of people in the Bayview on Wednesday night to quell anger over Saturday's fatal shooting of a man by police officers.
But within 30 minutes, the forum fell apart.
More than 300 people packed into the Bayview Opera House to weigh in on the shooting Saturday, when Kenneth Wade Harding, a 19-year-old Washington state parolee, was shot and killed after he allegedly fired at two officers. But Wednesday, people in the opera house booed Suhr and repeatedly interrupted his address. Things didn't improve when the chief gave up and opened up the floor to questions: Those trying to question the officials could barely be heard above the crowd's cries of outrage.
Suhr stepped off to the side for a bit, then returned to the microphone to continue answering questions.
"I get how upset everyone is, but everyone came here to talk to me, and I came here to listen," he said. "I don't care if you disrespect me, but don't disrespect the people who came to talk."
Afterward, he said the reaction was what he expected.
"Everybody is upset. Everybody wants to vent," Suhr said. "They want to see me and have a conversation in their community. Here I am. I love this community, and I'm telling you right now, there are some hurting people in there, and they needed to hear us say, 'Here we are.'
"They shouted me down - that just means I've got to come back again," he added.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
San Francisco's Bayview/Hunter's Point neighborhood has been up in arms after a 19 year old kid died in a firefight with police. Kenneth Harding was a parolee who shot first and was from Seattle (i.e. not really a member of the "community"). And, on top of all that, the fatal bullet came from Harding's own weapon (!) as Mr. Thugg Life was apparently firing wildly in all directions. Nonetheless SFPD police chief Greg Suhr finds himself facing hostile questions from community activists and unflattering media portraits from local journalists.
There's all sorts of moaning about how young black men are being "murdered" by the police and by one another. No one seems to have thought to educate these mopes that pulling a gun on the police is a bad career move regardless of your age or race. That, of course, is not going to stop ghetto activists/hustlers from whipping up a mob, and it certainly won't stop journalists from following the hoary "Cops Oppressing Minorities" storyline, regardless of how much Harding deserved his sorry fate.