SAN FRANCISCO—The five San Francisco Police Department officers involved in the fatal December shooting of Mario Woods have been cleared to return back to work by San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and a seven-member SFPD management panel.
The officers are currently on desk duty as the investigation continues. Due to the sensitive nature of the incident, the officers will likely remain in administrative positions as Woods’ civil rights lawsuit takes place, and the district attorney’s office determines whether criminal charges are necessary.
According to police, the officers were placed on paid administrative leave after the December 2, 2015 shooting of Woods. The San Francisco Police Officers Association summoned its members for a commission meeting on Wednesday, January 20, to address the incident and stand in solidarity with the officers involved in the shooting, as well as the police force.
Woods’ mother, Gwen Woods, and Woods’ family members are demanding the United States Department of Justice to investigate what they are calling a “wrongful death police shooting.” The family is working with civil rights attorney John Burris to examine whether there are policies implemented by the federal law that could help them prove racism in regards to San Francisco’s police department.
The case is formally requesting that two federal investigations take place to investigate whether the five officers criminally violated Woods’ civil rights and whether there is a pattern of discrimination in the department.
Police Chief Greg Suhr’s actions have been called into question due to his actions regarding the prosecution of the officers involved in the case of racist and homophobic text messages, as well as his recent false comments regarding the captured video surveillance of Woods raising his arm implying he was about to strike an officer with his knife.
San Francisco Mayor Edward M. Lee has called for an official review of the SFPD’s policies regarding appropriation with use of force.