San Francisco

SF Police Body Camera Policy Approved as Chief Hears From Critics

As the San Francsico Police Commission on Wednesday night approved the department's body camera policy by a 5-2 vote, the city's acting police chief was hearing from critics that they're not happy with his performance.

Many community members are asking for a meeting or town hall to discuss the officer-involved shooting that killed Jessica Williams, a meeting acting Chief Toney Chaplin doesn't plan to have.

"By not having a town hall after someone is murdered, that's a step backwards," resident Max Leung said.

"If the department is going to look backwards and stop being transparent, that's not a good sign," added resident John Crew.

Chaplin said Wednesday night that he was waiting on the results of a crime scene reconstruction before releasing further information about the police shooting that led to the resignation of former Chief Greg Suhr last month.

The department has released no new information since the May 19 fatal shooting of 29-year-old Williams in the Bayview District, other than the name of the officer involved, Sgt. Justin Erb.

Still, several policy reforms are on the table. The city's police commission on Wednesday night also heard proposals regarding use of force reforms and Tasers.

Activists said Tasers are used disproportionately against people of color, and several past commission votes against Tasers should eliminate them from consideration.

Meanwhile, the chief is doing his part to get the rank and file members of the department on board with his expansion of de-escalation training. He's planning to meet with officers at every district station to deliver the department's focus on keeping everyone alive.

"Because, ultimately, this boils down to pushing acoss the table the sanctity of human life," Chaplin said.

Police commission President Suzy Loftus said a commission subcommittee has already met to start the search for Suhr's permanent replacement.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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