Among hugs, tears and applause, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution offering its condolence to the mother of Mario Woods, a man shot by police last month, and declaring July 22nd, his birthday, “Mario Woods Day.”
The resolution, introduced by Supervisor David Campos, also committed the city to “meaningful police reform.” Campos said it was also intended to honor others recently killed in officer-involved shootings, including Alex Nieto and Amilcar Perez-Lopez.
Campos said Tuesday:
“We, as San Francisco, the city of Saint Francis, see nothing wrong with recognizing that we have a problem.”
The resolution was approved with the support of Woods’ mother, Gwen Woods, who thanked the board for standing up to opposition from police union officials.
Photos by Emma Chiang/SFBay
Gwen Woods said:
“Sometimes you have to stand up and look life in the eye. … Everyone can’t be bullied.”
Woods said she was recently approached by young boys asking her if she was Mario’s mother and asking for her picture, and it hit her, “we have to make it safe for them to walk around.”
The resolution came on the heels of a call by Mayor Ed Lee for a federal investigation into the death of Mario Woods, who was shot in the Bayview District on Dec. 2 by officers investigating a stabbing.
Lee, who sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week requesting an investigation, Tuesday said at the Board of Supervisors meeting that the probe was needed to rebuild the trust between police and communities of color.
Lee noted that the department has already taken steps toward reform and that he has asked Police Chief Greg Suhr and the Police Commission to respond by Feb. 15 with detailed plans to implement reforms:
“I’m committed to this work, and I know all of you are as well.”
Also in response to Woods’ shooting, Supervisor Malia Cohen today introduced a charter amendment that would require the Office of Citizen Complaints to investigate every time a police officer discharges a weapon.
Currently, the office only investigates when there is a complaint filed or when a death occurs.
“I believe whenever a weapon is discharged an investigation should ensue.”
Cohen said the measure, which is intended to appear on the June ballot, was intended to help restore trust in the fairness of police shooting investigations.