Ferguson Effect Claims Chief of San Francisco PD

The mob has claimed another victim. This time the setting was the beautiful though peculiar city of San Francisco, where they came with the torches and pitchforks to place (now former) police chief Greg Suhr’s head atop a fencepost, there to join that of (now former) Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy. Recall that the mob had been screaming for McCarthy’s head for some time in Chicago, and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in the furor that erupted after the Laquan McDonald shooting, chose to hand it over in the hope of saving his own. It surely came as no surprise to McCarthy; he knows how the game is played.

Suhr must have been watching the goings-on in Chicago with dread. The political machinery in San Francisco might be less Machiavellian than Chicago’s (what city’s isn’t?), but for some time Suhr had been watching the ground erode away beneath his feet. Now he, too, has been shown the exit, this owing to a controversial police shooting. But unlike the Laquan McDonald shooting, about which there was and continues to be ample reason for controversy, the shooting that would bring Suhr’s downfall was entirely justified.

As reported at SFGate.com, on the morning of May 19, police officers were in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood working a stolen-vehicle detail. When they tried to stop a woman in a stolen car, she sped off. She drove only about 100 feet, however, before she crashed into a parked truck. The officers ordered the woman out of the car, but rather than surrender, she attempted to dislodge the car in an apparent effort at continued flight. One of the officers, a sergeant, fired a single round that struck the woman. She was taken to a hospital, where she died.