Hell no! Chief Greg Suhr has got to GO!

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by Apollonia Jordan

At the town hall meeting called by Chief Greg Suhr to discuss the killing of Luis Gongora, a Suhr tradition after every police murder, 200 angry people constantly called for Suhr’s firing. The photo of Luis Gongora was provided by his family in Mexico. His friends say he stayed in touch by phone with his three grown children. – Photo: Lola M. Chavez, Mission Local
At the town hall meeting called by Chief Greg Suhr to discuss the killing of Luis Gongora, a Suhr tradition after every police murder, 200 angry people constantly called for Suhr’s firing. The photo of Luis Gongora was provided by his family in Mexico. His friends say he stayed in touch by phone with his three grown children. – Photo: Lola M. Chavez, Mission Local

SFPD has done it again … murdered another man in cold blood … in his own community … in broad daylight. Again, officers say that they were forced to fire their weapons. Again, cowardly officers kill a man whom they claim was wielding a knife. Again, this person suffered from mental disabilities. And sadly, again, the SFPD and Chief Greg Suhr have failed our communities.

According to KTVU News, on Thursday, April 7, a homeless outreach program called SFPD and reported a mentally disturbed homeless man with a knife. Shortly after approaching the scene, SFPD gunned down Luis Demetrio Gongora Pat, a homeless man, who friends describe on the Justice 4 Luis Facebook page as a Yucatec Mayan, age 45.

Luis was murdered on Shotwell Street near 19th in the Mission District in front of witnesses who claim that the officers never utilized a Spanish speaker to ask Luis to drop the knife. During a community meeting, pulled together over this report of a second supposedly knife wielding man having been killed at the hands of the SFPD sparked outrage, Chief Greg Suhr claims that his officers had “no choice” but to gun down Luis, after he lunged at them with a knife.

On April 14, a week after Luis Gongora was murdered by police here in the “tent city” where he lived, campers pack up after being told they had to move or all they own would be swept up and destroyed. Another friend of Luis, Carlos Guevara, came forward that day as the eighth witness to deny Gongora had lunged at police. He said that the city worker who told police Gongora had been swinging his knife had been going tent to tent demanding that everyone move, and Gorgora began stabbing a tree in anger and frustration. Less than 30 seconds after police arrived, he was dead. – Photo: Laura Waxmann, Mission Local
On April 14, a week after Luis Gongora was murdered by police here in the “tent city” where he lived, campers pack up after being told they had to move or all they own would be swept up and destroyed. Another friend of Luis, Carlos Guevara, came forward that day as the eighth witness to deny Gongora had lunged at police. He said that the city worker who told police Gongora had been swinging his knife had been going tent to tent demanding that everyone move, and Gorgora began stabbing a tree in anger and frustration. Less than 30 seconds after police arrived, he was dead. – Photo: Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

Sound familiar? Yeah, this was the exact same response when Mario Woods, another mentally disabled man, was executed in his own community by San Francisco’s finest terrorists in blue.

Again, Chief Greg Suhr has failed to provide proper leadership of his department. The civilians of San Francisco no longer trust him. He lacks the prestige needed in a police chief for the city of San Francisco, a city where police should be protecting, not attacking, the many people who suffer from some sort of mental or physical disability.

The community has acrimonious feelings towards the chief and police over these senseless killings. We are cognizant of the fact that when dealing with poor people of color, Chief Greg Suhr’s officers will shoot to kill, and we are sick and tired of it.

Markale Raybon, Gongora’s best friend, sleeps in his tent. According to the London Guardian, he said of Gongora’s murder: “’We were just hanging out right here smoking pot, and then he walked up the street kicking the ball. The next thing I knew, I heard the throttle of a car, and then I heard someone shouting, and the shots.’ … ‘He was my brother. He called me “hermano”.’” – Photo: Dan Tuffs, The Guardian
Markale Raybon, Gongora’s best friend, sleeps in his tent. According to the London Guardian, he said of Gongora’s murder: “’We were just hanging out right here smoking pot, and then he walked up the street kicking the ball. The next thing I knew, I heard the throttle of a car, and then I heard someone shouting, and the shots.’ … ‘He was my brother. He called me “hermano”.’” – Photo: Dan Tuffs, The Guardian

A mentally disabled homeless man whom they claim was welding a knife shot down like a dog in the street, murdered just steps away from his home in a tent, where he had been forced to live after being evicted by his landlord, like many poor and low income families being displaced in San Francisco by gentrification.

The SFPD is full of crooks, racists and murderers! The SFPD seems to have forgotten the fact that they are supposed to serve and protect. Their training should be structured around defusing a hectic situation, especially when it comes to dealing with individuals with special needs, despite a person’s income or economic disadvantages.

Chief Greg Suhr, instead of training your officers to shoot, train them on the true traits and characteristics of a honest police force, which are:

  • Being able to adapt to and defuse hectic and dangerous situations without the use of a firearm
  • Being compassionate for human life
  • Respecting the dignity of others
  • Being a person of candor and prestige in the community
  • Exhibiting self-restraint and
  • Using effective communications skills.

San Francisco residents are calling for the immediate firing of Chief Greg Suhr! It is evident that you, Chief Suhr, have no remorse for killing poor people of color in San Francisco. Racist text messages combined with the murder of so many show a pattern of racist bullying by both the Chief and his officers.

Buffy Ephrain is distraught at the loss of her friend, Luis Gongora, who had looked after her ever since she became homeless two years ago and taught her how to survive. – Video: Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez
Buffy Ephrain is distraught at the loss of her friend, Luis Gongora, who had looked after her ever since she became homeless two years ago and taught her how to survive. – Video: Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Chief, we have questions and you have some explaining to do. How do we heal as a community if you keep causing all this bloodshed? How do we move forward as a community with the police pushing us 10 steps back?

How do you think we will ever be able to trust the SFPD with such a horrid, racist reputation? How is it that everyone is a threat except the murderers wearing the badges and wielding the guns, the ones with the bulletproof vests?

We demand justice for Luis Gongora! We demand justice for Mario Woods, and we will not take these senseless killings anymore! Hell no! Chief Suhr has got to GO!

Bay Area journalist and longtime Bay View writer Apollonia Jordan can be reached at apollonia@sfbayview.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. "Again, officers say that they were forced to fire their weapons. Again, cowardly officers kill a man whom they claim was wielding a knife. Again, this person suffered from mental disabilities."- this is so sad and once again its the same lame excuse for committing murder of a helpless human being and what makes it worse is that the man in question is said to be suffering from mental disabilities. So,so sad.

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