San Francisco – San Francisco's mayor ended consideration of the controversial stop and frisk tactic that would allow police to search suspicious people in an effort to get weapons off San Francisco streets, but that has drawn criticism that it unfairly targets Latinos and African-Americans.
Mayor Ed Lee made the move after meeting with law enforcement officials and community leaders, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Lee faced an outcry after telling the newspaper in June that he was considering stop and frisk. Critics say the policy encourages racial profiling, and multiple legal battles have been fought over the practice.
The Black Young Democrats of San Francisco rallied last month against the move outside City Hall. The previous week, a majority of San Francisco supervisors passed a resolution opposing the idea.
[Mayor Ed Lee] doesn't want to implement a policy that has the potential to include racial profiling.
- Christine Falvey, spokeswoman for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
Stop and frisk is already in place in New York City, where police reported stopping 700,000 people last year, the majority of whom were black or Latino.
"The program the mayor's announcing doesn't include stop and frisk," the mayor's spokeswoman Christine Falvey told the Chronicle. "He doesn't want to implement a policy that has the potential to include racial profiling."
The mayor said he will instead rely on targeted police enforcement, crime-tracking software and increased involvement by ministers to combat gun violence.
Police Chief Greg Suhr said the city plans to target gang members — rather than randomly stopping residents — with a zero tolerance approach for parole and probation violations. The city also has an injunction in place against warring gang members in south San Francisco.
"In a less turbulent time, they might be granted a kinder, gentler approach to their probation or parole status, but with the violence being at the level it's been over the last few months, we've got to get folks off the street," Suhr said.
Lee intends to announce details of his alternative plan Tuesday at Bayview's Calvary Hill Community Church.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.