Amid calls for an investigation into the San Francisco police department for an officer shooting of a young black man by San Francisco police in December, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has asked for a federal probe into the incident that left Mario Woods 26, dead, according to a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch made public Monday. Lee also requested federal investigators take a broad look at the department’s practices, the Associated Press reported.
"We seek answers, not just to the facts of Mr. Woods's case, but also answers about how as a police department and a city we can build deeper, stronger trust between law enforcement and the communities they're sworn to protect,” Lee said, according to the AP.
Five officers shot and killed Woods after police said he raised a knife on a sidewalk, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In the wake of the shooting, Lee has asked the police department to make a series of reforms on use of force and bias training.
Less than a month ago, city supervisors London Breed and Malia Cohen also requested federal investigators take a look into the shooting, the San Francisco Examiner reported. Many have questioned whether police officers used excessive force in their confrontation with Woods, which was captured on video.
Woods’ family has filed a lawsuit against the police department, saying Woods was not fighting with the officers and that the officers should have backed away from Woods. Widespread protests developed after the shooting and some have called for the resignation of Police Chief Greg Suhr.
— Justice or Else 2015 (@JusticeOrElse) January 25, 2016
More attention has been paid in the past year to the police killings of young black men, leading to protests and investigations that have uprooted cities. In Chicago, the October 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald led to the ousting of former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and repeated calls for the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.