San Francisco News

Suhr holds meeting over Mission shootings, vandalism

Monday, September 24, 2012

On Monday San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr went to the Mission District to hold a town hall meeting and described why his officers fired on an armed man at 14th and Natoma streets last Thursday. The man was a felon with a semi-automatic handgun. Two nights of protests and vandalism in the Mission District followed that incident.

Suhr answered a number of questions, but he's not done yet. He had another community meeting Monday night. San Francisco Supervisor David Campos plans to also hold a meeting to speak with people from the public at a community center at Potrero Avenue and 25th Street. The public will also get a chance to speak about another fatal shooting that happened last Sunday in the Mission.

"I really want to thank the officers that are out there every day on the street, risking their lives," said Buck Bagot, a community activist.

Those who spoke at the meeting praised police for trying to clean up the gang problem in the Mission. Chief Suhr told the crowd the suspect was 22-year-old Oliver Barcenas, a Norteno gang member who had been paroled for a brazen gang shooting in San Francisco.

Suhr described that incident saying, "Two people were shot including an innocent 15-year-old." He explained the officer shot and wounded Barcenas when he refused an order to drop his Tech-9 assault pistol. Suhr believes the man was on his way that night to retaliate for a fatal shooting that happened in the Mission a week ago Sunday. But the town hall was not all a love fest.

"If you want to run around and do mayhem like that and destroy with your face covered, they should be able to get arrested," said Elsa Casillas, a Mission resident.

Merchants were angry at a group of about 75 anti-police protestors who marched through the streets of the Mission, some of them vandalizing small businesses and two banks as well as the Mission Police Station.

Milton O'Brien owns Live Fit Gym. Vandals smashed his windows Friday night. The same thing happened April 30th when Occupy demonstrators marched through the Mission, creating havoc. O'Brien says police did nothing then and nothing Friday to protect his business.

"I see nothing, but San Francisco police officers across the street defending their police station while the rest of us are basically left to our own mit," said O'Brien.

Others at the meeting were also angry at what they said was police inaction.

"How many arrests have been made? Practically none. Even when arrests are made it's just a revolving door. They're let off without any charges," said John Barbey, a Mission resident.

Suhr responded saying, "When we've been able to make arrests, we make them and that'll be the case going forward."

O'Brien told us he is considering a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco and the Police Department.

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Tags:
greg suhr, SFPD, shooting, vandalism, san francisco news, vic lee
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