Department of Justice to Investigate San Francisco Police Department After Mario Woods Shooting

The Justice Department is set to review the department after several officers fatally shot Mario Woods, 26, who was armed with a knife at the time of his death.

Mario Woods
Mario Woods CBS San Francisco Screenshot

The U.S. Department of Justice is set to open an investigation into the San Francisco Police Department after disturbing video captured the shooting of a young black man and, in a separate incident, some officers reportedly shared homophobic and racist text messages.

According to the Los Angeles Times, details of the review are expected to be released Monday afternoon.

Mario Woods, 26, was armed with a knife when he was fatally shot by San Francisco police Dec. 2. The shooting, which was captured on cellphone video, immediately went viral and showed several officers firing at Woods, who appeared to have already been injured. 

The shooting sparked protests, including a march on Saturday in which hundreds of people gathered to call for the firing of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, the Times reports.

“This is a golden opportunity for everyone to take a look at the San Francisco Police Department,” John Burris, the lawyer for Woods’ family, told a news conference in December. Burris added that all five officers who reportedly fired on Woods acted like a “firing squad,” the Times reports.

In December a judged ruled that several officers who had exchanged racist and homophobic text messages would not lose their jobs because the Police Department waited too long to address the issue.

“The fact that San Francisco is forced to retain police officers that demonstrated explicit racism will have ramifications for the reputation of the department, the fair administration of justice, and the trust of the community SFPD serves,” District Attorney George Gascón said after the ruling, the Times reports.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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