Chief Suhr Requested Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Armored Military Vehicle in 2013

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr requested an armored tactical vehicle in June 2013 for use in San Francisco.

Suhr’s request for a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle from the Law Enforcement Support Office, which distributes excess U.S. Department of Defense property to local law enforcement agencies across the country, is a result of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997.

The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), which is part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency, has received a wave of recent criticism after local law enforcement agencies have been seen responding to civilian protests armed with military equipment.

Since LESO began in 1997, it has transferred more than $5.4 billion worth of property to law enforcement agencies, with almost $1 billion transferred in 2014 alone, according to LESO.

Items transferred to local law enforcement range from armored vehicles and weapons, to clothing and computers.

Suhr’s request states that because San Francisco is a high-intensity drug trafficking area, the SFPD’s 32-member SWAT team and 8-member explosive ordnance device team could utilize the armored vehicle.

Possible high-risk operations in which the armored vehicle would be used include “warrant service, barricaded subject extraction, and explosive ordnance device mitigation,” Suhr wrote in the request.

The requested MRAP “can be utilized as a regional asset, as no other MRAP’s currently exist in the region,” Suhr wrote in 2013.

San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan said she didn’t know whether the request for the armored vehicle has been approved yet, but said the SFPD’s fiscal department and deputy chief of the Special Operations Bureau, who would know, were not immediately available to comment on the matter.

In recent years, residents who say they don’t want military vehicles in their communities have protested police department requests for armored vehicles in Berkeley, Albany, Santa Cruz and other Bay Area cities.

SFPD Names Officers Present When Man Died in Custody in Marina District

The San Francisco Police Department has released the names of eight police officers who were on scene in San Francisco’s Marina District last month when a man died in their custody after he allegedly brutally attacked a 96-year-old man in Sonoma County and then fled a vehicle crash in San Francisco.

San Francisco police officers Christina Galande, Bridget O’Connor, Colin Patino, Jamie Garon, Kimberly Ng, Laurie Loftus, Martin Kilgariff and Nicole Gilliam were all placed on administrative assignments following the death of 57-year-old Filimoni Raiyawa, San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

Raiyawa, after allegedly attacking a 96-year-old man he lived with and worked as a caretaker for in west Sonoma County, drove into San Francisco and was involved in a collision at Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street at about 5:30 a.m. on July 30.

Raiyawa then had an encounter with police officers and during his detainment, he stopped breathing and died, police said.

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said the police encounter with the suspect at the Surf Motel was captured on video surveillance from a nearby building. He said the footage shows that “the officers used a reasonable amount of force.”

Suhr said that immediately after the crash at Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street, the driver of the rear-ended vehicle got out of his vehicle to discuss the crash with the other driver. But when he approached the vehicle, the driver of the rear vehicle was seated, transfixed and talking about God.

The rear driver, described as standing over 6 feet tall and weighing around 250 pounds, exited the vehicle and started walking purposefully after the forward driver, Suhr said.

The rear-ended driver began to run away and called 911 for help.

Shortly thereafter, two female police officers located Raiyawa about five blocks away from the crash, at Lombard and Pierce streets, and attempted to make contact with him.

Suhr said Raiyawa then struck one of the officers on her head and shoulders, knocking her to the ground. Raiyawa then struck the other officer, injuring her knees, legs and wrist.

Additional officers responded and just outside the Surf Motel, a struggle ensued, Suhr said.

Raiyawa was taken to the ground in handcuffs. He was breathing and talking to the officers while on the ground, but within minutes he went into distress and stopped breathing, according to Suhr.

Officers rendered CPR and first aid until paramedics took over and ultimately pronounced Raiyawa dead at the scene.

Suhr said Raiyawa was unarmed and that police did not use their firearms, but that one of the female officers did deploy a collapsible baton.

Both officers who were injured were treated at a hospital and later released, Suhr said.

The elderly man allegedly attacked by Raiyawa in Sonoma County, 96-year-old Solomon Cohen, died later on July 30 as a result of his injuries.

Cohen was found badly injured at his home in the 13000 block of Dupont Road after someone called for an ambulance and reported he had fallen.

Investigators found his injuries suspicious though and concluded he had been beaten, Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said.

Today’s Weather Forecast

Today will be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and a slight chance of drizzle in the morning. Highs will be in the mid-60s to lower 70s and west winds will reach 10 to 20 miles per hour.

Tonight will be partly cloudy in the evening and then become mostly cloudy with patchy fog after midnight. Lows will be in the upper 50s and west winds will reach 5 to 15 miles per hour.

Friday will be cloudy in the morning with patchy fog before becoming sunny. Highs will be in the mid-60s to lower 70s and west winds will reach 5 to 15 miles per hour.

(News Roundup Via Bay City News)