The five activists who have refused to eat until San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr resigns or is fired plan to continue their hunger strike from the hospital, where they were sent Friday after 16 days without food.
Rappers Ilych “Equipto” Sato and Sellassie Blackwell, and pre-school workers Maria Cristina Gutierrez and Ike Pinkston, were transported to UC San Francisco at Parnassus for medical personnel to monitor their deteriorating health.
The so-called “Frisco 5” began their hunger strike April 21 in response to the fatal police shootings of four black and Latino men by San Francisco police in recent years.
Three of those men were reportedly wielding knives, while a third carried a stun gun. However, details surrounding their deaths have been controversial. Two autopsies showed one of the men, Amilcar Perez Lopez, was shot in the back.
The killings — most recently on April 7 of Luis Gongora, a homeless man in the Mission District — have sent City Hall and the San Francisco Police Department into a scramble over police reform.
Several dozen protesters marched into City Hall late Friday afternoon, banging on the door to the mayor’s office. Mayor Ed Lee has the power to fire Suhr but has thus far declined to do so, citing Suhr’s work to improve use-of-force policies in the department.
Within half an hour of their arrival, a line of sheriff’s deputies temporarily blocked the door to the mayor’s office, prompting protesters to sit and chant from the staircase leading to his office.
Some of the protesters plan to stay in City Hall until the building closes, possibly facing citation or arrest.
It’s unclear the exact health concerns the Frisco 5 face, but experts warn that more than two weeks without food can have long-term ramifications to a person’s health.
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