POA helps distribute petition to repeal Mario Woods remembrance day

San Francisco’s police union has helped distribute to law enforcement associations across the nation a petition denouncing the Board of Supervisor’s decision to name a day in The City in honor of Mario Woods, the Police Officers Association said Wednesday.

Last month, the board unanimously voted to mark July 22 in remembrance of Woods, whose death at the hands of police in December played a role in the initiation of a federal Justice Department of review of the policies, procedures and training of San Francisco police.

Commenters who have signed the online petition, which says “the signed petitioners DO NOT want to honor Mario Woods on July 22 or any other day,” have pointed to the irony that July 22 is the same day of the year that Hayward Police Sgt. Scott Lunger was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 2015.

San Francisco POA head Martin Halloran said in an email to union members that they asked a police magazine and another online community of police association officials to distribute the petition.

As of press time, the petition had garnered about 6,000 signatures since it was posted on ipetitions.com last Wednesday by user Linda Hall, which is not her actual name.

Hall spoke with the San Francisco Examiner on Monday, under the condition that her real name not be used, for fear of retribution from those who might disagree with the petition. Hall said she created the petition because The City should not honor a “career criminal” and documented gang member.

“Somebody who has contributed to society, a fireman, someone who has rescued somebody, that’s an honor,” Hall said. “This fellow is not honorable.”

Hall brought 400 printed pages of the first 5,000 signatures to the Board meeting last week, splitting the signatures into 11 packets, one for each supervisor, but was told she could not give different documents to different supervisors, she said.

Hall delivered all of the signatures to Supervisor Scott Wiener’s office and asked for them to be distributed.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate and I don’t think it’s fair that 11 people should mandate something like this,” Hall said, adding that she also emailed a version of the signatures to the Mayor’s Office.

According to Hall, who describes herself as a retired city worker who has never before been involved in activism before, there are many “ordinary” citizens of San Francisco like herself who disagree with the idea of honoring Woods. “It’s not about me,” she said.

“It seems to be that if you yell and scream, and march, and chain yourselves to things, you get what you want,” Hall said.

Hall added that the comments section of her online petition show “what real people think.”

View the first 5,864 signatures and the petitioners’ comments here

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