San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong is backing her officers’ demand that District Attorney Kamala Harris to change her mind and seek the death penalty in the killing of a police officer. The San Francisco Chronicle says that Fong raised tensions between police and the district attorney to a new high this week when she issued a memo labeling the April 10 killing of officer Isaac Espinoza as a “blatant attack on our system of law” that merits the death penalty. “Our sense of justice cries out for this,” Fong wrote. “To do anything less dishonors the memory of all fallen officers and diminishes the lives of those, who, on a daily basis, risk their lives for the sake of the public’s safety.”
Fong met with Harris on Monday. Fong and her command staff issued the call after several rank-and-file officers denounced Harris’ decision to seek life without possible parole for the suspect in Espinoza’s killing, 21-year-old David Hill. Officers also were disturbed that the district attorney called a press conference just two days after Hill was arrested and three days before the officer’s funeral.
The Espinoza killing is the highest-profile murder case Harris has handled since taking office in January. Her actions sunk relations between her office and the police epartment to levels seen under predecessor Terence Hallinan.