Protesters against police shooting clash with officers in San Francisco

Protesters against police shooting clash with officers in San Francisco

(Reuters) -- Protesters demanding the ouster of San Francisco's police chief clashed with officers in riot gear at the city hall on Friday, as anger mounted over the shooting of a black suspect, local media reported.

Police armed with batons forced dozens of demonstrators out of the building and arrested about 25 activists who were calling for the resignation or sacking of Police Chief Greg Suhr, a local ABC news affiliate reported.

The protest came hours after five men known as the "Frisco Five" were taken to the hospital on the 16th day of their hunger strike against Suhr, organizers said on Facebook.

Protesters have been demanding Suhr's ouster since December, when police shot and killed Mario Woods, a black stabbing suspect who was not carrying a gun.

The killing further fueled anger over a number of high-profile police killings of black people in Chicago, Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities since mid-2014.

The U.S. Justice Department has launched a review of police procedures in the city, falling short of the federal civil rights investigation that critics have demanded.

ABC7 in San Francisco reported that 25 demonstrators were arrested in the confrontation. Police officials were not immediately available for comment.

The police department came under heavy scrutiny after prosecutors disclosed in March that an investigation found multiple text messages by a former officer that contained racial slurs and expletives.

In 2015, 14 officers were caught up in a similar texting scandal, prompting the review of thousands of cases as prosecutors sought to make sure evidence would not be tainted by the scandal.