Officers with the San Francisco Police Department in Northern California shot a man believed to have a knife this morning, but preliminary reports suggest that the victim was in handcuffs while the authorities opened fire.
Police officers with the SFPD allegedly opened fire on a man armed with a knife at around 10:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday after responding to reports that someone had been stabbed near the city’s Pier 17.
The Bay City News Service reported minutes later that there was an “officer-involved” shooting but did provide any other details. The San Francisco Chronicle reported at 11:30 a.m. local time that the man was shot by police after he refused to drop a knife that they believe was used in a stabbing earlier that morning. Fire Department Capt. Jeanne Seyler confirms to the paper that the victim was being transported for life threatening wounds, but did not provide any more details.
A video uploaded to YouTube less than 30 minutes after that report includes a testimony from an eyewitness who alleges that the police shot the suspect after placing him in handcuffs.
“So what happened here?” the cameraman asks an unidentified witness.
“The police shot somebody. In the chest, twice,” he responds. “They said that the man had a gun or something but he didn’t. He was just a civilian.”
“What was he doing?” the videographer asks.
“Nothing. They had him in cuffs. And they shot him. Twice.”
“They shot him in cuffs?” he asks in bewilderment.
The cameraman that runs over to talk to police officers on the scene for confirmation that the man was cuffed before being shot but the cops refuse to answer.
At 12 noon local time, the cameraman uploaded a second video to YouTube with different witnesses confirming the account.
In the second video, a new witness says “a female officer with fucking short blonde hair” opened fire on the suspect.
“While he was in handcuffs?” the cameraman asks.
“Yes.” He confirms.
“And you witnessed this?”
“I saw this.”
The witness alleges that the officer in question shot the man twice in the chest. A third witness caught on film confirms reports that the victim was handcuffed during the shooting.
Only two days earlier, protesters in San Francisco disrupted service on the local transportation system in remembrance of Kenneth Harding, a 19 year old that was shot and killed one year earlier during a standoff with the police. Local law enforcement has still been at odds with the community in recent times, especially since a New Year’s Day 2009 incident in nearby Oakland sparked nationwide protests.
In the early morning hours of January 1, 2009, Officer Johannes Mehserle of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police shot and killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant after detaining him in handcuffs.Mehserle served 11 months in jail for the crime.