federal lawsuit follows fatal san francisco police shooting

January 6, 2018

After a 42-year-old man was shot and killed by a San Francisco police officer, lawyers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the man’s mother.

On Dec. 1, 2017, the man reportedly stole a government vehicle as police chased him. He then jumped from the van as a police vehicle closely followed. The officer, a rookie, pulled and fired his gun, striking the victim. The police car was moving. The police department and video camera records from the rookie’s body camera confirm this version of events. The victim was reportedly not armed.

Lawyers for the victim’s mother claim that no officers felt threatened during the incident. The legal team called the shooting premeditated and deliberate murder and added that the shooting of the unarmed man had no just cause. The video appears to show the officer prepare to shoot in an intentional action that indicated that he planned to shoot the victim regardless of his behavior.

The police officer’s legal representatives are reviewing the incident and investigating the shooting. The officer was placed on administrative leave after the incident per department policy.

However, a representative for the department indicated that the victim had carjacked a vehicle and during this process, the person driving the vehicle was assaulted. The victim then led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase. Once the victim stopped the vehicle, he exited the van and ran straight at the police car. Further information will be released once the investigation is finished.

Police officers are legally protected if they perceive a threat from a civilian, even if the person is not armed and even if the threat does not prove to be true. Even so, the attorney for the victim’s family expressed that the shooting was truly shocking. He wants the Department of Justice and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to pursue criminal charges. However, criminal charges in police shootings while the officer is working rarely occur.

Incidents of police brutality have gained increasing attention over the last several years. If you believe that law enforcement personnel overstepped their bounds and engaged in civil rights violations, contact us. We can review your rights and outline a course of action in your case.

CategoryCivil Rights Law
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