While the nation was focused on the San Bernardino incident today, San Francisco police shot a man suspected of a stabbing incident. Some might say the video shows excessive force. How much does it take to take down a suspect?
The suspect was said to have been involved in a stabbing incident early in the day, says CBS San Francisco. Accordingly, police authorities tracked down the man and confronted him. The source reports that officers attempted to disarm the knife suspect various times with non-lethal bean bags. However, in neither attempt did the suspect seem affected.
From the video, you can hear a woman in the distance telling the man to just put the weapon down. The suspect stood against a wall for support while police officers kept their space from the man. Seemingly non-compliant, the man — reported to be in his early 20’s — began trying to walk away.
Suddenly, several officers fired on the suspect, releasing a barrage of bullets. Although the cameraman didn’t show the viewers the carnage once police started shooting — due his to taking cover, himself — you can clearly hear many, excessive shots being fired on the suspect. Journalist Shaun King posted a video of the incident via his Facebook page. You can see it below.
Warning: This video contains graphic material. Viewer discretion is advised.
How many gunshots does it take? CBS – San Francisco reports that police Chief Greg Suhr made a statement about the incident. Accordingly, he mentioned that the officers fired as they did because they couldn’t allow the man to leave the area. He stated as follows.
“They deployed the standard bean bag gun several times. He did not drop the weapon. Officers fired a second round of bean bags at the suspect, but he again failed to respond to officers’ commands to drop his weapon.
This suspect had already shown by committing a felony aggravated assault that he was a danger to others, so he could not be allowed to move away from the scene.”
But, couldn’t a single bullet in the man’s kneecap immobilize him enough for appropriate apprehension? That number of bullets possibly rendered his body unrecognizable — while he could have easily been less-excessively disarmed. Although emergency medical services would have had to intervene, he would still be alive and able to serve his time behind bars.
From the CBS report, it mentions that the San Francisco Police Commission has been in process of equipping its officers with body cameras. However, it hasn’t taken effect yet. Maybe this video shows part of why the cameras are needed?
— KCBS 106.9 FM/740 AM (@KCBSNews) December 3, 2015
In the video’s comment section, journalist Shaun King mentions that he doesn’t believe the police report aligns with their recorded actions. Likewise, Mohamed Diop commented, “Oh my god. That’s all I can say. Mass shootings, police brutality. Yet, Americans worry about Syrian refugees. Americans need to worry about their own backyard because it is a mess.”
— Paul Chambers (@PaulChambersTV) December 3, 2015
Another video commentator, Erin Hardy, mentioned possible excuses which might be used as justification for the polices’ actions.
- “He was coming right at them!
- They thought it was a gun!
- You couldnt see it, but he was turning into a demon.
- They were shouting “stop resisting” the whole time, so, NBD.
- His parents have criminal records so, connect the dots.
Take your pick. Did I miss any?”
Is it as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has mentioned? He’s stated that dangerous people certainly need to be taken off the street. However, at the same time, mothers shouldn’t have to be afraid of their children being intentionally targeted by police.
If you remember Dylann Roof from months ago, he “opened fire on a bible study group at the historic predominantly black Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street, killing eight people in an ‘unfathomable’ act of violence,” as reports ABC – News. Yet, when he was apprehended, he was escorted out of his hiding place, barely in restraints at all. And he had a gun.
However, as you may know, dash-camera footage recently surfaced about Laquan McDonald’s killing. Similar to this San Francisco situation, a Chicago police officer excessively fired over 10 shots into the aforementioned teenager, after he was already incapacitated on the ground. CNN reports that the department was reluctant to release the video, fearing public revolt. As it seems, San Francisco police didn’t get this luxury.
Sure, they were doing their jobs, yes. However, their actions were excessive, were they not? If the suspect only had a knife in his possession, a shattered kneecap could have sufficed, no? What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave your comment.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]