Videos Show California Cop Shoot Fleeing Man On Bustling Sidewalk

I don’t feel safe being around the streets with offi­cers shoot­ing peo­ple,” a res­i­dent said.
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Four new­ly released videos of a San Francisco police offi­cer shoot­ing a flee­ing man in the back as he ran by pedes­tri­ans add details to an episode that enraged onlook­er

The offi­cer fired after he saw that the man, Oliver Barcenas, “drew a firearm from his waist,” the San Francisco Police Department said Thursday in a press release. The gun, which is not vis­i­ble in the videos, was a .45 cal­iber Glock equipped with a laser sight and extend­ed clip, accord­ing to police.

The videos, tak­en from sur­veil­lance cam­eras and body-worn cam­eras, were released by San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott on Thursday at a town hall meet­ing. They cap­tured the shoot­ing and the after­math when an angry crowd sur­round­ed the offi­cer and shout­ed pro­fan­i­ties.

The videos raised many ques­tions at the town hall meet­ing. Police say the offi­cer fired only after see­ing Barcenas pull out a firearm. Critics con­tend that the offi­cer act­ed reck­less­ly.

Those videos do not look good,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who rep­re­sents District 3, where the shoot­ing took place, accord­ing to The San Francisco Chronicle.

An undated photo of Oliver Barcenas released by the San Francisco Police Department.

The episode unfold­ed just after mid­night on June 9, as many peo­ple in North Beach cel­e­brat­ed the Golden State Warriors’ NBA title win.

Police said two offi­cers were on patrol when they saw four men stand­ing on the cor­ner of Grant Avenue and Vallejo Street. The men, accord­ing to the police press release, had “an open alco­hol con­tain­er in pub­lic vio­la­tion.” One of the offi­cers approached the men while the oth­er parked their patrol vehi­cle.

In the video from one officer’s body-worn cam­era, audio is acti­vat­ed as he approach­es the men. While he ques­tions them, Barcenas takes off on foot along Grant Avenue.

Warning graph­ic videos

Body-Worn Camera 1

Body-Worn Camera 2

Surveillance Camera 1

Surveillance Camera 2

The offi­cer pur­sues Barcenas, and sec­onds lat­er Barcenas removes his jack­et. Police said this is when he reached for a gun. At this point in the video, as they run past sev­er­al peo­ple, the offi­cer fires two rounds from his ser­vice weapon, and Barcenas falls to the ground.

Moments after shoot­ing Barcenas, the offi­cer reports on his radio, “Shots fired. We’re going to need medics.”

In the video the offi­cer asks Barcenas, “Dude, dude, dude, you all right?”

At no point does the offi­cer or his part­ner, who runs up after the shoot­ing, attempt to pro­vide med­ical assis­tance to Barcenas, who is clear­ly uncon­scious.

A crowd begins to gath­er around the offi­cer, with one per­son shout­ing, “What the fuck you doing?!”

Back up, homie,” the offi­cer responds. “Back up.”

Several oth­ers in the crowd repeat­ed­ly shout at the offi­cer, “Fuck you!”

When oth­er offi­cers arrive on the scene, the offi­cer who fired his weapon says, “He had a firearm. I don’t know where it is … He had, like, a TEC‑9.”

The videos do not appear to show Barcenas hold­ing a gun. Nor do they show offi­cers retriev­ing a pis­tol from him. Police lat­er released a pho­to of the gun he was alleged­ly car­ry­ing.

Barcenas, 28, remained in Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Friday. Police say he was shot at least one time in the back. The hos­pi­tal has report­ed­ly declined to release infor­ma­tion on his con­di­tion.

He faces mul­ti­ple charges, includ­ing delay­ing an offi­cer, car­ry­ing a con­cealed firearm, exhibit­ing a firearm and being a felon in pos­ses­sion of a firearm.

According to San Francisco’s KPIX-TV, Barcenas is well known to author­i­ties. He was shot three times by anoth­er San Francisco police offi­cer dur­ing a 2012 foot chase, after report­ed­ly pulling out a loaded TEC‑9 with an extend­ed mag­a­zine.

Scott said he released the videos in the inter­est of trans­paren­cy.

Although sev­er­al peo­ple were near­by at the time of Saturday’s shoot­ing and were not injured, atten­dees of Thursday’s town hall ques­tioned the officer’s actions, accord­ing to the Chronicle.

I’m very con­cerned about the shoot­ing,” said 62-year-old Theresa Flandrich. “I would’ve hoped there would’ve been some aware­ness that there are oth­er peo­ple here. It’s just shock­ing to me to see this.”

Natalie April, 24, said the videos are upset­ting.

I think you can tell from the video he was scared, and I don’t feel safe being around the streets with offi­cers shoot­ing peo­ple,” she said. “I think it’s beyond dis­ap­point­ing. I’m floored.”

The San Francisco Police Department’s gen­er­al order on use of force states that offi­cers may use dead­ly force only “as a last resort when rea­son­able alter­na­tives have been exhaust­ed or are not fea­si­ble to pro­tect the safe­ty of the pub­lic and police offi­cers.”