Calif. police release video of confrontation with armed suspect
The man approached police with a knife in one hand and scissors in another, prompting LEOs to shoot him with beanbag-style rounds
The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — The San Rafael Police Department has released video footage of a confrontation where an officer shot a suspect last year.
The suspect, Faramarz Aghazadeh, was sentenced last month for charges stemming from the incident. Investigators found no wrongdoing on the part of the officer, Kevin MacDougald.
San Rafael police Chief Diana Bishop decided to release the video to the public Wednesday because the case has been adjudicated.
Law enforcement agencies around the country are under intensifying scrutiny for shootings by officers. The climate has prompted new laws in California for police transparency and increased public access to internal records.
Bishop said the actions by MacDougald, as well as a sheriff’s deputy who fired nonlethal beanbag-style rounds, “were appropriate responses to a dangerous and volatile situation.”
“No peace officer ever wants to use force, especially deadly force,” she said.
The confrontation happened last August in the Canal area, where police were handling an unrelated traffic collision call. Aghazadeh, behaving erratically, approached police with a knife in one hand and a pair of scissors or shears in the other.
A standoff ensued with San Rafael police and sheriff’s deputies. After about 30 minutes, Aghazadeh, a former competitive bodybuilder, advanced on officers, prompting a deputy to fire the nonlethal rounds.
Aghazadeh charged on a deputy, swinging his weapons. MacDougald shot and wounded Aghazadeh to protect the deputy from getting stabbed, investigators said.
Police sought an attempted murder charge against Aghazadeh. In April, he accepted a plea deal and admitted to assault against an officer and obstructing or resisting officers.
Aghazadeh, 49, was sentenced last month to three years and eight months in prison. The sentence includes time for a 2017 vehicle theft case in which Aghazadeh had been granted probation.
The incident was the first shooting by a San Rafael officer since 2001.
MacDougald has worked for the department for more than 40 years.
©2019 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.)