Video: Angry crowd surrounds SF cop after OIS of armed suspect
While running, the suspect took off his jacket and drew a .45 caliber Glock pistol with a laser sight
By Evan Sernoffsky
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — A police officer apparently shot a fleeing armed suspect in the back during a foot chase through San Francisco’s bustling North Beach neighborhood early Saturday, prompting outrage from nearby witnesses who surrounded the officer in the chaotic aftermath, according to video and police statements.
The new details in the office-involved shooting were revealed during a town hall meeting Thursday, during which police officials released body-worn camera and security footage of the incident and the tense moments that followed.
The man who was shot, 28-year-old Oliver Barcenas, remains hospitalized as investigators continue piecing together the details of the shooting.
Barcenas was shot by San Francisco police before in a 2012 incident in the Mission District. In that case, he was accused of pulling a Tec-9 assault pistol on current Assistant Chief Toney Chaplin, who at the time worked on the Gang Task Force, The Chronicle reported this week.
While commending Police Chief Bill Scott on his commitment to transparency at the town hall, District Three Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents North Beach, said, “Those videos do not look good.”
The incident began around 12:15 a.m. as officers patrolled the district known for its vibrant nightlife, which was especially crowded after the Golden State Warriors’ NBA title win Friday night.
Two uniformed officers spotted a group of four men they believed were drinking alcohol on the corner of Grant Avenue and Vallejo Street, police said. One officer got out to speak with the group, at which point Barcenas took off running.
The officer gave chase, and while running, Barcenas took off his jacket and drew a .45 caliber Glock pistol with a laser sight and an extended clip with 26 rounds, police said.
The officer opened fire, causing Barcenas to fall among pedestrians on the crowded street. Immediately after the shooting, a confrontational crowd gathered around the officer, recording him with their cell phones and questioning why he shot the fleeing man.
The video did not appear to show Barcenas pointing the gun at the officer. 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.”
“What did you do! F— you!” the enraged group is seen shouting at the officer as they surround him and check on the man collapsed at his feet.
Paramedics took Barcenas to San Francisco General Hospital, where he is still being treated. Hospital officials have not released Barcenas’ condition. The officer’s name was not released.
Barcenas was arrested on suspicion of delaying an officer, carrying a concealed firearm, exhibiting a firearm and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
At Thursday’s town hall, residents offered a mix of opinions about the incident, with many questioning the officer’s use of force on a fleeing man.
“I’m very concerned about the shooting,” said 62-year-old North Beach resident Theresa Flandrich. “I would have hoped there would have been some awareness that there are other people here. It’s just shocking to me to see this.”
Natalie April, 24, said she works with Barcenas at a San Francisco flower store and was upset by what she saw in the videos Thursday.
“As far as co-workers go, everyone is completely in shock,” she said. “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. I think it’s beyond disappointing. I’m floored.”
The San Francisco Police Department’s homicide unit and Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating the incident, along with the district attorney’s office and city Department of Police Accountability.
©2018 the San Francisco Chronicle
- Use of Force