Calif. police release video of fatal OIS
Police responded to the scene after a report of an apparently drunk man walking around in public with a machete
By George Kelly
East Bay Times
SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — Police released a ‘community briefing’ video that included some recordings as well as officer-worn body-camera footage of a confrontation that led an officer to fatally shoot a man outside a home last month.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office coroner’s division has identified the man as Anthony Gomez, 56, of San Leandro.
In a video posted Thursday to YouTube, San Leandro police chief Jeff Tudor said the ongoing investigations into the shooting required investigators to interview multiple witnesses, view hours of video footage and analyze significant amounts of forensic evidence.
After noting that the investigations could take at least several more months to come to an end, Tudor added that no conclusions about the officers’ actions consistent with the department’s use-of-force policy would be made until all investigations were complete.
The rest of the video, narrated by San Leandro police Lt. Isaac Benabou, outlines an account of events leading up to the shooting, starting with a neighbor’s 911 call at 4:05 p.m. about an apparently drunk man walking around in public with a machete who had dropped his pants, exposing himself to some children.
That neighbor identified the man walking around in the 1900 block of North Boulevard as Gomez, his fellow neighbor, and added that he had earlier been driving a white Chrysler 300 unsafely around the neighborhood.
In the video released Thursday, police showed a brief clip the neighbor filmed of Gomez holding a machete and identifying it.
Benabou said the first officer on the scene, a nine-year veteran, saw Gomez in the street walking toward his home, dropping his machete in a driveway just before reaching the house, where he sat down on the front porch. Footage from that officer’s body-worn camera shows her following Gomez up to the home.
Other footage in the video shows officers who arrived at the scene attempting to coordinate use of protective equipment, including less-lethal control device, and using a loudspeaker to call to Gomez and to his mother, hoping to prevent Gomez from retreating into the home and barricading himself inside.
One officer said he had dealt with Gomez over previous days, but no details on those encounters was provided Thursday.
All officers on the scene had department-issued service weapons and Tasers, and each had activated body-worn cameras, as is department policy, Benabou said.
At 4:17 p.m., Gomez stood up and pulled what appeared to be a gun at the officers, pointing it in a threatening manner and challenging them, police said.
One officer, identified only as a 9½-year veteran, fired a single shot at Gomez, who fell off the home’s porch where he was standing. Officers later found Gomez had pointed a dark-colored piece of wood about six inches in length.
The officers were placed on administrative leave after the shooting, which is still under investigation by San Leandro police and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
©2019 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)