OAKLAND (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation agreed Wednesday to a request from Oakland’s police chief to investigate last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed man by officers, according to the Oakland Police Department.
OPD spokeswoman Holly Joshi said the federal investigation would look at whether the two officers involved in the incident, whose names haven’t been released, were following the department’s policies and procedures as well as state and federal rules regarding the use of lethal force.
Chief Anthony Batts on Tuesday had asked for the independent civil rights probe because of public outrage over the death of 37-year-old Derrick Jones. Police and the Alameda County District Attorney’s office also were conducting an internal investigation of the shooting.
Jones’ mother said she believed police murdered him.
According to police, two officers responding to a report of a woman being assulted Nov. 8 opened fire on Jones, near his barbershop in the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue, after he appeared to reach for a weapon in his waistband as he ran and refused orders to surrender. The object turned out to be a small electronic scale along with a small amount of drugs.
The 37-year-old Jones had been on parole after serving five months in prison last year on an illegal gun possession conviction.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
Jones’ shooting came just days after former Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to two years in prison for shooting unnamed passenger Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.
Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in July.
Joshi said a federal investigation into a police shooting “is not entirely abnormal.” There were two other federal probes in Oakland in the last five years, and Batts, who has been Oakland’s chief for only 14 months, called for federal investigations several times when he was the police chief in Long Beach.
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