SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Police in San Francisco on Monday released new body camera video of a wild chase ten days ago involving a suspected car burglar where one officer fired shots.
The video was made public during a town hall meeting helped by the San Francisco Police Department to address the officer-involved shooting in accordance with mandated police reform policies.
The incident on May 11 just before 1 a.m. when officers said they saw two men breaking into cars near Steiner and Geary streets.
“Show me your hands! Show me your hands!” one officer can be heard yelling in one of the released body camera clips.
Police detained one suspect. The other suspect, 21-year-old Hershel Hale, ran away.
Police say he hopped into a parked sedan and tried to make his getaway, crashing into two patrol vehicles along the way and then driving in the direction of an officer.
The officer moved out of the way. Another officer, William Reininger, fired two shots at the suspect as he drove past.
Both shots missed.
Hale was arrested a short time later near Civic Center Plaza.
“Video evidence is only a portion of the investigation, and we are releasing it for the purpose of transparency,” said Chief William Scott.
But there is no video of Officer Reininger firing the shots because, according to the chief, the officer never turned on his body camera. That is a violation of department policy.
Another violation: an officer isn’t supposed to shoot at a moving vehicle unless the suspect “poses an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to the public or an officer by means other than the vehicle.”
“The question is what do we do then? And the answer is, we investigate, and we take the appropriate disciplinary action,” said Scott.
At least one community member questioned whether the shooting was justified.
“Was he defending himself? Self-defense is the first law of that; deadly force. I didn’t see that part. I was wondering why he was shooting at a car that was getting away from him,” said local resident Kenneth Watson.
Scott stressed that there are some situations where not following policy is justified and they still don’t have all the facts in this case yet.
The officer involved is on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.