SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A federal judge ruled that there is now enough evidence to put the case of Mario Woods before a jury. New video footage from the high-profile police shooting in San Francisco will be part of an upcoming trial.
The video was shot by a former Muni bus driver on December 2, 2015, the day that Woods was shot and killed by five San Francisco police officers in The Bayview.
Midway through the video, one can hear the sound of the 21 rounds that SFPD officers fired at Woods.
In a ruling on Tuesday, Judge William Orrick said, “Videos cast doubt on the officer accounts that Woods was moving quickly or speeding up when officers shot him. They seem to show him take four slow steps with his right shoulder up against the building, walking with a heavy limp. The knife was in Woods’s right hand, on the building side.”
Bay Area civil rights attorney John Burris is representing Woods’s mother Gwen Woods, and he says this new angle supports the claim against the city.
“The fact that he had not stopped, had not been compliant with the officers, that’s not a basis to kill him. That’s not our position,” said Burris.
But the city of San Francisco says the new video helps their case.
“In support of our motion to dismiss, we submitted video taken by a bystander who chose not to post the footage to the internet. This video doesn’t change anything and further supports the police department’s position that the shooting was lawful and justified,” said the city in an official statement.
Judge Orrick dismissed federal civil rights claims due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, but he is allowing the state law claims of negligence and wrongful death to go forward.
“The officers were negligent when they used deadly force against Mario Woods. Their conduct was below the standard of care of a reasonable officer at the time.”
A jury trial is slated to begin on April 1, 2019.