OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against four Oakland police officers on behalf of the mother of a man shot dead by the officers last year, the plaintiff’s attorney said Tuesday.
The suit was filed in San Francisco on behalf of the mother of Joshua Pawlik, 32, who was killed by the officers on March 11, 2018, the office of attorney John Burris said.
Burris will hold a news conference about the suit at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at his law office at 7677 Oakport St., Suite 1120 in Oakland.
According to the complaint, police found Pawlik lying unconscious between two homes in North Oakland. After waking him by shouting and using loudspeakers for more than 45 minutes, officers barricaded themselves behind an armed military vehicle, Burris’s office said.
After Pawlik woke up, moved his upper body and began looking around, officers shot Pawlik dead with AR15 assault rifles, according to Burris’s office.
Burris said the conduct of the officer’s “shocks the conscious” and is as close to murder as one can get. But police said that they received a report that Pawlik had a semi-automatic gun.
Police said that they asked Pawlik to put the gun down. He didn’t and police opened fire. Following the shooting, police said the officers believed Pawlik was an “immediate threat” and they were at risk of serious bodily harm or death.
The officers who shot Pawlik were identified as Sgt. Francisco Negrete and officers William Berger, Brandon Hraiz and Craig Tanaka and each is named in the complaint.
Police said they recovered a gun that Pawlik may have been holding.
Pawlik’s mother wants the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute the four officers for murder. Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
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