SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Oliver Barcenas and his wife have filed a lawsuit against San Francisco and its police department, nearly a year after he was shot in the back by an officer.
On June 9, 2018, two SFPD officers stopped on Grant Avenue and Vallejo Street to talk to four men about having an open beer bottle on the street. They had been celebrating the Warriors NBA championship victory in North Beach.
Barcenas was not holding any alcohol, but ran away until the officer fired, as seen in body camera video. SFPD says the officer did so because Barcenas dropped his jacket and pulled out a Glock .45 caliber handgun from his waistband.
Barcenas’s attorney Jeffrey Bornstein says his client threw the gun away before he was shot. He pleaded guilty to possessing the weapon and is now serving time in federal prison.
“Even if he shouldn’t have had a gun, and we all can agree with that, he did not deserve to be shot down like an animal in the street by that police officer,” said Bornstein.
Bornstein says his client never brandished or threatened anyone with the gun. He says the officer, Joshua Cabillo, also posed a danger to bystanders on the sidewalk.
“But the thing that really struck me was just the way in which he ran down the street after him, he never says ‘Stop’ or ‘I’ll shoot,’ he never says ‘Get down,’ he never says even to his partner ‘You know this guy’s armed,'” said Bornstein.
In 2012, Barcenas had another violent encounter with SFPD. He was shot three times at Natoma and 14th, after a foot chase with police, during which he pulled out a loaded TEC-9 with an extended magazine.
Bornstein says in this latest case, Officer Cabillo, who he believes has an anger management problem, has not–to Bornstein’s knowledge–been disciplined for his actions.
“We’re hopeful that through this process, we can get the San Francisco Police Department to do more proactive policing of its police force,” Bornstein said.
Officer Cabillo, who was working as a South San Francisco Police Officer in 2012, shot and killed a 15 year old after the boy allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband at a gas station.
SFPD has not responded to request for comment regarding the lawsuit.