A lawyer representing Mario Woods’ family showed a new video of Woods’ fatal police shooting and announced that he has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
On Dec. 2, at least five San Francisco police officers fired at Woods, who was a suspect in a stabbing. Woods, 26, allegedly wielded a knife at the officers before they fired at least 15 times.
Two mobile phone videos surfaced after the shooting, and attorney John Burris played a previously unreleased third video at a news conference Friday.
Burris, with Woods’ mother and brothers sitting at his side, showed freeze frames to argue that lethal force was unnecessary.
“Mario’s arms were at his sides,” Burris said, according to the Chronicle. “He was not committing a dangerous act. He was not threatening police officers at the time. He was walking slowly. It was the police officer that created confrontation when he jumped in front of him.”
The family’s lawsuit against the city accuses the police of using excessive force and violating Woods’ civil rights.
This new video, the lawyer said, disproves the assertion that Police Chief Greg Suhr made about the incident. Two days after the shooting, Suhr presented an enlarged frame from a civilian video that he said shows Woods pointing a knife at the officers before they fired.
“I’m insulted by the chief’s comments, that he would make a comment to justify and support the police officers’ conduct so quickly, when in the video he had, had he looked closer, he would see that the person’s hand did not come up until after the officers had shot at him,” Burris said, according to the newspaper.
A police spokesman defended the chief. He said Friday that Suhr based his comments on preliminary findings and was not trying to mislead the public.
“This is still an active and ongoing investigation. Any statement the chief made would be from that standpoint,” he said, the Chronicle reports.
Authorities released the names Friday of the five officers involved in Woods’ shooting. They remain on paid administrative leave.
Woods’ grieving mother, Gwendolyn Woods, spoke to reporters. “He was the best of me,” she said, sobbing.
Meanwhile, fresh protests erupted. Hundreds of high school and middle school students across the city walked out of class to demonstrate during Burris’ news conference. They continued their call for Suhr’s resignation.
Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.