OAKLAND, Calif. - In an attempt to clear up any misconceptions over two recent suspect deaths in Oakland, police allowed media members to view body camera video from the pursuing officers.
The videos involved the Richard Linyard case and the officer-involved shooting of Nate Wilks. Both suspects died while police were attempting to take them into custody.
Before airing the videos for the media, investigators contacted the families of the victims.
The Wilks family came in and watched the videos while the Linyard family declined to watch them.
In the Wilks case, the video begins with the chase. You can hear officers yelling — “Drop the gun!” multiple times.
Moments later, the video shows Wilks stopping, turning around and advancing toward the officer wearing the camera. In slo-motion, a gun is clearly visible in his left hand.
At that point, the three officers open fire. The next image is of Wilks on the ground.
The camera from a second officer shows Wilks running with a gun in his hand.
The video also shows that there were local residents near the scene of the shooting. A man is seen walking his dog and then running for cover. A woman appears on the video in a wheelchair and then off-screen ducks into a home for cover.
The officers’ body cams began taping with the beginning of the chase at 27th and Northgate and ends with the shooting at 27th and Martin Luther King.
Wilks died of his wounds suffered in the shooting. The video shows that Wilks did not fire his weapon.
In the Linyard case, the suspect was chased by police after an alleged carjacking attempt in West Oakland at 69th and International.
The video opens with officers questioning Linyard, who suddenly bolts and a foot chase ensues.
You can hear an officer on the tape yelling – “I’m going to get you. I’m going to Tase you.”
Linyard then jumps over a fence and disappears from site. The video continues with officers climbing onto roofs, searching for the suspect in the yards below.
The search continues for 20-30 minutes until the officers are about to call off the pursuit.
Next you hear officers talking about seeing something wedged between a wooden fence and a wall.
You can’t see Linyard, but an officer says “He’s wedged in there. Get your hands up.”
Suddenly the officers realize Linyard is not responsive. They call for medical help and start to tear down a wooden fence.
Linyard’s limp body becomes visible as the officers pull him out. They begin CPR and then the video ends.
The suspect could not be revived by the officers and medical personnel and died.
A preliminary investigation by the Alameda County coroner's bureau has concluded that Oakland police used no force against Linyard.
It appears that the 23-year-old Oakland man died because of injuries he suffered when he somehow wedged his 6-foot-tall, 190-pound body between two structures less than a foot apart.