SAN JOSE, Calif. - The 21-year-old football player who was shot and injured by the San Jose police officer behind the racist text scandal spoke for the first time Sunday – advocating that the former cop be criminally prosecuted for what he said and did at a popular taqueria last spring.
K'aun Green, a defensive player for City College of San Francisco, sat by his civil rights attorney Adanté Pointer, at a news conference in Oakland to say that in their opinion, former officer Mark McNamara should face attempted murder and hate crime charges.
In addition, Green spoke on a personal level, saying how the officer's words made him feel.
"It pains me to know how much hate someone has in their heart," Green said. "I went in there to help, and I came out of there needing help – almost killed."
Green added that it's scary to think McNamara would have shot others around him.
His attorneys claim newly revealed racist text messages from McNamara to another officer, back up their claim that the shooting was racially motivated.
McNamara was one of the San Jose police officers who shot Green four times as he was coming out of La Victoria Taqueria in March 2022.
Police erroneously thought that Green was involved in an unrelated homicide nearby 30 minutes prior. But according to video at the scene and Green's account, the young football player had wrestled a gun away from a suspect during a brawl inside the taco shop and was exiting the building with the confiscated gun in his hand when police shot and injured him.
McNamara opened fire multiple times, hitting Green in the stomach, leg, and arm.
"My stomach hurts a lot," K’aun told KTVU. "I just fight through all the pain."
On Friday, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata revealed that McNamara wrote a string of vulgar, racist texts soon after the shooting, and during his deposition for the civil suit against him, calling Green and his legal team the N-word on several occasions. In one text, McNamara simply wrote: "I hate black [sic] people."
Pointer, who was also a target of the texts, described how he felt.
"These were disgusting, vile text messages," Pointer said. "They allowed him to resign before they fired him," Pointer said. "He should have been fired on the spot when they saw these text messages. No question."
In his public statement, Mata also called the texts "disgusting," adding that McNamara was no longer with the department. McNamara texted with another San Jose police employee, who is on administrative leave, and a former officer, neither of whom Mata would identify.
Efforts to speak to McNamara have not been successful.
The police union distanced themselves from McNamara. Union president Steve Slack said this is "disconcerting reminder that not everyone has the moral compass necessary to be in the law enforcement profession." And if these allegations against McNamara prove to be true, he must face the sternest consequences possible."
In terms of criminal liability, Mata said criminal charges over the texts have not been filed nor are any anticipated to be.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney was not available for comment Sunday.
Green's recovery, both physically and mentally, has been difficult since the shooting. He is fighting to get his life back together.
Green said he is going through physical therapy and counseling while battling depression brought on by the shooting.
Pointer said Green had to "claw his way from the verge of death" because of McNamara's actions.
"This officer thinks this is the Wild Wild West, as if he's above the law," said Pointer. "This was premeditated."
Another text reveals McNamara brushing off the chances of being charged with excessive force and then threatens to shoot Green’s attorneys in retaliation.
Still, the officer was not fired.
Pointer also called on the San Jose Police Department to release all text messages between the officers.
"McNamara contrived a story saying he was afraid of Mr. Green, and therefore had legal right to open fire," Pointer said. "Now we know that was fake, it was a concocted excuse, to escape responsibility."
Pointer said the fact that the police department let McNamara resign and did not fire him on the spot shows negligence. Pointer wants to prevent McNamara from ever being hired as a police officer again.
He said it's also disturbing that none of the colleagues who received the texts seemed to care about the racist content.
While his wounds are healing, his fear of police officers is now elevated.
Green said he still deals with pain and depression as a result of the shooting. He said he was recently pulled over at a traffic stop and was shaking uncontrollably because of the fear.
"I recently just got pulled over before one of my football games and I was literally shaking," Green said. "I had to call my mother. I feared for my life."
He said the only thing that helps him get out of the depression is playing football, otherwise it would eat him alive.
"I try to take it day by day," Green said. "I am forcing myself to play football, my leg still hurts, my knee. I don't know if I'll ever run or jump the same way. Everything hurts but I force myself to play."
The NFL hopeful said he is focused on the game and is on track to graduate in December.
The civil case goes to trial April 15.