Man shot in face by Berkeley police speaks out

A man who was injured in a Berkeley police shooting spoke out Tuesday, saying he didn't deserve to be shot in the face.

Authorities said Vincent Lee Bryant was armed with a 13-foot chain when he confronted a drug store worker and officers.

"I feel I was shot point blank in the face," Bryant said.

Bryant said he was going through a mental health crisis and that police didn't have to shoot him.

"They prejudged me," Bryant said through tears. "If those guys knew me, for who I am, they would say they made a mistake, but they can't take that back, what happened. Nobody can take it back."

It all began at the Walgreens drugstore on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley on Jan. 2. Police say Bryant paid only a dollar for $14 worth of food. When confronted, Bryant allegedly pulled out a long chain and threatened to break all the windows.

Bryant told KTVU he was returning items and thought he was getting a refund. He says he was surprised when a worker locked the door.

The worker opened the door, and left the store to call police. Bryant also left.

Officers caught up with Bryant  a couple blocks away at Tang Center, UC Berkeley's medical clinic.

"We got him pretty much pinned in here, he is still armed with a chain and non-compliant," an officer said on the police radio.

Officers repeatedly gave him orders, but they say he was defiant.

Bryant said he was frustrated about what he thought was a bogus charge.

Officers tried to reason with Bryant.

"Drop the chain!" an officer yelled,.

"No!" Bryant yelled back. "Shoot!"

An officer said, "Dude, just drop the chain and talk to us!"

At one point, Bryant told police, "My weapon of choice is a f- gun, but God wants me to use this on your a-." 

But several officers later moved toward Bryant. Police say he advanced at them with the chain, prompting Officer Madison Albrandt to fire her weapon, shooting Bryant in the face.

Other officers shot him with "less-lethal" foam baton rounds.  

Bryant's attorney Adante Pointer filed a legal claim with the city of Berkeley on Tuesday, the first step toward a lawsuit.

"The problem here is they rushed in, you know, they got frustrated," Pointer said. "As opposed to following their training, they abandoned their training."

Berkeley police had no comment Tuesday, citing the possibility of a lawsuit. Alameda County prosecutors have charged Bryant with robbery, assaulting an officer and resisting an officer.

The shooting by Albrandt remains under investigation.