SAN FRANCISCO - The mother of a man shot by San Francisco police says there had to be an alternative to gunfire. Jamaica Hampton is in critical condition at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital.
He may not walk again, and I know he needs his mom and nobody will let me see him," said his mother, Tina Hampton, speaking at a protest rally Tuesday evening. Hampton said her son is 26, but according to police, he is 24-years-old.
Saturday's incident, at about 8:30 am, started with two Mission Station officers trying to question Hampton in connection with a burglary. Some witnesses described him as intoxicated, even combative.
"If I slap you or grab you, don't shoot me, hit me with a taser," said Tina Hampton, trying to understand how the altercation escalated. "All he wanted to be was left alone, I'm sure. I know my son, he's a good person and his intentions were not to hurt anyone."
Cell phone video caught the aftermath: Hampton shot multiple times and paramedics tending to him. Two officers are seen sprayed with glass and one was hospitalized, requiring sutures to his face and neck.
Witnesses said Hampton broke a bottle over one cop's head, and both opened fire.
"The suspect in this case attacked out of nowhere, " said San Francisco Police Officer's Union President Tony Montoya.
Montoya has not yet seen the body-worn camera video from the officers, but expects it to confirm they were defending against a sudden and violent assault.
"If this person had hit an artery or caught the officer in the neck with the bottle, this could have been fatal," said Montoya. "And he could have had his gun taken away and been shot or killed, so this highlights the dangers police officers face every day."
Police critics say the officers shot Hampton out of rage or revenge, after he swung the bottle.
The new incident has enflamed families whose own loved ones were shot by police over the years. A few dozen people gathered outside the police station for Tuesday's protest. They say Hampton's shooting fits a pattern of harrassment towards homeless people.
"Police breach their own department policies of creating time and distance," said protest organizer Adriana Camarena, "And they escalate the situation rather than de-escalate."
Critics also dispute SFPD statistics showing use of force declining.
"Here in the Mission, it's gone up," said protest organizer Fr. Richard Leslie Smith.
"In this neighborhood, excessive use of force happens three times more than the rest of San Francisco, so why is that?"
Tina Hampton says her son is a former fitness buff and body builder, and trying to get his life on track amid addiction issues.
"He was happy, doing everything he could to make his life better."
But Hampton's sister says he recently left an inpatient rehabiliation facility where he'd been living in Oakland.
"Everybody falls down every now and and then, you know, and that doesn't mean you go around shooting him," said Susana Oliva.
Hampton grew up in Sacramento, and his mom still lives there, traveling to San Francisco after he was shot. So far she has not been allowed into his hospital room under order of the District Attorney's office until her son is formally arrested.
"Why can't I go see my son, what is the problem with me seeing my son?" said Hampton, speaking at the rally.
Within 10 days of the incident, SFPD will hold a town hall meeting to reveal details from the investigation, but has not set a date and time yet.
The incident is San Francisco's only officer involved shooting of 2019.
There were five the year before, most recently June of 2018.