San Francisco DA George Gascón speaks with KTVU on backlog of cases
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Last week San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón declined to file charges against two police officers who shot and killed 21-year-old Amilcar Perez-Lopez. It was a decision that sparked protests.
The DA's office is now trying to clear a backlog of additional police shootings. At the same time Gascón could take the lead role in the investigations in a move that is supported by Mayor Ed Lee.
Gascón joined KTVU the 9 Tuesday. He discussed the Perez-Lopez case saying the officers responded to a report of a man chasing another man with a knife. When officers arrived at the scene they saw two people circling a vehicle, and it was unclear which man had the knife, according to Gascón. One officer approached Perez-Lopez while the other officer approached the other man. One officer engaged with Perez-Lopez and realized he had a knife. The other officer tried to help and there was a struggle. That's when Perez-Lopez turned around and started to run away from the officers, said Gascón. "The officers begin to respond to the initial assault. By the time they fire their weapons one officer says that he's firing in self-defense - the other officer says he's firing in defense of the other," said Gascón.
Gascón says there is a lot of evidence and when put together there was enough doubt that the case can't be prosecuted.
This was the first ruling on an officer involved shooting in more than two years. The city now has a backlog of 10 cases.
Watch our interview with Gascón in the video box above as he talks about hopes to move forward investigating the cases.