SAN FRANCISCO - Newly released police body-camera video shows San Francisco officers shooting at a man while chasing him and even after he has fallen.
Critics say it violates the departments own policies of de-escalation.
Police said on Tuesday that they were responding to two incidents when an officer-involved shooting that injured a man occurred on the morning of Saturday, December 7.
One was for a hot prowl burglary report, the other was for a person tampering with vehicles in the area of 23rd and Mission streets in the Mission District.
As part of the police department’s required town-hall presentation, a meeting was held where police released 911 calls, officer-worn body camera video, as well as surveillance video from the events that day.
Police said the release of the videos is not to reach a conclusion and that the investigation is ongoing.
Tuesday night’s emotional meeting at Cesar Chavez Elementary School was part of the department’s “commitment toward accountability and transparency” with the community. The meeting was interrupted repeatedly by shouts and catcalls from the audience.
SFPD release officer-worn body camera video from a Dec. 7 non-fatal, officer -involved shooting.
In the first 911 call, a distraught Capp Street resident said a man had broken into her apartment and was looking for someone, before he fled. She describes the man to a dispatcher as being an average height, Latino male, possibly in his twenties to thirties.
In the second 911 call, another woman calls to say someone is breaking into vehicles in the area of 25th and Capp streets. She gives a similar description of a male, but tells the dispatcher that she already noticed police cars are at the scene.
According to police, when they arrived at the scene they spotted a man who matched the description from the 911 calls. They pulled over their vehicle to make contact with the subject, later identified as Jamaica Hampton, 35.
Police said Hampton advanced on Officer Sterling Hayes, who was riding as the passenger, when he opened his door. Armed with a glass bottle, he proceeded to assault the officer.
The officer driving, identified as Christopher Flores, then exited the vehicle to help his partner from being attacked and was attacked himself. The Flores was cut in the face from the glass bottle.
The video shows part of the exchange where Flores is swinging his baton and falling to the ground while Hampton is using the bottle as a weapon. Flores flees from the attack, but Hampton chases him.
Video shows Hampton evading police by ducking in between cars parked along the street.
That’s when Hayes draws his weapon.
“Get on the ground now!” he repeats.
SFPD pause the video after these repeated commands to highlight the pepper spray they attempted to use on Hampton when he would not comply.
Officer Hayes fires six rounds from his weapon. Flores fires an additional shot from his weapon. Hayes repeatedly yells for his bloodied partner to stop after he fired the additional shot when Hampton was already on the ground.
Hayes reminds Flores to render aid and gives instructions to find out where Hampton was shot and to apply pressure to his wounds.
Officer Hayes appears to be remorseful and is weeping. “I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to [expletive] shoot him. I didn’t want to do this.”
Additional officers arrive at the scene. One is seen trying to console Hayes who is clearly upset and expressing regret for the shooting.
“I know you didn’t. I know you didn’t. It’s okay,” he says.
“I didn’t want to [expletive] do that. I tried to pepper spray him. I got myself,” Hayes says.
"You shot him over and over again," exclaimed one speaker at the town-hall meeting.
SFPD Chief William Scott said at the meeting multiple reviews are underway.
“If a bottle is used to inflict injury or death on somebody, it is a deadly weapon,” Scott said about the Gray Goose vodka bottle.
Critics at the meeting said public safety was in jeopardy and that at one point the shooting was about payback or perhaps panic from the two young officers.
“You could have killed someone else too!” one woman exclaimed at the meeting.
Police have made a preliminary determination that Hampton was struck three times by gunfire. He was taken to Zuckerberg General Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
10 days after the shooting, Hampton remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Hampton is not charged in connection to the burglary or for the attempted vehicle break ins, but he is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a count of assault on a peace officer in addition to vandalism charges on the 2600 block of Mission Street.
Hampton was in a recovery program for substance abuse. Family members said he was in crisis at the time of this incident.