July 6, 2020
Last night around 8pm, a Latino man was left in a San Diego Police Department squad car outside the Sally Port. He managed to slip his handcuffs and make his way into the trunk of the car. There, he found an officer’s backpack with a spare weapon in it. He took this weapon and then returned to the back seat of the vehicle.
When SDPD officers noticed the gun, they began to converge on the vehicle. They allegedly felt threatened and opened fire on the man. Next, they sent in a police dog to attack the injured man.
Now this 25-year-old man is injured and his family is traumatized. Who knows how many others were in the area when the shooting occurred, who may have been struck by a stray bullet. All because a man was left unsupervised in a vehicle in a crowded area.
There have been far too many dangerous incidents around the Sally Port. It is up to Mayor Faulconer and the City Council to take control of the situation and get the SDPD to do the right thing.
We call on the US Attorney and FBI, who are already investigating officer-involved-shootings in the SDPD, to do a complete investigation of:
- The Sally Port and associated polices and procedures, with a view toward the safety of officers, detainees, and the public at large.
- Policies and procedures that allow detainees to be left unsupervised in vehicles, especially in highly-trafficked areas.
- Polices and procedures regarding “backup weapons;” whether they are permitted and how they must be secured if permitted.
We offer our thoughts and prayers to the injured man’s family and friends.
Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch