February 26, 2021
To the San Diego Police Department,
The NAACP San Diego Branch requests to have body cam footage of the police shooting which took place on February 25, 2021, to resolve our questions, as to the shooting of an apparently homeless individual.
As we continue to gather all the facts, we sincerely hope this incident is not another example of two significant problems in our San Diego Law Enforcement: attacks and mishandling towards mentally ill individuals, and a failure to de-escalate. As we continue to seek justice for these victims and educate our community about mental health during COVID-19, it’s important for our law enforcement to set iron-clad commitments to our community on de-escalation procedures involving mentally ill individuals.
We understand that officers sometimes need to use force to protect their lives or those of bystanders. We look forward to the prompt release of the officer’s body-worn camera video, so we can verify that the newly-minted de-escalation procedures were followed on-scene.
Further, we’d like to know if PERT was called and if they responded—and if not, why not? We’d like to know if less-lethal methods were attempted—and if not, why not?
In short, there is much left to know if we are to accept that the shooting of this human being truly was necessary.
The NAACP’s principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority citizens of the United States and eliminate race prejudice. We seek to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes and we accomplish this mission by seeking enactments, commitments, and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights.
As such, the NAACP San Diego Branch requests to see body cam footage of the incident to better educate our community and provide advocacy where needed.
Prince Sefa-Boakye, Legal Redress Committee Chair
NAACP San Diego Branch
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