Yesterday the trial began for Randal Dunklin, 56, the wheelchair-bound homeless man who was shot by police on January 4th of this year after he had been wielding a knife and refusing to surrender. The incident happened at 10th and Howard Streets in broad daylight, and one witness took some cellphone video footage which the SFPD quickly released, in an effort to defend their actions. Among the new revelations in the case: Dunklin was shot once through the penis (the bullet went into his leg) and once in his side.
Dunklin's public defender has wasted no time in putting the cops on trial, even though Dunklin has also filed a separate civil suit against them and this trial is supposed to focus on assault charges against Dunklin (he did slash one officer in the arm, requiring him to get 20 stitches). The Chronicle had earlier reported that Dunklin was shot "in the groin" but not THROUGH HIS PENIS. Dear god. To add insult to injury, Dunklin was born with polio and is severely depressed.
Officers insist they acted reasonably and did everything they could to avoid using lethal force. Deputy Public Defender Danielle Harris told the jury that the plainclothes officers on the scene had used "colossally bad judgment, excessive force and [demonstrated] how the power structure operates to protect its own.”
The officers involved in the shooting are still under investigation by the Attorney General's office.