The SFPD held a town hall meeting Tuesday night in the Mission to review what happened prior to an officer-involved shooting on December 7 that left a 26-year-old man in critical condition. Both activists and family members of the victim remain angry over what they say was an unnecessary use of force.
Police Chief Bill Scott addressed community members of those who knew the victim, Jamaica Hampton, at Cesar Chavez Elementary School on Tuesday. As KPIX reports, there was a standing-room-only crowd at the meeting, and Scott explained that the district attorney would make the final determination as to whether the two officers involved complied with state law.
While video was being played to the assembled group, shouts of "Cowards!" and "This is murder!" could be heard, per the Chronicle.
The sequence of events that led to the shooting is complicated, and as reported earlier, Hampton was resisting arrest and wielding a glass bottle at the time of the incident. As the SFPD now explains, Hampton was identified from a description of his person and his clothing as a suspect in a hot prowl burglary — he was believed to have tried to force his way into a residence on the 900 block of Capp Street. Following that, a second 911 caller in the area said that a man was trying to break into cars on the street, including two parked police vehicles, possibly using a piece of wrought iron broken off from a fence.
911 call audio reveals a young woman crying and describing the early-morning break-in, around 7:45 a.m. on December 7. She explains that a man busted down her apartment door, breaking it off its hinges and damaging the wood, and came into the apartment asking for someone. When he did not find the person there, he left the apartment and walked away down the street.
The officers spotted Hampton and pulled over to make contact with him at 23rd and Mission Streets. As surveillance video released by the SFPD shows, Hampton then aggressively approached the passenger side door of the police SUV. According to police, Hampton then repeatedly struck the officer on the passenger side with a 200ml glass vodka bottle on the head and face, drawing blood. The injured officer then ran out of the vehicle toward 23rd Street, and Hampton chased after him.
In the body cam video shown below, the officers can be heard shouting "Get on the ground!" to Hampton, and at one point he responds, with a question, saying, "Get on the ground?" He can be seen continuing to hold the glass bottle, and both running from and confronting the two officers. One officer reported trying to use pepper spray on Hampton, but the officer accidentally struck himself with the spray instead.
Here is some of the body cam video. It is silent at first. Note: police say the other officer’s body cam was knocked off in a scuffle. At the end of the video you can see the injured police officer with cuts to his face. pic.twitter.com/bqHDRGdTEO— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) December 18, 2019
According to police, one of the officers fired on Hampton after he charged toward him. After being shot at least once and falling to the ground, Hampton attempted to get up again and was fired on by the other officer. The two officers involved have been identified as Sterling Hayes and Christopher Flores.
In the body cam footage, Hayes can be heard saying, "Goddammit man, fuck! I didn’t want to do this! I didn’t want to fucking do this!"
Hampton was struck three times by the officers' bullets, and along with the injured officer was transported to Zuckerberg General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains hospitalized.
Those who knew Hampton say that he was battling addiction — and a video shot in October while he was in treatment for alcohol abuse showed him responding positively to treatment. He was reportedly homeless at the time of the shooting.
This was the first officer-involved shooting in San Francisco since June 2018.