When 20-year-old Contra Costa College football player K’aun Green was shot by San Jose police at La Victoria Taqueria the night of March 27, there were two different versions of events: unsurprisingly, Green’s version and the police department’s version. Green insisted he had wrestled the gun away from a violent attacker, police said Green was a possible homicide suspect who refused to drop the gun when ordered.
Now NBC Bay Area reports that San Jose Police have released video of the incident (seen below, and age-resticted, because someone gets shot). It not only appears to exonerate Green, but frankly makes him look pretty heroic. That said, there is no way police could have known how Green had just disarmed a gun-toting assailant before their arrival. And in their defense, there had just been a homicide a few blocks away, and they were understandably concerned that Green may have been an active shooter.
The video is from the San Jose Police, and is in many ways slickly produced and highly edited. (the first two minutes are all just their department spokesperson talking). And when it does get around to actually showing a skirmish Green was involved in at the taqueria (2:30 mark), the footage is frankly a somewhat amusing depiction of a late-night drunken taqueria fight, and boy does Green deliver an ass-whooping to whomever provoked him.
But things obviously get more serious when someone whips out a gun (3:00). Yet Green manages to wrestle the gun away like he was Viggo in A History of Violence (7:20 mark), and then has every opportunity to shoot people if he wants to, but instead clearly de-escalates the situation between the brawlers.
Yet as luck would have it, Green is the one who takes police bullets. Police thought the skirmish might be related to a shooting that had just occurred nearby, and that Green may have been an active shooter.
KTVU reports that we now know it was a ghost gun, and 30-year-old Bryan Carter was arrested for being a felon in possession of it (he’s now out on bail). The station also reports that the shooting officer was four-year-veteran Mark McNamara, who is of course now on paid administrative leave.
But the video is surely a boon for Green’s federal lawsuit against the City of San Jose over the shooting.
We honestly should not throw around the word “hero” in a case where there is still much we don’t know. But it’s hard to describe Green any other way when seeing that taqueria security camera footage. Several people could have been shot, Green ensured that did not happen. And it is plausible that the police will be found innocent of any wrongdoing, there was an active shooter situation over which this incident regrettably overlapped.
One could see an outcome here where Officer McNamara is cleared, Green gets a hefty settlement, and hopefully, Green plays football again.
Image: San Jose Police Community Briefings via Youtube