A rookie San Francisco officer, officials said, is under investigation after firing two shots at a fleeing auto burglary suspect, a man who was allegedly driving a car toward a fellow officer.
No one was shot or seriously injured in the May 11 incident, but details of the early-morning encounter — released this week — have rekindled debate over a use-of-force policy passed in December 2016 after a series of controversial police shootings in the city, reports the San Francisco Chronicle .
The San Francisco Police Department policy prohibits officers from shooting at people in moving vehicles unless they pose an “immediate threat” with a weapon like a gun. In general, an officer cannot claim fear of a vehicle running down another officer or a pedestrian as justification for opening fire.
“If in fact what was told to me happened, I believe that was a circumstance where the officer did the right thing,” said Tony Montoya, who recently became president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, the union for rank-and-file officers. “We’re sworn to protect the public and uphold the law. Just because we wear a uniform doesn’t mean we should not be able to defend ourselves.”
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