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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