Kevin Epps (Photo courtesy Kevin Epps/Facebook)

Kevin Epps (Photo courtesy Kevin Epps/Facebook)

Arrest and release of SF filmmaker questioned by friends

The arrest and quick release of Kevin Epps, a well-known local filmmaker, for allegedly shooting and killing a man inside a Glen Park home has many questioning how police dealt with the case.

“It’s unfortunate that if there’s insufficient evidence I don’t understand why he was taken into custody in the first place. He has a reputation, and I hope this doesn’t create any challenges for him. I found it shocking,” said Board of Supervisors President London Breed. “I just wish it was handled differently.”

Epps, 48, was arrested Monday at the scene of the shooting in the 100 block of Addison Street. Marcus Polk, 45, was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the home, where he died.

While police arrested Epps because they believed he was the shooter, some have posited that he acted in self defense.

Epps was initially booked on suspicion of murder, but on Tuesday night prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge him and Epps has since been released from jail.

The Police Department said Wednesday that the investigation remains ongoing.

“It is not uncommon for the DA’s Office to request additional investigation on a case,” said a police statement on the case. “SFPD investigators work closely with the DA’s Office and the SFPD Homicide Detail will be continuing the investigation into this matter.”

Epps’ films include “Straight Outta Hunters Point,” which was released in 2003 and played at the now-shuttered Red Vic Movie House. “It was a big hit. It put Kevin right on the map,” said Norris.

Epps subsequently completed in 2009 the film “Black Rock” about black inmates at Alcatraz. In 2012, he released “Straight Outta Hunters Point 2.”

Friends and colleagues, all of whom were shocked at the news of Epps’ arrest, now say the way Epps was treated was unfair.

“Kevin was fortunate in a way, because the DA made an early decision not to charge him based on what they knew,” said Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who met Epps through the film world. “For many people, they are charged even though their case is later thrown out.”

Another friend, Shawn Richards of Brothers without Guns, said the whole affair was in poor taste.

“Did the police tell you he didn’t run, that he sat there and waited? He didn’t take off. He didn’t leave the scene. The police didn’t say that,” said Richards. “The gun was sitting on the coffee table.”

Adachi said the release of Epps’ mugshot and its dissemination on the internet is also troubling.

“Who put the mug shot out there? Why was the case handled in the way that it was?” said Adachi. “With the internet now, when something it put out there, whether it’s a mugshot or a story, that’s going to persist forever. If you Google his name, that’s the thing that will come up.”

Richards agreed.

“It just unfortunate how we portray people when we don’t really know,” Richards said. “I could have been in the same circumstances, too. I’m an ex-felon. It’s character assassination.”

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeinkCrime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves into West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Allison Zilnek and her younger daughter Marlow add Ibram X. Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” to their Little Free Library in Walnut Creek. (Courtesy of Allison Zilnek)
The hunt for little free libraries is alleviating the pandemic doldrums

By Amelia Williams Bay City News Foundation Some people collect stamps. Some… Continue reading

Most Read