Community questions tactics in officer-involved shootings

Two officer-involved shootings have occurred in Winnie Tsang’s neighborhood in the past year. On Thursday night, she was at a community meeting to find out why.

Tsang and dozens of her Portola neighbors were at Grace Lutheran Church to learn about the most recent incident, which left Vinh Bui dead.

According to police, Bui was involved in a stabbing at a residence in the 600 block of Bacon Street on Wednesday night. Still holding the weapon, Bui approached officers as they asked him to put down the scalpel. Bui, who reportedly suffered from mental illness, was shot and later died at a hospital.

Tsang wanted to know why officers shoot to kill and why the Police Department was not issued less-lethal weapons, such as Tasers.

“[Stun guns] are better than a gun,” the 30-year Portola resident said. “A Taser can kill, but maybe only 60 to 70 percent of the time — it’s better than 90 percent if they’re using a gun.”

Police Chief George Gascón said that while stun guns will not prevent all officer-involved shootings, they could greatly decrease the number that end as fatalities.

Gascón has been pushing for the use of stun guns, but a proposal was shot down by the Police Commission in March.

Portola resident Edward Hom, 36, said the SFPD needs to look at its policies on how to handle mental illness and minority community members.

“I think the Asian community needs to speak up more,” Hom said. “Someone’s loved one died and that’s not OK.”

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, whose district includes Portola, agreed with Hom. She said while the shooting is a tragedy, she hoped it would prompt the SFPD to look at its policies and better address the way officers handle mentally ill people.

“I hope we see this as an opportunity to do a better job,” Maxwell said.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

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

Jill Bonny, owner of Studio Kazoku tattoo parlor in the Haight, tattoos client Lam Vo on Friday, March 5, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
No one was fighting for tattoo artists, so they started advocating for themselves

Jill Bonny has been tattooing in the Bay Area since 2000. Four… Continue reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Most Read