Federal lawsuit, new witness video surface in police shooting of Mario Woods; SFPD names five involved officers

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m.

The San Francisco Police Department has released the names of the five officers involved in the fatal shooting last week of 26-year-old Mario Woods.

The officers who fired their weapons in the Dec. 2 shooting are Winson Seto, Antonio Santos, Charles August, Nicholas Cuevas and Scott Phillips, according to SFPD.

UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.

Reputed civil rights attorney John Burris on Friday said his office has filed a federal lawsuit against The City of San Francisco on behalf of the family of Mario Woods.

The lawsuit claims police used excessive force and violated Woods’ civil rights when they shot him to death in The City’s Bayview neighborhood on Dec. 2.

The announcement was made during a press conference at City College of San Francisco’s southeast campus. The announcement of the lawsuit coincided with the release of previously unreleased video footage that appears to contradict police claims that they killed Woods in self defense.

“[The video] gives you a clear view that at the time of the shooting, Mario Woods’ hands were at his side,” Burris said. He added it was the officers who created the confrontation by “jumping in front of [Woods].”

Burris also had strong words for San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, saying the chief’s explanation of the shooting was “bogus” and designed to protect the five officers involved. Burris also said a police chief who makes wrong statements about officers after a shooting should be fired.

UPDATE: 11:45 p.m.:

New video footage of the police killing of a 26-year-old man in the Bayview appears to contradict police claims that officers were acting in self defense when they shot and killed Mario Woods Dec. 2.

Woods was shot and killed by five officers in the Bayview Dec. 2 after police responded to reports of a man with a knife who had allegedly stabbed someone. The shooting, caught on several cell phone videos, captured the killing and went viral on social media.

The new footage, taken by an unnamed woman inside a Muni bus who can be heard screaming and asking police why they needed to shoot Woods so many times, is the clearest video yet of the incident and may throw more flames on the already controversial killing.

Below is the new cell video released Friday by lawyers for Woods’ family. It appears to more clearly show that Mario Woods did not physically threaten officers before being shot. Warning, this is a graphic video.

Original story: 9:54 p.m. 

Students at several San Francisco high schools are planning to walk out of class around 11 a.m. today and march on City Hall in protest over the police killing of Mario Woods.

In addition, lawyers for the Woods’ family say they are set to release video analysis showing he did not provoke police when they shot and killed him. Police today are also set to release the names of the five officers involved in the case.

Friday’s protest and announcement are part of the rising tide of reaction following the killing. Mayor Ed Lee this week directed the police commission to reform police policy around use of force, as many have been calling for the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr, who has renewed requests to equip police with Tasers.

The Woods’ family lawyer, John Burris, announced today that he will be seeking more than $25 million in a federal civil rights lawsuit, and that he has new evidence showing the claims that police were protecting themselves when they shot Woods more than 20 times are false.

“Here in San Francisco, African Americans and all other fair minded individuals are dismayed by San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr’s efforts to justify the shootings with a bogus interpretation of one of the cellphone videos that captured the incident,” said a Burris law firm news release.

“Mario was used as target practice by reckless and malicious San Francisco police officers. The killing is an outrage and an affront to the African American community.”

The new evidence, including a possible new video, is set to be released at a press conference at 11 a.m. today.

Meanwhile, a number of San Francisco high school students plan to walk out of class at 11 a.m. and march to City Hall in , according to separate announcements released to the media.

Lincoln High School, June Jordan, Mission, Balboa, Galileo and many more schools are walking out this Friday to city hall to stop police brutality and justice for Mario Woods who was shot and killed by police men last week in the Bayview District,” noted one announcement. “This needs to come to an end and we will fight until its over.”

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Images from the protest can be found below. 



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