Officer exonerated in Stanley Wong shooting death

SAN MATEO — The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office has found no wrongdoing in the officer-involved shooting death of Stanley Wong, officials said Wednesday.

Wong, 49, was shot and killed Sept. 4 by a San Mateo Police officer in an altercation in a parking lot at the corner of East Fifth Avenue and B Street. District Attorney Jim Fox concluded Wednesday that criminal charges against the officer were not warranted, based on the results of a lengthy investigation by the District Attorney’s office and the San Mateo Police Department.

The investigation found the officer was called to the Central Market in San Mateo, where Wong was attempting to fight with a customer, according to a written statement from Fox.

Wong, shouting and holding a knife with the blade extended, stepped toward the officer and did not comply when he was ordered to drop the weapon.

“It was fairly obvious that there was not criminal culpability,” Deputy District Attorney SteveWagstaffe said. “He first tried yelling, and then tried the taser, and then unfortunately used lethal force.”

Toxicology reports show that Wong’s blood alcohol level was .20, three times the legal limit, although it’s unclear whether his intoxication prevented the officer’s taser from having an effect, according to Wagstaffe.

“In view of the unexplained, bizarre behavior of Mr. Wong toward people in the vicinity … public safety required the officer to use deadly force to protect himself and the citizens of San Mateo,” according to Fox.

No San Mateo County police officer has been brought up on criminal charges after an officer-involved shooting in Fox’s 24-year tenure, though a handful of officers have been prosecuted on charges of beating subjects, according to Wagstaffe.

The District Attorney’s office typically sees officer-involved fatalities every three to four years, except in 2005, when there were five such cases.

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