SFPD officer exonerated in 2010 fatal shooting

A female police officer didn’t violate department policy when she fatally shot a lower Nob Hill resident during an armed encounter inside his hotel room last year, an official police investigation has concluded.

The shooting took place on the morning of Sept. 26, 2010, when officers were called to 43-year-old Michael Lee’s room at the Granada Hotel after other residents complained of loud music, police said. At some point, Lee also threw his speakers out of the window of the seventh-floor residence.

The officer who responded entered Lee’s room, saw a revolver near him and moved it away from him. But before she could restrain him, he came at her and grabbed the weapon, police said. The officer then fired, killing him.

“The discharge was found to be in policy,” said Sgt. Mike Nevin of the department’s Internal Affairs division.

While the Police Department’s investigation into the shooting has been completed, Nevin noted that an Office of Citizen Complaints investigation is still ongoing. The District Attorney’s Office completed its investigation without filing charges, he said.

The officer, who was not immediately named, is back on active duty, Nevin said. Police have classified the shooting as one where mental health issues were a contributing factor.

The Firearm Discharge Review Board report details officer-involved shooting incidents back to 2000. Since that year, there have been 75 such shootings by officers. Of those, 16 have been found to violate department policy — although the majority of them were either accidental discharges or suicides by police officers.

Police investigations remain open into 10 recent officer-involved shootings going back to Sept. 30, 2010.
These findings are scheduled to be presented to the Police Commission tonight.

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