SFPD releases names of officers involved in in-custody death

SFPD releases names of officers involved in in-custody death

The San Francisco Police Department has released the names of eight officers who were on scene in the Marina last month when a man died in their custody after he allegedly attacked a 96-year-old man in Sonoma County and then fled a vehicle crash in San Francisco.

San Francisco police officers Christina Galande, Bridget O’Connor, Colin Patino, Jamie Garon, Kimberly Ng, Laurie Loftus, Martin Kilgariff and Nicole Gilliam were all placed on administrative assignments following the death of 57-year-old Filimoni Raiyawa, San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

Raiyawa, after allegedly attacking a 96-year-old man he lived with and worked as a caretaker for in west Sonoma County, drove into San Francisco and was involved in a collision at Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street at about 5:30 a.m. on July 30.

Raiyawa then had an encounter with officers and during his detainment, he stopped breathing and died, police said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said the police encounter with the suspect at the Surf Motel was captured on video surveillance from a nearby building. He said the footage shows that “the officers used a reasonable amount of force.”

Suhr said that immediately after the crash at Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street, the driver of the rear-ended vehicle got out of his vehicle to discuss the crash with the other driver. But when he approached the vehicle, the driver of the rear vehicle was seated, transfixed and talking about God.

The rear driver, described as standing over 6 feet tall and weighing around 250 pounds, exited the vehicle and started walking purposefully after the forward driver, Suhr said.

The rear-ended driver began to run away and called 911 for help.

Shortly thereafter, two female police officers located Raiyawa about five blocks away from the crash, at Lombard and Pierce streets, and attempted to make contact with him.

Suhr said Raiyawa then struck one of the officers on her head and shoulders, knocking her to the ground. Raiyawa then struck the other officer, injuring her knees, legs and wrist.

Additional officers responded and just outside the Surf Motel, a struggle ensued, Suhr said.

Raiyawa was taken to the ground in handcuffs. He was breathing and talking to the officers while on the ground, but within minutes he went into distress and stopped breathing, according to Suhr.

Officers rendered CPR and first aid until paramedics took over and ultimately pronounced Raiyawa dead at the scene.

Suhr said Raiyawa was unarmed and that police did not use their firearms, but that one of the female officers did deploy a collapsible baton.

Both officers who were injured were treated at a hospital and later released, Suhr said.

The elderly man allegedly attacked by Raiyawa in Sonoma County, 96-year-old Solomon Cohen, died later on July 30 as a result of his injuries.

Cohen was found badly injured at his home in the 13000 block of Dupont Road after someone called for an ambulance and reported he had fallen.

Investigators found his injuries suspicious though and concluded he had been beaten, Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said.

 Chief Greg SuhrCrimein-custody deathMarina DistrictSan Francisco Police Department

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