The San Francisco police officer who shot and killed a carjacking suspect last week had been on the job four days, police Chief Bill Scott confirmed Thursday night.
Additionally, no weapon has been found at the scene where the officer fatally shot Keita O’Neil, 42, in the Bayview.
The investigation into the Dec. 1 shooting death of O’Neil is ongoing, but the revelation at a Thursday night town hall meeting sparked sharp rebuke from the Bayview community gathered at True Hope Church, who accused the San Francisco Police Department of shooting an unarmed man.
Tensions also rose sharply among the 70 or so gathered in the church at 950 Gilman Ave., as Police Chief Bill Scott and Capt. Valerie Matthews showed the video of O’Neil’s death.
As the body-worn camera footage played, the officer wearing the camera could be seen firing his weapon from the passenger side of his vehicle following a heated pursuit of a lottery van stolen by O’Neil. The video moves quickly, but it appears to shows the officer firing through his passenger-side window.
O’Neil stood just outside the police vehicle, and the single shot struck him. He then died from his injuries at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Matthews said.
Last week’s incident began around 10:30 a.m., when officers responded to a report of a robbery and carjacking on the 1800 block of 23rd Street.
There, O’Neil allegedly assaulted a lottery employee and stole their white lottery van, police said.
Another vehicle, described as a gold or tan SUV, was at the crime scene and police believe it was also involved in the robbery. The two vehicles then drove down the street together before splitting up.
One group of officers stopped the SUV in the vicinity of Gilman Avenue and Ingalls Street. The officers then detained four people in the SUV, according to police.
Other officers pursued the lottery van, which was being driven by O’Neil, to the vicinity of Fitzgerald Avenue and Griffith Street.
There, O’Neil allegedly got out of the van while it was still running. As the van rolled down a hill, O’Neil ran toward the patrol car.
That’s when the officer sitting in the passenger’s seat shot at him.
The video, and the revelation of no weapon found at the scene, drew shouts and cries from the crowd.
“They hate us! They hate us!” shouted Gwendolyn Woods, the mother of Mario Woods, who was fatally shot by SFPD officers on Dec. 2, 2015. She repeated her message, screaming, as tears ran down her face and community members carried her to the back of the church.
“How can you do this?” she shouted.
Matthews revealed other details of the investigation to the crowd. She said though the officer who fired the weapon had activated the police body-worn camera, the officer in the driver’s seat did not.
Video from a surveillance camera nearby was also shown to the crowd, and the van driven by O’Neil can be seen striking a vehicle in the area.
“Is it procedure to shoot through a patrol car window?” asked one man to the police officials. “That’s just what I want to know.”
Scott said he would read the use-of-force policy to the crowd.
“Officers shall not discharge their firearms from their moving vehicle,” Scott read aloud.
Though the night featured shouting from the crowd toward the police, when O’Neil’s father spoke, the crowd went silent.
“You guys shooting black brothers, they’re dying,” said Charlie Grayson. “Just do something.”
Grayson added of his son: “He was loved.”
Bay City News contributed to this report.