Woman killed by SFPD in May had meth in her system, was not pregnant

Despite rumors to the contrary, a 29-year-old woman fatally shot by San Francisco police in May was not pregnant when she was killed, but an autopsy released Friday by the Medical Examiner’s Office determined she had methamphetamine in her system.

Jessica Williams, also known as Jessica Nelson, died from a gunshot wound to the chest, had a grazing wound on her left arm and had methamphetamine and amphetamine in her blood and urine, according to the report, which includes some of the first new details since the May 19 killing.

Williams was shot and killed inside an alleged stolen vehicle she was driving the morning of May 19 after she fled from a pair of officers. When the pair of officers approached the car on foot, she drove it back and forth before wedging it in place. Some time after that she was shot dead. Police have released few details since the incident.

Williams’ death at the hands of Sgt. Justin Erb prompted the resignation of former Police Chief Greg Suhr, and marked the third fatal police shooting since the death of Mario Woods on Dec. 2, 2015. Woods’ death had sparked a local protest movement calling for the firing of Suhr, the prosecution of officers involved in fatal shootings and an independent investigation into such deaths.

Autopsy results

The amount of methamphetamine in Williams’ blood — 1.64 milligrams — “will likely be associated with severe, possibly life-threatening, toxicity,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Neither bullet wound that struck Williams — both came from left to right in a downward motion — had signs of soot or gunpowder, according to the report.

Williams also had blunt force trauma to her head along her hairline.

The shooting

The killing of Williams happened in a remote Bayview dead-end after two officers followed her while she was reportedly driving a stolen car.

“At some time during this event the officer discharged an unknown number of round into the vehicle, striking the subject,” noted the report.

Several investigations into the killing, which include two police inquires and an Office of Citizen Complaints inquiry, remain open.

At the scene of the shooting, Suhr told reporters that reforms around use of force were meant to make such incidents less likely.

“This is exactly the kind of thing with all the reforms we are trying to prevent,” Suhr told the Examiner at the time.


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