Earlier today police in San Fransisco shot and killed a homeless Latino man who they say was charging at them with a knife. Two eyewitnesses who say they were within 10 feet of the shooting immediately came forward with a different version of events.
The Guardian reports that according to the two witnesses, 33-year-old John Visor, and 31-year-old Stephanie Grant, the man’s knife was on his hip and only fell out when he hit the ground. The two also said the man wasn’t charging at the officers but appeared unable to understand their instructions, which presumably were in English.
“They need to realize that some people don’t speak English,” Grant said. “They didn’t wait for anything. It all happened so fast.”
The shooting comes at a time of hypergentrification in San Fransisco and increased tensions between whites and Latinos. In March, The Guardian reported on the case of Alejandro Nieto, who was killed by police in his own neighborhood after they arrived in response to a white neighbor’s report of seeing a man with a gun. Nieto had a taser attached to his hip for his job as a bouncer at a nightclub.
The SFPD maintain that the man was indeed charging at police officers. He remains unidentified.