OAKLAND (CBS SF) — BART released body camera video Wednesday of a controversial police shooting at the West Oakland BART station in January.
The video, which was released on YouTube, appears to show Officer Joseph Mateu shoot 28-year-old Sahleem Tindle in the back as he was struggling with another man on the sidewalk across the street from the BART station. The shooting happened at 4:41 p.m. on Jan. 3.
The video is graphic and shows Mateu in the lobby of the BART station before multiple witnesses tell him there’s been a shooting across the street. As he runs in that direction, he finds the two men struggling, repeatedly says “Show me your hands!” and then fires twice.
The video points out what appears to be a gun the men were struggling over.
Oakland police officials, who are leading the investigation, said Tindle was armed and refused commands when Mateu shot him. The man Tindle was struggling with was also shot, but so far investigators have declined to say whether he was shot by Tindle or Mateu.
But after viewing the video in a private screening, an attorney for Tindle’s family, civil rights attorney John Burris, disputed the police
account, saying that Tindle did not appear to be armed and was given insufficient time to comply.
“Sahleem was seeking to comply and his hands are coming up, and he gets shot,” Burris told KPIX5. “Boom, boom, boom. He didn’t even get a chance to see and observe whether there was anything in his hands or not. He just shot him.”
Burris called for the officer to face criminal charges and said he had filed a claim with the BART Police Department.
Burris said, “It might have been two guys look like tussling over a gun. That’s the case, then that doesn’t mean you get to shoot either one of them. You have to give them an opportunity to comply. If they don’t comply and it looks like one is a threat to another person than you do get to shoot him.”
BART police Chief Carlos Rojas held a news conference to answer questions about the video on Wednesday afternoon. In a statement last week, Rojas said that the video would be released at the conclusion of the investigation.
But cellphone video apparently taken from the family’s screening of the body camera video was released to news media on Tuesday, prompting BART to release the full video earlier than they had initially planned.
Now BART is telling their side of the deadly police shooting.
BART police Chief Rojas said:
“So he runs and within less than a minute he’s confronted with a situation that he did not create, a situation that he did not ask to get involved in, but a situation where he felt it was his duty to respond. And so he finds himself at Seventh and Chester with two individuals in front of him, struggling for what I believe to be a handgun. And it looks like one individual is trying to pin that gun to the ground…And I believe that the individual that is trying to fight for his life has already been shot by Mr. Tindle…The individual that’s being shot doesn’t have his hands up, the individual that’s being shot, it appears to me, has his hands concealed.”
We spoke to Tindle’s brother, professional boxer Karim Mayfield, on Tuesday.
He says family members were shown the longer clip of video last month. In fact, it was then that a family member shot video off a screen at Oakland police headquarters.
That act prompted BART police to release the full video on Wednesday.
Tindle’s brother believes police did not give his brother time to react.
“The officer, he did say it, but he gave him no time to comply to what he was saying,” Mayfield said. “He certainly shot quickly. He certainly didn’t give them any time.”
It is still unclear what precipitated the officer to fire the shots. BART police said the Oakland Police Department could eventually release that information to the public.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.