Police release body-camera footage of fatal police shootings
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Escondido Police Department has released video footage of an April 21 fatal police shooting of a homeless man carrying a 2-foot crowbar and closing in on the officer in the suburb north of San Diego.
In the footage released Thursday, the officer can be heard warning 59-year-old Steven Olson that he would be shot if he did not drop the crowbar, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“Steven! You are gonna get shot!” Officer Chad Moore yells.
Olson can be seen continuing to walk toward Moore with the bar in his hand moments before Moore, walking backwards, stops and pulls the trigger, shooting him six times.
The nearly nine-minute video also includes explanations of what is happening by the Escondido police in addition to the body-worn camera footage.
Moore fired when Olson was about 7 feet away, police said.
Escondido police said Olson had a nearly two-decade history of arrests, and police had arrested him for threatening people four times in the past year with a box cutter, knife, piece of metal and a stick. He had also been referred to mental health services, but he had not received the help he needed, Escondido Police Chief Ed Varso said.
Police were responding to a 911 call that morning that a man was hitting cars with a pole. Olson initially ran off after an officer arrived at the scene before coming across Moore, who first spoke to him from his patrol car, ordering him to drop the crowbar.
“Steven needed intensive help,” Varso said in the video. “Instead, he was placed into a seriously flawed revolving-door system that processes people from jail to the streets, to services to the streets, back to jail and back to the streets.”
Under state law, police departments must release video of fatal encounters or other critical incidents within 45 days. Protesters demonstrated outside the police station before the footage was released about eight days after Olson was killed.
Moore, who has been with the department for eight years, has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.
The San Diego Police Department also released video Thursday of the body-worn camera footage from April 13 when two SWAT snipers fatally shot 36-year-old Christopher Templo Marquez after he and his girlfriend holed up in a dumpster on the San Diego High School campus in downtown after leading police on a chase. The girlfriend was not injured.
The footage released Thursday does not show what happened in the dumpster, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Police have said Marquez had pushed down his girlfriend and raised his rifle, leading officers to kill him because they believed he was about to open fire on her.
Police also released helicopter footage of the pursuit, which began the previous night in National City, that led to the 11-hour standoff on the campus. Police said Marquez, who was a fugitive, opened fire three times during the chase, and a National City officer fired back once. No officers were injured.