San Francisco – A video that showed thieves stealing a car and running over a plain clothes police officer while escaping highlights how the city’s policy of not allowing police to shoot at moving vehicles is jeopardizing law enforcement lives, according to the police officers’ union.
The video was released Feb. 2 by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) in which three men steal a car off the street (video below.)
Two of the alleged thieves got into the car but a third accomplice was tackled directly behind the vehicle by an undercover police officer on a bicycle.
A second plain clothes officer arrived and ran up along the side of the car with his gun pointed at the driver. But instead of stopping, the driver of the stolen vehicle backed up and ran over the plain clothes officer and the accomplice.
“Tell me that these officers did not show the utmost restraint by not shooting the suspect who just ran over a San Francisco police officer and his own accomplice,” said Martin Halloran, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The San Francisco Police Commission approved a policy in December of 2016 that prohibits officers from firing upon a moving vehicle, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The police union has criticized that policy and filed a lawsuit saying the policy violated the union’s collective bargaining rights.
Halloran issued a statement Feb. 1 that said the policy “must be changed.”
“It is so frustrating to SFPD officers that our use-of-force policy prohibits us from shooting at a suspect in a vehicle even if that suspect is trying to kill or seriously injure innocent civilians or our officers,” he said.
The injured officer was treated at a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.
All three suspects were apprehended. The San Francisco Chronicle identified them as Devonta Lofton, 25, Adrian Landers, 23, and Jamon Butler, 19. Lofton and Butler were booked on attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and hit-and-run causing injury.
They are being held on $2 million bail.