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On Dec. 2, Mario Woods’ name was added to the long and growing list of black and brown men killed by law enforcement in this country.
A suspect in a stabbing and allegedly armed with a kitchen knife, Wood’s final moments were disturbingly captured on video in San Francisco’s Bayview District, as several San Francisco police officers unloaded a barrage of bullets, killing the 26 year old. He was shot at least 15 times.
The video shows Woods walking away from the officers with his hands at his sides. An officer can be seen stepping in front of Woods, apparently trying to block his path, and then shooting him at point blank range.
The death has sparked outrage among community members, frustrated with the police department’s excessive use of force and its chief, Greg Suhr, who justified the shooting saying Woods raised his arms towards the officers. The killing is the latest debacle for the SFPD in a year that has seen the racist text messaging scandal and the controversial fatal shooting of Amilcar Perez-Lopez.
Woods’ family has since hired attorney John Burris and filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city. The killing has also prompted change within the department; it is now protocol that an officer must report to his superior whenever they point their gun at a person.
The five officers involved—Winson Seto, Antonio Santos, Charles August, Nicholas Cuevas and Scott Phillips—are currently on administrative leave.