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SEPTEMBER 2020

U.S. Police Works On Transparency Of Fatal Shootings Of Civilians

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U.S. Police Works On Transparency Of Fatal Shootings Of Civilians

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A very direct and tangible result of the protests in the US is a very in-depth look into police activity, and especially in such that has resulted in deaths of civilians.

One such example is a video released by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office of an incident that took place on May 5th.

The incident involves a 56-year-old woman who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy after she allegedly shot a shotgun at another deputy.

The 12-minute “critical incident video” posted to the Sheriff’s Office website includes body-worn camera footage from two deputies who were on scene during the shooting.

Sandra Lee Harmon, 56, died from injuries suffered in the shooting.

In a recording of a 911 call included in the video, the caller says:

“There’s a woman walking down the street with a gun and a bottle of wine, warning me that a race war was going to happen.”

The video includes captions which describe what’s happening leading up to the shooting.

It claimed deputy, identified as David Dominguez, approached a motor home parked behind a restaurant at 845 Main Street to contact potential witnesses and encountered Harmon.

It states Harmon “exited the motor home and leveled her shotgun” toward Dominguez, who “retreated to the cover of his patrol vehicle.” As Dominguez “took cover,” Harmon “fired the shotgun in his direction” and Dominguez returned fire.

“In the fast moving situation with incoming fire, Deputy Dominguez did not activate his body-worn camera,” the text states.

San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos also addresses the shooting on camera as part of the video.

“When one of our deputies responded, Ms. Harmon aimed and fired her shotgun at the deputy, who in turn discharged his service weapon,” Bolanos says. “As other deputies arrived, Ms. Harmon had dropped or placed the shotgun on the ground but then attempted to pick it up again. That’s when another deputy discharged his service weapon.”

Violence against police officers appears to be ramping up amid the US protests, not just against monuments and statues. And it is important that the police forces across America present visible and transparent evidence that all incidents of civilians being killed by authorities aren’t entirely a result of police brutality and some are, at least partially, justified. As far as killing a civilian, instead of somehow neutralizing him with a non-lethal shot is ever justified.

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