@SFPD, Why? Answer our questions about the fatal shooting of Jesus Adolfo Delgado on March 6, 2018

1) Why not a standoff with dialogue? In September 2016, an armed white man was surrounded in a 6 hour standoff by police at Civic Center before patiently convincing him to lay down his gun and gain assistance for his suicidal mental state.

In September 2017, the police held a near 6 hour standoff from Saturday 11:30 pm to Sunday 2:50 am with a man barricaded in an apartment, trying to convince him to exit, before they entered the apartment and fatally wounded him.

  • Why in the case of Adolfo Delgado, a 19 year old Latino youth, did the police not engage him in dialogue for hours to determine his state of mind and proffer a peaceful solution, as in prior incidents?
  • Can you please play the dispatch audio related to this case? We would like to know how officers described the situation and the person in the car in calling for back up.

2) Why did officers speak to the person in the trunk in Spanish?

  • Why did the officers decide to speak to the person in the trunk in Spanish, or who told the officers to speak in Spanish to the person in the trunk?
  • Did they speak to the person in the trunk in Spanish because they thought this person might not understand in English?
  • If they assumed that language was a barrier, why didn’t they use other tactics that would ensure that they knew the person in the trunk was understanding them?
  • If they believed this person to be Latino and needed to be spoken to in Spanish, why didn’t they stop to consider issues affecting Latino populations after recent ICE raids, such as fear of deportation, that may make them afraid of law enforcement?
  • Since they had stopped other youth in the car that were younger than 21 years old, why did officers not treat the person in the trunk like a youth that would benefit from calm adult outreach, rather than corner him with armed force?
  • If police decided to speak to the person in the trunk in Spanish, then they must have believed that the person was of Latino heritage. Did the officers assume the person hiding in the trunk of the car was dangerous because they believed them to be Latino?
  • What is the name of the officer shouting the commands in Spanish? We want her badge number, and to know how long she has been on the force and working in the Mission.

3) Who stopped the car, and why?

  • Who were the officers who stopped the car? We want their names and badge numbers, and to know how long they have been on the force and working in the Mission.
  • Why did they stop the car?
  • Were the officers who stopped the car part of the new strategy to abate car break-ins sponsored by Supervisor Hillary Ronen and Chief Scott?
    • If so, will you now roll back that strategy knowing that it endangers people of color in the neighborhood who are being racially profiled by this strategy?
    • If not, do you believe protecting property is a higher duty of SFPD than protecting the lives of youth of color?

3) Who fired at Adolfo Delgado?

  • We want their names and badge numbers of the officers who shot at Adolfo, and to know how long they have been on the force and working in the Mission.
  • What weapons did each of them use?
  • How many shots were fired from each weapon and in which sequence?

4) Why did the officers fire at the car first, before giving Adolfo a chance to comply? A cellphone video has been circulating on the internet. At the start of the video, it seems that the car is hit by a shot of some sort. The officer on the loud speaker then commands in Spanish that he show his right hand. She then says “we’re going to shoot at you again,” le vamos a tirar otra vez.” Then she commands show us your left hand. When Adolfo’s left hand appears a barrage of shots follows.

  • Could you please confirm that in the video the officers shot at the car first before they even instructed Adolfo to show his hands?
  • What type of shot is it that we see hitting the car at the start of the video?
  • Who gave the initial orders to shoot at the car? We want the officers’ name and badge number, and to know how long they have been on the force and working in the Mission.
  • If it is a bean bag rifle or similar, isn’t it a LETHAL WEAPON? They are called less-lethal weapons, but bean bag rifles are still lethal, correct?
  • For an officer to use deadly force (including in this case shoot a bean bag rifle), there must be an immediate threat to their life or serious physical injury to another person: What was the immediate threat of loss of life or serious physical injury that the police faced from a person hiding in the trunk of a car surrounded by multiple armed officers? Please explain in great detail. We really want to know this.

5) Why did the police tell the person in the trunk,  “we’re going to shoot at you again” if the person had just complied to their command to show his right hand?

  • Adolfo had already complied showing his right hand, when the officer chooses to say “we’re going to shoot at you again,” le vamos a tirar otra vez”.  Why did the officer tell Adolfo they were going to shoot him, with lethal force, regardless of the fact that he had just complied with her command?
  • Why did the officers create a situation in which they cornered a person (who they presumed to be a Latino youth, who could not speak English) in a trunk, telling him he was going to face lethal force, whether he complied with their orders or not?
  • Was the fact that the person was hiding not an obvious sign that this person feared something? Why would the police not take the time to try to understand what it was that this young man feared? Why would you escalate a situation by firing rounds at a person hiding before understanding what they were fearful of? We now know that Adolfo was a young Latino man with a deep fear of being deported and losing his entire life in the Mission.
  • Now, put yourself in Adolfo’s situation: Don’t you think that any reasonable person listening to police saying “we’re going to shoot at you again”, even if you just complied with their commands, would think that they are about to be shot and possibly killed by police? Officers took away Adolfo’s hope of life.  There is no excuse for how police treated Adolfo and ultimately killed him.

6) What exactly did Adolfo have in his left hand?

  • Please show the various body cam footage available that shows exactly what he had in his left hand. We want a clear image.
  • Was another bean bag round shot at Adolfo at the same time that he showed his left hand?
  • Was any object other than a gun found near Adolfo’s hands or body?

7) What has happened to the other youth who were in the car? We understand that a young man named Victor and a young woman Cristina, who were in the car with Adolfo, were taken into custody by SFPD.

  • Did SFPD question them at any moment as part of the investigation into this shooting, without a lawyer present?
  • Did either or both of these Latino youth give a statement to SFPD investigators before they received legal representation? If so, don’t you think SFPD was behaving opportunistically around their trauma to secure the police narrative of the events?
  • We demand that these youth, Cristina and Victor, be released and charges dropped. Will you do that?

8) Did SFPOA representatives have access to the officers involved in the shooting before their official statements were taken?

  • Also, isn’t it typical for officers involved in a shooting to talk to their SFPOA representatives before giving statements to investigators to align their stories in a shooting?

9) Why wasn’t the new strategy for car break-in abatement discussed in appropriate community advisory boards?

  • The COPS reform process requires that new community policing strategies and processes be put in place, including requiring a new process of problem-solving with community members, before putting crime fighting strategies into place, such as “how to abate car break-ins” or putting more foot patrols in the Mission. Why is this not a top priority of the reform, if it is in essence the most substantial change SFPD can make?
  • Isn’t it true that the Mission Police Station is the only police station in the entire City that has not had Community Advisory Boards for years now, even though it is policy?
  • Isn’t it true that the clamor around car break-ins has mostly been led by newcomer gentrifiers in the City, mostly white professionals, who are not impacted by racial profiling in policing?
  • Isn’t it true that while use of force incidents in the City have gone down, they have gone up in the Mission in three times the number?
  • Isn’t it true that use of force incidents in the Mission went up after you quadrupled foot patrols in the Mission?
  • Could you please give us demographic data of the people who have been subjected to arrests, stops and detentions in the Mission District since you entered office?

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