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Police Misconduct Claim Filed By Idriss Stelley's Family
A police misconduct claim was filed against the city of San Francisco today by the mother of Idriss Stelley, who was killed by SFPD at the Metreon in June.
Family and Supporters Announce Claim on Steps of City Hall
San Francisco (Sept 5) - Family and supporters of Idriss Stelley gathered on the steps of City Hall today to announce the filing of a police misconduct claim against the city of San Francisco. Eight SFPD officers killed Idriss by shooting him over 20 times at the Sony Metreon on June 12. After 3 months of stone-walling by SFPD and the Police Commission, the family has filed this claim to force the release of information about what exactly happened that night, especially the names of five civilian witnesses. Any attempt to obtain these critical details by the family, their attorney, or the media has been denied by SFPD.
In the last three months, Idriss' family and hundreds of community residents turned out at Police Commission meetings, demanding the release of information. Local non-profit police accountability groups, including Bay Area PoliceWatch, have pressured SFPD to respond to community outrage. The French government has launched an inquiry into the case (Idriss held dual-citizenship). Supervisor Tom Ammiano has recently offered help, calling for a supervisor's hearing at the end of September. But SFPD and the Police Commission have continued to remain silent, uncooperative and even hostile to the community.
What is known about what happened is that Idriss and his fiancee, Summer Galbreath, went to the Sony Metreon to see a movie. Idriss, who suffered from depression, began to experience a depression-related episode. The theater was cleared, and Summer called 911 because she thought Idriss should be taken to the hospital. When SFPD arrived, Summer told them that there was no crime committed and that Idriss needed help. Idriss was reportedly holding a 2-inch pocket knife when eight police officers entered the theater and fatally shot him more than 20 times. The reckless gunfire also resulted in one police officer being shot by another officer.
Ms. Monge-Irizarry has also announced her intention to intensify efforts to force mental health crisis training for San Francisco police. Ironically, she has been part of a 5-year effort to get this training for police departments, an effort which has been strongly resisted by SFPD. One in four police calls involve someone in psychiatric distress, but SFPD has refused to implement crisis training for their officers. "We saw this coming for years," said Van Jones of Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. "No amount of stalling is going to turn us around now."
As illustrated at the press conference by corporate media reporters who were struggling to catch up on the known details of the shooting, local corporate press has been slow to investigate, relying on official police statements and soundbites from Police Commission protests.
The next community event for Idriss Stelley will be on Thursday, September 13th, 6pm outside the Sony Metreon, where a candlelight vigil will be held. Summer Galbreath is asking that people bring flowers for a memorial to remember Idriss.