SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

East Bay | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Front Page

Tue Jul 21 2009 (Updated 07/22/09) OPD Kills Parnell Smith, False Statements Already Emerge
Oakland Police Kill Unarmed Fleeing Black Man "Copwatch 13" writes: Two Oakland police officers, Phong Tran and Scott Hewitt, shot and killed Parnell Smith on Wednesday, July 15th, near the corner of 16th Avenue and International Boulevard. Smith, who was unarmed when he was shot, was running away from Tran and Hewitt as they fired on him. On Thursday, when grilled about why police would shoot Smith if he was only running away, Oakland Police Spokesman Jeff Thomason initially said, "This was a gunfight...it was a gun battle that took place in the streets of Oakland." However, on Friday, Thomason acknowledged that his earlier statements were premature.

As inquiries continue, it is becoming increasingly evident that police were the only ones shooting and that they were trying to arrest a man for a crime he didn't commit. It all started Wednesday afternoon when Tran and Hewitt incorrectly thought that Smith was a wanted rape suspect simply because they were looking for a black man with a cane and Smith was black and had a cane. When they spotted Smith, they tried to arrest him. But Smith, who ostensibly did not want to be wrongfully charged with rape and be deprived of his freedom, chose to flee.

Oakland police admitted later that Smith was not the man that they were after. Police allege that in spite of their ultimately grave error, at some point early in their foot pursuit of Smith, Smith pointed a gun at them and then tossed the gun during the chase. They said Smith also swung his cane at them before he fled.

Read More: 1 | 2 | photoPhotos

07/16/14 Protests in East Salinas Resume Following Fourth Police Killing   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/16/14 Hundreds of Palestinians, Including Whole Families, Have Been Killed in Gaza Since July 8   Palestine
07/11/14 Frank Alvarado, Killed by SPD, Spoke in Santa Cruz Against Prison Expansion   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/07/14 Letter Writing Group to Focus on Political Prisoners in the California Prison System   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/07/14 Santa Cruz Anti-War Community Returns to Ocean Street for Annual Independence Day Rally   Anti-War | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/02/14 SF Queer Anarchists Blockade the Google/FIFA Pride Float In Solidarity with Brazilians   Health, Housing, and Public Services | LGBTI / Queer | International
07/01/14 Carmel Demonstrations Help Labor Union Achieve Victories Across the Monterey Bay   Labor & Workers | Santa Cruz Indymedia
07/01/14 Activists Look to DOI to Set Timeline for Business to Remove Operations from Drakes Estero   Environment & Forest Defense | North Bay / Marin
06/30/14 Protest of Kink.com Prison-Themed Dance Party Leads to Violence and Arrests by SFPD   LGBTI / Queer
06/30/14 Forest Service Proposes Massive Salvage Logging Project in California's Rim Fire Area   Environment & Forest Defense | California
06/29/14 Ten Arrested at Google Headquarters Asking for Dialogue in Battle for Net Neutrality   Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Peninsula