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

11/21/14 Students Protest Tuition Increases, Class Size, Fewer Classes, Cuts to Services   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/18/14 Indybay Journalist Assaulted by Leon Panetta's Security; Protesters Banned from Bookstore   Anti-War | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/18/14 Santa Cruz Biotechnology Charged Again with Violating Animal Welfare Act   Animal Liberation | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/14/14 Rasmea Odeh Conviction Protested Across U.S. by Supporters and Human Rights Activists   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Palestine | Immigrant Rights
11/13/14 Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs Shares in Solidarity with Those Being Arrested in Florida   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/13/14 Grand Jury Investigation Found Recent Jail Deaths Were Preventable   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/12/14 Strikes by California RNs Kick Off Actions for Patient Safety and Ebola Precautions   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Labor & Workers | California
11/11/14 Whole Foods Workers Demand $5-An-Hour Across-the-Board Wage Increase in SF and East Bay   Labor & Workers
11/05/14 Californians Win Victories on Fracking Despite Deluge of Oil Industry Cash   Environment & Forest Defense | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/05/14 Police Take Leadership Role in 2014 Peace and Unity March   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/04/14 Fifth Man Killed at the Hands of Salinas Police in 2014: Jaime Garcia   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia