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Idriss Stelley's Family's Claim Against SFPD
by gkt
Wednesday Sep 5th, 2001 3:24 PM
This is the claim filed against the city today by the family of Idriss Stelley.
<b>Excerpt from Police Misconduct Claim Filed Against San Francisco by the Family of Idriss Stelley</b>
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GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT/OCCURRENCE:
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Claimant is the mother and sole surviving heir of Mr. Idriss Stelley, hereinafter "decedent". On June 13, 2001, decedent, was a patron at the Metreon movie theater with his girlfriend, Summer Galbreath. At said time and place, decedent was suffering from a mental illness and became delusional. Summer Galbreath became concerned for decedent's mental health and called the police so that they could provide assistance in taking the decedent to a hospital for treatment of his mental illness.
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San Francisco Police Department police officers Garbayo, Miranda, Razzak, Leong, Wong, Walsh, Pappas, Furminger, Andraychak and Sullivan responded to Summer Galbreath's call for assistance. Upon their arrival at the Metreon Theater, the officers were met by Summer Galbreath, who informed them that, while no crime had been committed and she was not in fear for her own safety, she was concerned for the psychological well-being of the decedent and requested he be taken in for an evaluation.
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San Francisco police officers Garbayo, Miranda, Razzak, Leong, Wong, Walsh, Pappas and Furminger then responded to Theater #14 within the Metreon Theater complex. At said time and place, said theater complex had been completely cleared of all patrons and employees of the Metreon Theater. When these eight officers entered the movie theater, the decedent was seated alone near the top of the seating area. It was obvious to anyone with even limited training in identifying people with mental illness that the decedent was mentally ill, delusional and not making sense.
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The officers asked the decedent to come down from the top of the movie theater and drop a small pocket knife that he was holding in his hand. The decedent continued to speak unintelligibly and did not respond to the commands of the officers due to his obvious mental and emotional condition. Rather than call in mental health professionals, the officers drew their weapons and cornered the decedent, repeating their commands for him to drop the knife. When the decedent began walking down the steps and walking towards the officers, the officers then opened fire on the decedent with a volley of bullets that was so out of control, that Officer Walsh was struck in the left buttock by one of the bullets. Approximately twenty (20) shots were fired at the decedent, who was mortally wounded by gunfire.
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The actions of the officers were negligent and constituted an assault and battery on the decedent. Additionally, had these officers been properly trained in areas such as "shoot/don't shoot," identifying people with mental illness, use of force tactics, and policies and procedures concerning confronting and arresting suspects who are mentally ill, this incident would not have occurred. The officers involved in this incident were negligently trained in all of these areas. As a direct and proximate result of their negligent acts, and the negligent hiring and training by the San Francisco Police Department and Chief Lau, the decedent was killed.