Controversy in the Death of Mario Woods
The killing of Mario Woods was a clear act of Police Brutality and use of unnecessary force, however police officials are still fighting to prove that the actions of the five police officers involved in the shooting were justified. In any case of police brutality, the police officers are going to be defended by the city. The police do not want a bad reputation and will do whatever they can to attempt to justify their actions, when in most cases, they are simply unjustifiable. First, we have to examine the arguments of the city lawyers defending Mario Woods, and then we can see how no matter how you look at it, the killing of Mario Woods was nothing less than an act of police brutality.
The S.F Gate article, “S.F. city attorney: Police Lawfully Killed Mario Woods” by Vivian Ho and Demian Bulwa, describes the viewpoint and defense arguments of the police officers involved in the shooting of Mario Woods. The article starts off by describing that “The San Francisco police officers who shot and killed Mario Woods acted lawfully to protect themselves and bystanders from a man who was armed with a knife, refused to obey commands and tried to flee while under the influence of methamphetamine and other drugs, the city attorney’s office said.” The police force refuses to admit that they are in the wrong, even in such an obvious case, doing whatever they can to make excuses, and justify the wrongful actions of five different police officers. Police officials said the officers who shot Woods “did their best in a situation where a stabbing suspect still had a knife, wouldn’t heed commands and wasn’t subdued by pepper spray and beanbag rounds.” The problem is that the police force can afford to hire as many lawyers as they need to try to work their way around this case, and the victim’s family has to suffer through fighting against them. It is a difficult battle to go against the police in court, even if the verdict is so seemingly obvious.
Another article by Awr Hawkins, “SF City Attorneys: Officers Justified in Shooting That Killed Mario Woods,” explains the police and city attorney’s side of the story. He provides the viewpoint and logic behind the people in defense of the police officers, for example, “city attorneys say the shooting was justified; that Woods brought the use of lethal measures on himself by refusing to drop the knife when asked to do so.” Also, Deputy City Attorney Sean Connolly wrote, “Failing to surrender peacefully, Woods posed an imminent threat to bystanders and officers. Woods, while still armed with a weapon, attempted to flee by walking past the officers and toward the area where numerous bystanders congregated.” Hawkins brings in different information from different credible sources, to show how the killing was justified. The police force is doing whatever they can to try to excuse what they did and justify their actions, however the video shows that what they did was wrong and a complete abuse of their authority.
Even with all the arguments provided by police officials, city lawyers, and the police officers involved in the shooting, it is clear that the killing of Mario Woods was an act of police brutality. Originally reading the news or hearing about the death of Mario Woods, most people were outraged and understood that it was an unnecessary act of police brutality. The arguments brought about in defense of the police officers who shot Woods were not strong. Simply watching the video, anyone can see that what happened was police misconduct and abuse of authority, resulting in an unnecessary death.