Two men who say they witnessed a San Francisco police shooting last month say they fear countering the official version of events because of their undocumented status.
Their version of events directly contradicts statements by police about the shooting of 21-year-old Amilcar Pérez López on Feb. 26 at 9:45 p.m.
Police say Pérez López had been trying to steal someone’s bike and then lunged -- with a knife in his hand -- at plainclothes officers before the officers opened fire. The eyewitnesses said that Pérez López was chasing someone on a bicycle who had stolen his cellphone. Moreover, they said, he dropped the knife he had in his hand before police opened fire.
“I am drowning. I want to say everything I know, but I am scared,” one of them said.
“If later, we make a statement against [the police version], what will become of us?” asked the other. “That’s why we haven’t spoken up. We are overwhelmed, stressed out, we can’t sleep.”
The two men have asked that their names be withheld. They are in the process of talking to lawyers.