Newly unsealed video of the 2015 San Francisco police shooting of Mario Woods casts doubt on officers' statements about the deadly encounter, a federal judge said in a Tuesday ruling.
U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick ordered that a lawsuit by Woods' mother can proceed to trial.
The video obtained by KQED was taken by a former Muni bus driver on Dec. 2, 2015. It sheds new light on several aspects of the shooting that contributed to launching an era of turmoil and reform for the San Francisco Police Department.
The footage begins just over a minute before five SFPD officers opened fire on Woods, shooting him 21 times. Officer Brandon Thompson can be heard on the recording telling his partner, Officer Charles August, to back away from Woods as both officers trail him onto Keith Street, near the intersection of 3rd Street and Fitzgerald Avenue in the Bayview district.
Thompson and August had approached Woods several minutes before the video's beginning, suspecting him of a stabbing earlier that afternoon. According to August's deposition testimony, Woods was holding a knife and told the officers he wasn't going with them.