Pawlik's death prompted the Oakland Police Commission to call for the firing of the five officers involved in the shooting. The commission also voted in February to oust former Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick over her handling of the incident — a move supported by Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Kirkpatrick has vowed to sue the city over her firing.
Police on March 11, 2018 responded to reports of Pawlik, 31, holding a gun as he lay unconscious on the ground between two houses in West Oakland. Officers said they tried to wake him up, shouting at him to take his hands off the gun and firing after he failed to comply.
The shooting was captured on multiple police body cameras — including at least one video showing the gun on the ground next to Pawlik. The footage was used by police commissioners and a federal monitor to determine that the man did not pose an immediate threat.
According to the body-camera video, released by the Oakland Police Department eight months after the shooting, Pawlik attempted to lift himself off the ground when four of the officers opened fire.
“The video also confirms that at no time did Mr. Pawlik raise the handgun towards the officers or otherwise in a threatening manner towards Officers. Mr. Pawlik attempted to raise his head and sit up by using his right elbow for leverage,” police commissioners wrote in their 2019 report.
But the head of Oakland's police officers’ union ripped those findings, calling them “inexplicable” and an “injustice.”