police shootings

Dec 112014
Officer Luis Torres

Officer Luis Torres answering questions

On Thursday, Dec. 11, the San Leandro Police Department had an hour-long community meeting to address the shooting that took place on Broadmoor Ave.  Mike Katz-Lacabe attended, filmed and tweeted from the meeting.  The SLPD did not call on him, so he was unable to ask any questions.  The following are his tweets, in chronological order followed by the video of the meeting.

The meeting concerns the December 4 shooting in San Leandro’s Broadmoor neighborhood.

In response to a question from the audience, SLPD Officer Robert McManus says Oct. 5 Woodland Ave. officer-involved shooting is not related.

San Leandro police officer had no chance to get out of way of fleeing vehicle. His leg is why there wasn’t more damage to police car.

Injured San Leandro police officer underwent third surgery today. SLPD says that the officer’s prognosis is unknown.

In response to questions, McManus says they will not share where bullets were found nor how many shots were fired because there are ongoing investigations by the Oakland PD and Alameda Co. DA.

McManus says that both officers fired at the suspect, in response to an audience question.

Reports from local residents described multiple shots (at least 5-6) fired during the San Leandro officer-involved shooting.

McManus says that there is no evidence of a bullet crossing Bancroft Avenue and striking a car in 500 block of Broadmoor.

No weapons were found on the suspect arrested at the scene of the San Leandro officer-involved shooting nor the stolen car.

San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli says purpose of meeting was to dispel rumors and answer questions, even though they can’t answer some questions.

Chief says this child was making adult decisions and operated the vehicle as a deadly weapon.

One audience member: “I don’t care how many shots were fired at that car…I hoped that she would end up like that other gentleman.”

Speaker  wants police to “work with public works to make that [Oakland] border crossing more difficult.”

Chief says that surveillance & license plate cameras will be used to solve crime in response to speaker about border crossing.

Chief says of suspects: “We feel that they were there for some sort of criminal activity.”

Meeting Video, Part 1

This is a drawing of the scene before the suspect's car moved.  The suspect's car is the one on the street closest to Kensworth.  Two private cars are parked in front of it.  The two cars in the middle of the street are the police cars. The injured officer was standing by the car closest to Bancroft, which was blocking the street at an angle.

This is a drawing of the scene before the suspect’s car moved. The suspect’s car is the one on the street closest to Kensworth. Two private cars are parked in front of it. The two cars in the middle of the street are the police cars. The injured officer was standing by the car closest to Bancroft, which was blocking the street at an angle.

Note: I removed a note I’d made on how the officer was injured, after Tim’s comment which provides more accurate information. I urge you to read Christine and Tim’s comments below for more information on the meeting.

Dec 082014

Police-ShootingOver the last three days, we’ve had two shootings of women  driving allegedly stolen cars by San Leandro Police Department officers.  One of them is in critical condition.   Police missed the other, a 16 year-old girl, though one bullet wheezed past a bystander and another hit a parked car a block away.  Fortunately, nobody was reportedly injured in that incident.  Shooting at a fleeing subject who is not a threat to the life of others is against the law.

There is no doubt that moral blame lies on the officers who did shoot. But the real culprits, the ones where most of the blame lies, are SLPD Chief Sandra Spagnoli and City Manager Chris Zapata.

While there are surely police officers who are itching to shoot someone, I believe most of them follow the protocols established by their chiefs of police. It would seem that SLPD’s protocols condone the shooting of fleeing vehicles.  The buck must thus stop with Chief of Police Sandra Spagnoli, who created such protocols.  But Spagnoli could only establish these protocols because City Manager Chris Zapata has disavowed any oversight of the police.  When I met with him a couple of months ago to discuss police misconduct, Zapata stated that the only time he has ever denied a request by the Police Chief was when she proposed that the City spend $60 million to build a new police department.  Zapata determined the City could not afford it.

Zapata did state that, contrary to the wishes of the Police Chief, he would disable the hidden microphones present in the surveillance cameras that were to be installed at City Hall.  But he admitted that he took that position after consulting with the City Attorney and learning that secret audio recording of private conversations, even in a public space, violates California’s wiretapping law.  Zapata stopped short of creating any audit requirements to ascertain that the microphones were, indeed, disabled.


Beyond these two situations, Zapata has given Spagnoli free reign.   The only “oversight” of the Chief there is, are weekly meetings with Assistant City manager Lianne Marshall, where, according to Marshall, the Chief informs her of the needs of the police department.

Mayor Pauline Cutter and the City Council have no direct oversight of the Chief, but they do of the City Manager. It’s time they demand accountability from him.


The City Council will hold their annual work session on the Police Department TONIGHT, Dec. 8, 2014, at 8 PM – after the swearing in of the new Mayor and City Council members.

On Thursday, Dec. 11th, the Police Department will hold an informational meeting on the police shootings. It will take place at the Senior Center (13909 E. 14th St.), from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.